These days you cannot walk out of your home without seeing at least some of the effects of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Some cities are still on an extended lockdown while others have opened up. Still, no matter what has opened up and what may open up in the future, the business world has drastically changed. Here are the businesses that have seen the most drastic change during the pandemic lockdown.
During the summer months, travel is on the minds of us all. We all need a break and whether you seek the solitude of the mountains, the relaxation and excitement of the beach, or somewhere between, we all have our favorite vacation spots. However, the pandemic has drastically changed the course of travel. International travel to and from certain areas of the world is prohibited and domestic travel is subject to various local government regulations that seem to change on a daily basis.
Approximately 41% of all travelers remain guarded against traveling to their famed destination areas and popular vacations rental sites have seen a significant spike in the number of cancelations they received directly linked to the coronavirus. Hotels have had to employ additional cleaning measures and regulate the capacity of their facility and even popular travel and leisure destinations are forced to limit the number of people allowed in at one time. Travel is not what it was just one year ago.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, there was much consideration to what is considered an essential business. At the top of our list is food. People have to eat and whether you get your daily meals from a restaurant or go out to the grocery store, it is certainly essential. Grocery stores, restaurants, and virtually anywhere that sells food of any type has had to adjust to the stipulations mandated by local and national governments.
Self service food avenues have become a thing of the past. Regulations on buffet restaurants now require an attendant to serve up dishes rather than the patron helping themselves and the use of throw away containers has naturally increased as many dining rooms are shut down, only open for take-out, delivery, and curbside service. Delivery services are more popular now than ever as people are staying home.
Storage facilities have been an increasingly important part of the economy. They are essential for many businesses and homeowners that require additional storage, but the pandemic has not been so kind to the industry. Storage unit use has drastically dropped as many patrons are not shopping like they were and have no need for additional storage. Others are cutting costs where they can and simply getting rid of or moving items in their storage units to free options. In response to the change, storage facilities have resorted to dropping prices to record low rates just to keep their business afloat. Once the storm passes, self storage facilities will bounce back, but as of right now, they are having to adjust to the changing needs of the people.
Vehicles are truly essential. They take us to work, shopping trips, and everywhere else we want to go. In March, vehicle manufacturers largely put the production of vehicles on the back burner in response to the needs of the nation. Instead of producing the same cars, SUVs, and trucks we all love at record speed, production was switched to that of ventilators. This response was vitally important and welcomed by medical facilities that feared they might run out of ventilators as the virus impacts the respiratory system most of all.
Vehicle production has been growing in recent weeks, but the amount of people open to purchasing a new vehicle is very limited. Unemployment rates have gone through the roof and in response vehicle sales are largely down. Automobile lots are making it easier for customers to acquire vehicles with touchless delivery services and online purchases, but a bounce back within the vehicle industry is still slow going.
Internet Provider Companies
Although there is a lot of negatives in regard to the impact on businesses during lockdown, internet companies are not feeling the strain as much as others. When companies sent home workers and schools sent home children from school, the need for a high-quality internet connection intensified. Many companies seen such a boost in business internet needs, they were able to provide free internet for low income families with children during the lockdown. Even now many businesses are still relying on remote work from home opportunities with a majority of their staff, so internet companies are thriving during the pandemic.
Have you seen many new movies lately? There is a reason for that. Production companies have been stunted by the lockdown. California, where many production companies reside have been among the strictest lockdown states in the nation. Large scale studios have had to completely cut back spending and are unable to shoot movies.
In response to the lack of available new films, many theaters are turning back the hands of time to include older movies. Additionally, theaters have had to limit their capacity just like many other venues, so fewer people are able to attend any movie.
For many of us, memories of summer camp still ring true, but for children this year, 2020 summer camp is not going to happen. Summer camps have had to completely shut down without a known opening date. Although virtual summer camp opportunities are still available, it is certainly not the same as going to a summer camp and enjoying time away from the parental units. Maybe next year, these kids will get the opportunity again.
Lockdown is here and looks as though it might be with us, in some form or another, for a while. Now is not the time to panic, but a time of reflection. Change is uncomfortable for certain, but it is through change that we are able to learn, so embrace what is and adjust to the changes in business as well as our personal lives.