The global COVID-19 pandemic created not only a health crisis world-wide, but a business crisis. Businesses across the world felt the effects of the virus, with many shutting down.
The pandemic affected businesses of all kinds, from manufacturing to shopping, and all places in between.
Some were impacted more than others from the beginning, whereas others may not feel the full impact for a bit more time.
The head of the Wisconsin restaurant association paints a grim picture for the industry without major interventions.
She says low confidence in the safety of dining out is already taking many places out of business.
“We need to get a handle on the virus,” said Melissa Hughes, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), “because of the challenges we’re facing right now with the surge, I continue to be very concerned about the small businesses in Wisconsin, especially our bars and restaurants that are reliant on people coming and getting together and being together and eating together.”
Hughes said there is some hope though as a lot of these businesses are adapting in their own ways to how the virus is changing their businesses. There is work to do now to mitigate the damage and move forward, but Hughes says controlling the spread of the virus has to be the priority.
“Once we can really control the virus, then we can talk about what it takes to recover and we can have a full picture of what happened to the businesses.”
There are programs and grants available to businesses as a potential stepping stone to recovery. WEDC has a few programs to assist Wisconsin businesses. The “We’re All In” grants offered by WEDC is meant to give businesses a boost to cover extra expenses and losses brought about by the Coronavirus. It’s being rolled out in several phases. Phase one granted $75 million to small businesses, and phase two is granting $50 million to small businesses.
It’s not just capitol that businesses need. Some need guidance on how they can safely conduct business during the pandemic. WEDC has reopening guidance tailored to each type of business on its website.
While retail and restaurants were hit hard, they are not the only businesses to suffer because of the virus. Some businesses actually changed their business model to adapt to the new demands for more products because of the virus.