Local Economic Impact Data One Year into Pandemic

March 11, 2021 marks the one year anniversary of the declaration by the World Health Organization that the COVID-19 outbreak was a pandemic. Around the country, localities and states mandated business shutdowns, mask mandates, and other limitations on activities. Stay at home orders were also common.

The single most attention-grabbing data point as gathered by Yelpi is that half a million businesses started during this period of turmoil. Other data points are interesting and attest to the resilience of the private sector and business as a whole.

Some businesses did better because of the lockdowns and stay at home orders with these increasing new startups, including:

  • Food delivery services were up 128%.
  • Chicken shops business grew by 23%.
  • Desserts up 17%.
  • Food trucks up 12%.
  • Notaries were up 52%.
  • Landscaping increased by 42%.
  • Auto detailing startups rose by 37%.
  • Contractors rose by 5%.

Home and auto services as a group saw strength in this period.

Closing and Reopening – The year from March to March saw many changes that required adaptation by businesses to survive. 260.852 businesses closed and reopened during that period. Of those, 85,466 were restaurant and food businesses and 36,199 were professional, local, home, and auto service businesses.

Social Distancing Created Opportunities – Having to maintain a specified distance from others created growth in these businesses:

  • Drive-in movies up over 300%.
  • Outdoor movies up 99%.
  • Skate parks rising by 75%.
  • Disc golf up over 90%.
  • Racetracks up more than 90%.

The occult got a boost as well with people seeking help:

  • Psychic mediums and psychics up by 74%.
  • Psychic astrologists up 69%.
  • Astrologers up over 63%.

This just shows that you may miss the silver lining in the cloud when things look bleak.

More Time at Home Changed Habits – Seemingly somewhat at odds with each other, consumer interest in fitness equipment, surged by 175%, while restaurant takeout surged by 185%. Way off most people’s radar was the “zoom face” phenomenon. People meeting on Zoom found that they wanted to enhance their appearance, and the cosmetic procedure known as “lip flips” increased by 120%.

Bathroom renovations increased by 80% while home office renovations rose by 75%.

Analysis of Opportunities

Whatever your business, in seeing these statistics, perhaps you are missing some hidden opportunities. Even if your customers haven’t been demanding them, you could find some product or service offerings or modifications to offerings that would pique their interest.

Are there products that would work well as delivery items rather than in-store purchases? Do you provide services that could move to in-home delivery? Or, can those services be delivered or enhanced through Zoom or other online communication services?

Are there related products or services that would fit into home delivery or home life enhancement that you can add to your business? It is easy to assume that this COVID thing will be over before too long, but some are already asking what the next pandemic will be, and the next, and how lifestyles will change even more.

i One Year into the Pandemic, Yelp Data Reveals Impact on Local Economies, YelpEconomicAverage.com

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