How is COVID-19 affecting small businesses and employees?


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Red sign hanging at the glass door of a shop saying “Closed due to coronavirus”.

Grant Robley, Editor

COVID-19 is the latest problem in the world, not just nationally but on a global level. In America, COVID-19 has done more than just place individuals in the hospital or make them very ill. The virus has taken America by storm in recent weeks and has affected millions. 


COVID-19 has left many big businesses, such as airplane companies, in danger, but it has put smaller businesses in a worse situation. Smaller businesses have been going under, and if they haven’t gone under yet, they’ve had to let go of employees. Some businesses have even had to take on other tasks to bring in revenue. 


One of the biggest issues going around in the nation is unemployment. President Donald Trump brought unemployment to the lowest rate the country had seen in recent years, but now it staggered all the way back up, with nearly 13 percent as the new statistic. Relativity to that, nearly 6.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment, according to CNN. While Trump and Congress also created a stimulus package (see Adam Hinkley’s

on that), the numbers are reaching near Great Depression-era statistics.


The problem for many businesses is the fact that many of their customers are not leaving their houses, quarantining themselves to make sure they do not contract the virus. Chaps Pit Beef, a local pit beef restaurant, is starting to sell some of their raw meats to customers in an attempt to make money outside of their business. 


“Chaps require customers to come in and eat in, or carryout. Due to the stay at home order placed by Larry Hogan, it’s been harder to get business,” explains Josh VerStandig, the owner of the Chaps Frederick restaurant. 


VerStandig continues, “It’s been harder to see how much business we can get in one day. We are doing our best to bring business in, but the uncertainty of it all is the biggest factor.” 


The “Stay At Home

” order has set small businesses back on multiple levels. Normal food sales consist of eating in and taking out, but now that fear has set into people, nobody wants to go out. Mr.VerStandig also speaks about how COVID-19 has affected the store’s income. “We’ve lost about 65%-70% of normal sales, relying now on carryout and delivery.”


Smaller businesses, such as Chaps, need the most from all of us. If or when you can go out, support smaller/local businesses, as they are the ones being affected the most from COVID-19. There are ways you can support small businesses, such as delivery or curbside pickup. Some smaller businesses have Gofund me pages, to help bring money in; if there is a specific small business you want to support, try and find their Gofund me page. If you cannot do any of these, email a small business owner to see what you can do. We need to unite together and help each other as much as possible.