Mon, 30 Nov 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, California, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- About 60 percent of U.S. business closures since March are permanent, indicating the devastating fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released Wednesday by U.S. online review site Yelp.

"In the wake of COVID-19 cases increasing and local restrictions continuing to change in many states we're seeing both permanent and temporary closures rise across the nation, with 60 percent of those closed businesses not reopening," the San Francisco-headquartered Yelp said in its latest Economic Average Report.

As of Aug. 31, 163,735 U.S. businesses on Yelp have closed due to the pandemic, up by 23 percent since July 10, and 97,966 businesses have permanently closed, it said.

The restaurant industry continues to be among the most impacted by the pandemic, with 32,109 restaurant closures, 61 percent of which are permanent, it said.

The report also showed that the states of Hawaii, California and Nevada saw the most total business closures and permanent closures across the country. They're also the three states with the highest unemployment rates.

While rising business closures would cast a shadow on fragile U.S. economic recovery, the U.S. administration and congressional lawmakers remain deadlocked over the next COVID-19 relief package.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that more fiscal support is likely to be needed to support economic recovery as numerous small businesses are struggling, and state and local governments are in dire financial situation.

"It will take a while to get back to the levels of economic activity and employment that prevailed at the beginning of this year, and it may take continued support from both monetary and fiscal policy to achieve that," Powell said.

(Photo credit: Jeenah Moon | Reuters).

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