• Thomas Parker

Previously temporary business closures becoming permanent, says Yelp

The crowd-sourced business review website Yelp published a quarterly economic impact report showing businesses that planned on closing temporarily are instead having to close permanently.

As of June 15, nearly 140,000 total businesses listed on Yelp have closed since March 1. Yelp reported more than 175,000 business closures in April, meaning that more than 20% of those businesses have reopened since, while the rest remain closed.

Yelp now says that 41% of business closures since March 1 are permanent closures. Some businesses that were already struggling were pushed over the edge, but other healthy businesses were also unable to survive the pandemic and the lockdowns.

The report highlights an unsurprising fact: that retail and restaurant businesses have suffered significantly from the pandemic. Retail stores, restaurants, beauty stores, and fitness centers have seen significant closures this year.

35% of closed retail businesses are noted as permanent closures. While fewer restaurants closed than retail stores, 53% of the restaurants that closed are shut down for good. About 25% of beauty and fitness businesses that closed went out of business.

Surviving restaurants are offering curbside pickup and delivery, while many retail businesses are innovating with pickup services as well. Fitness centers and gyms are offering virtual classes, and the beauty industry has seen stylists offering video haircut tutorials, according to the report.

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