Nearly 8,800 business locations in the East Bay have momentarily or permanently discontinued business activities or closed between March and December 2020, according to an analysis using business data insights from business analytics company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). To gather closure data, D&B examined a variety of financial information and data signals, including payment transactions activity, trade and shipping data, and leasing information. It is important to note this data includes many office-based businesses that shifted to telework and underreports minority-owned and immigrant businesses, many of which are not traditionally banked.
Almost a year into the pandemic, we still have a long way to return to a new normal. Despite recent vaccine rollouts and multiple stimulus efforts, our business community continues to experience disruptions and uncertainty. Many are experiencing volatile customer demand, operational challenges because of health and safety requirements, employee hiring and retention, and even workplace outbreaks. Although improving operations and adapting new service models can help some industries to recover, many small businesses face mounting pressure to stretch already slim margins and scant working capital to invest in technologies needed to survive. Federal, state, and local financial programs have provided the necessary temporary relief for struggling businesses to survive, but the longer the pandemic persists, the more difficult a recovery will be. The most heavily impacted industries, such as hospitality and entertainment, also point to a need for more targeted support, particularly because these sectors heavily employ women and minorities.
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