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Infographic – Covid-19 Hurting Local Businesses

Covid-19 affects local commerce

Click on image for full-size view. (Statista)

13 June 2020. Yesterday, we published a story about an economic model to help communities decide on which businesses to open during the Covid-19 pandemic. Also yesterday, the business research company Statista posted a chart showing effects of the pandemic on commerce in several U.S. cities, our infographic for this weekend.

The chart draws its data from a report by J.P. Morgan Chase on declines in local business volumes as a result of Covid-19 lock-downs. Stay-at-home orders and closing businesses enabled many communities to slow the spread of the virus and prevent infections. But as the report and chart show, local establishments are paying the price, with many businesses now asking for a chance to reopen.

J.P. Morgan Chase uses credit card transactions of everyday goods and services in February and March 2020 to measure business activity in larger American cities. In February, transaction volume grew 13 to 28 percent compared to the same month in 2019 in the eight cities displayed. In March, after shutdown orders went into effect, local business transactions dropped 11 to 17 percent compared to the previous year, with San Francisco, Chicago, and New York showing the biggest declines.

As the news web site Axios notes, the report indicates establishments in lower-income neighborhoods were the most severely affected businesses, attributed to less online commerce and longer distances traveled to shop at grocery stores. Not only are lower-income families less able to withstand the economic shocks of the pandemic, people in minority communities — many of whom live in low-income areas — are more likely to be infected, according to the CDC.

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