Yelp says about 60% of businesses that shut down for COVID-19 have closed for good

by Laura Mize · Sep 17th, 2020 11:56 am
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Last Updated Sep 18th, 2020 at 5:13 pm

Nearly 98,000 American businesses that shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic are now permanently closed, data from the business review website Yelp show.

That is about 60% of the operations that closed on a supposed temporary basis during the crisis. Yelp gathers data on closures by analyzing changes to a business's listed hours of operation or business description on its app.

"Overall, Yelp's data shows that business closures have continued to rise, with a 34% increase in permanent closures since our last report in mid-July," Justin Norman, the company's vice president of data science, reported to CNBC.

Businesses in the professional, home, or automotive services categories have fared the best, while nightlife businesses, restaurants, and bars have fared the worst.

Sixty-one percent of restaurants have closed permanently, Yelp data show, while 54% of bars and nightlife venues have closed. The retail closure rate also was high, at 58%.

The states with the highest rates of business closures were Hawaii, at the top of the list, followed by California, Arizona, Nevada, and Washington. Norman explained that coronavirus-induced travel restrictions hit hard in these states.

He also noted the role that government policies and business innovation play in keeping some operations open.

"While it's hard to say when we can expect business closures to stabilize, we've continued to see businesses successfully adapt to these uncertain times over the last six months thanks to their own hard work, innovation, and local policy changes," Norman said.


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