With social distancing rules well into month two, some states are either beginning or contemplating strategies for re-opening business, as they struggle with the impact of the virus that, in many places, still hasn’t seen enough progress to allow great re-opening that so many are hoping for.
As the necessary closures continue, we are seeing the impact on the economy as numbers on various economic measures come out to tell us what things have looked like for the last month-plus. Initially, we’ve seen approximately thirty million applications for unemployment benefits since mid-March. More recently, we’ve also seen US consumer spending drop by 7.5% in March. This number dwarfs the previous low for a monthly drop, 2.1% in January 1987, since records of this number began being tracked in 1959.
The numbers are, of course, hugely concerning but there’s also hope that for the recovery to come. However, many questions remain. As we stay hopeful that the medical toll will decrease and allow the easing of restrictions, there will certainly be many laid-off workers able to return to work. However, the question will be how many and how long will it take for consumer confidence and spending to return once re-opening expands.
This uncertainty makes things particularly difficult, especially for small businesses doing all they can to survive during the pandemic. While we’ll reach a point where more businesses can open, it will take time to know how much the economy will recover and how long that recovery will take.
With so much in flux, an experienced legal team can help navigate a difficult time for businesses, particularly with the ever-changing landscape for companies during the current crisis.