The Impact of Coronavirus on the North Shore

July 21, 2021 4:32 pm

A little more than a year ago our lives were turned upside down by coronavirus, a viral infection no one had heard of just months prior. Businesses and schools closed, Americans across the nation went into quarantine, and supply line issues caused panic buying or hoarding of some products in particular. 

The impact of the coronavirus will be felt for years to come and may have reshaped how we think about doing business. From curbside pick up to outdoor dining, our thought process has changed on what “doing business” should really look like. So many of us adjusted to a remote work life and connecting with clients or consumers through video conferencing and online ordering. 

covid numbers decreasing

Where We Stand Now 

According to the state’s coronavirus dashboard, things have begun to take a turn for the better in recent months with transmission rates and hospitalizations remaining low in our area. 

Massachusetts specifically has strong vaccination rates with more than 70% of residents already reporting having at least one of the shots administered. Add this to the low transmission rates in general and the Bay State is one of the states that is getting back to normal both in terms of the economy and our personal lives. 

As of May 29, 2021, our state reached the “fully reopened” phase of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Phased Reopening Plan. Based on public health guidance, the state began a gradual and phased approach to reopening businesses in order to comply with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and what the numbers in our state told the experts about our transmission and hospitalization rate. 

With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for public and private transportation systems and facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions were lifted including all indoor and outdoor capacity requirements. 

child with mask

A Look Back at The Coronavirus Impact Survey 

While the numbers are improving and businesses are reopening, the outlook was not so rosy according to our Coronavirus Business Impact Survey of March 2020

A quick scan of the survey can take us back to an anxious and stress filled time. Question six of the survey was especially troubling as it asked the question of local business owners, “Has your business been impacted by the Coronavirus? If yes, how has your business been impacted?” 

Two hundred and eleven respondents replied. Of those, 84% said that their business had been impacted even in those early days. They reported negative impacts such as a reduction in business operation hours, closed business, cancelled events, lost revenue, laid off employees, and lost billable services or products. 

With only 25% of respondents replying that they could do their business remotely, the vast majority of business leaders who completed the survey were left to adjust their business model or risk losing their livelihood. 

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that, while all the numbers are not in, the pandemic has taken a huge toll on American businesses. They report that the “pandemic resulted in the permanent closure of roughly 200,000 U.S. establishments above historical levels during the first year of the viral outbreak.”

Closures on the North Shore have been tough to measure, as some businesses are still opening and others are seasonal in nature. The North Shore Alliance is monitoring the state of the economy in our region and continually posts economic development reports here. Please come back as we monitor the recovery in our area. 


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