Top 10 Industries Affected by COVID-19

My, how quickly things have changed.

Here in Vancouver, we’re going on our third week of self isolation. A trip to the grocery store now involves waiting in line outside, six feet apart., gas has hit it’s lowest price in years, and wearing face masks have become the latest fashion trend.

The economy has also taken a sharp decline, with the unemployment rate skyrocketing in a matter of days. Over half a million people applied for EI in a single week, and no one knows when things will improve.

Some industries have taken a harder hit than others during these challenging times. Here’s a look at 10 industries that have been significantly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, including some ways you can show your support for each one.

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Food Services

food services and covid-19

I first noticed the effects of COVID-19 on my everyday life because of restaurants closures and occupancy rates. I remember going out to eat at a popular restaurant on a Saturday night, just before the pandemic really began, and it was nearly empty.

Now, restaurants have been closed in Vancouver for two weeks, with some saying that the pandemic could lead to the permanent closure of up to 15% of restaurants in BC. Currently, the restaurant industry in BC employs over 180,000 people. That number jumps to 1.2 million people across Canada.

Restaurants being closed means a lot of people in the industry such as servers, bartenders, dishwashers, managers, etc. will be unemployed indefinitely. Some servers have had to turn to less lucrative options such as grocery delivery just to make ends meet. Others are hoping they have enough savings to weather the storm.

How you can help:

  • Buy an eGift card with Moola: Support restaurants by buying eGift cards for them now to use later.
  • Order takeout and delivery: Some restaurants are still offering food for takeout and delivery through services like Uber Eats, Door Dash, and Foodora. You can even score some sweet deals right now, like 20% off take out orders.
  • Buy in bulk: In an effort to reduce food waste, many restaurants like Earl’s Kitchen and Bar are selling their perishables like eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Call around and see if there are any offerings in your neighborhood.

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airlines and covid-19

Travel bans and travel restrictions have caused significant disruptions to airline operations. Since the beginning of March, global flights have dropped from roughly 175,000 a day to 75,000 a day. Some airports have seen travel drop by 91% compared to this time last year.

That translates to a massive loss of revenue for companies and layoffs for employees. Air Canada recently announced that it would lay off 16,500 workers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic .

Some airlines have already gone out of business, including Flybe in the UK and Compass Airlines in the US. Many more could follow, as the general public continues to avoid any unnecessary travel not just now, but for the foreseeable future.

 How you can help:

  • Take a credit instead of a refund: If you have the option and you can afford to, take a flight credit instead of a refund for your disrupted travel plans. You’ll be able to put that credit towards another flight when it’s safer to travel again.

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Hotels and Hospitality

hotels and covid-19

You may think that a decrease in air travel would translate to a decrease in hotel occupancy, and that’s exactly what has happened.

BC has closed roughly 25% of hotels thus far with more to follow. Some likely won’t be able to reopen, depending on how long the pandemic persists. Considering hotels in BC do most of their business in the Summertime, many are waiting anxiously to see how things pan out.

Some countries have closed all hotels to tourists entirely, including Austria who has done so voluntarily in order to control the spread of COVID-19.

Some hotels are finding other purposes for their vacant rooms. France is paying for the hotel rooms of individuals suffering from domestic violence during lockdown and New York is providing hotel rooms to frontline healthcare workers to keep them and their families safe.

How you can help:

  • Buy an eGift card with Moola: Buy a hotel and hospitality gift card today and support small businesses in Canada that need your help. Check out our collection of local hotels, inns, and spas on the app now. 
  • Accept credit for cancellations: As with air travel, if you’ve had to cancel travel plans, consider accepting credit for a future stay in lieu of a refund. It’s a nice way to support hotels if you’re financially able to do so.

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gyms and covid-19

I don’t know about you, but the gym is an essential service in my life. Unfortunately, the government disagrees.

Every fitness service from gyms to yoga studios have shut their doors in response to COVID-19. As a result, some difficult decisions have been made. Steve Nash Fitness World terminated all of its employees recently, and it’s unclear whether or not the gym will reopen.

Other studios are likely to follow suit, especially locally owned boutique fitness studios who are faced with high rent costs and no incoming cash flow. Only time will tell how these companies fare.

One interesting result of COVID-19 is the digitalization of nearly every fitness offering from MMA to yoga to barre to HIIT training. If you can do it in a gym, chances are, you can find it online for free right now.

How you can help:

  • Continue paying your membership: Continuing to pay your gym membership is a nice way of giving back to your gym or fitness studio. Consider it a donation to the place that’s given you so much already.
  • Get an online personal trainer: With gyms being closed, many personal trainers are currently out of work. Consider getting a virtual personal trainer to keep you healthy during your time at home. You’ll be investing in your own health while supporting others. 

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Beauty Salons

beauty salons and covid-19

Also on the list of non essential services forced to close are beauty salons, which includes hair stylists, nail technicians, and aestheticians. Almost overnight, individuals have gone from a steady income to no income at all.

To make ends meet, some barbers and hair stylists are making “black market beauty” house calls during lockdowns. This puts their health and the health of their clients at risk, disregarding social distancing entirely.

But with over 1.7 million people employed in the beauty industry, lots of people are forced with little to no other options.

How you can help:

  • Reschedule your appointments: Instead of cancelling, reschedule your appointments for a later, safer date. Consider letting your stylist or salon keep your deposit as well.
  • Sign up for educational services: Some stylists have been offering virtual lessons on how to do hair, makeup, and nails to meet your beauty needs during lockdown. Many of these services are free or by donation, so they’re easily accessible to everyone.

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retail and covid-19

It’s a bit eerie to walk down the city streets here in Vancouver and see all the stores on Robson street boarded up.

But many retail stores have been forced to close due to COVID-19, affecting unemployment levels across North America. Rent the Runway has laid off all of their staff, while the Columbia CEO has reduced his own salary to $10,000 in order to pay his employees.

The National Retail Federation has estimated a loss of $43 billion over the next 3 months because of COVID-19, with bankruptcies for well known brands on the horizon.

Government assistance programs are being put in place here in Canada to assist retail businesses during this time in order to prevent such things from happening. Even so, it’s going to be a difficult time for retail employers and employees these upcoming months.

How you can help:

  • Buy eGift cards with Moola: Buying egift cards to your favorite stores provides them with the support they need immediately, even if you can’t use your gift card today. Download Moola to see all our retail offerings and show some love for your favorite stores.
  • Shop online: Even if your favorite stores are closed, you can still order online and have your items delivered to your house safely. Support local small businesses and order the products you need online.

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broadway and covid-19

Don’t get me wrong, some entertainment services have significantly increased due to COVID-19. Netflix views have increased since the pandemic began and online gaming has skyrocketed as people move online to connect with others.

Others have not been so lucky, particularly those in the music and arts.

Major festivals including SXSW and Coachella have been cancelled or postponed, artists and comedians have cancelled their North American tours, and Broadway shows have shut down entirely. Not to mention, the countless number of local performers who are now out of work.

How you can help:

  • Donate to your local theatre: Reach out to your local arts and culture services and consider donating to help support programs in your community.
  • Keep your tickets: Lots of festivals are offering tickets to next year’s event (plus some sweet perks) in lieu of refunds. Look into to these options before asking for your money back.

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Cleaning Services

cleaning services and covid-19

At first, many cleaning services saw a spike in demand after COVID-19. People were requesting deep cleans of their homes and office spaces, and commercial cleaning companies struggled to keep up.

Now however, business has slowed.

With people sheltering at home and weary of strangers, it makes sense not to let people into your home at this time. As a result, many home cleaning companies have shut down temporarily. Those that are still operating have seen their customer base drop by 33.3% or more.

Some commercial cleaning companies have had to halt work as well, with more and more people working from home and offices closing temporarily.

How you can help:

  • Keep your home cleaning services: Consider keeping your cleaning service if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, you could perhaps offer some kind of compensation as a donation to keep supporting their business.

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Tourist Attractions and Theme Parks

theme parks and covid-19

Disneyland closed unexpectedly on March 14th for the fourth time since its opening almost 65 years ago. The park, which was set to reopen at the end of March, is now closed for the foreseeable future. Walt Disney World in Florida and Disney Paris in France have also closed.

Other theme parks have also been forced to close to the public due to the health risk they present. Sea World has furloughed (temporary, unpaid leave) over 90% of their employees, Universal theme parks are closed until April 18th , and Six Flags has delayed the openings of all of their new amusement parks.

Casinos in Las Vegas have also closed, including the entertainment attractions they operate. While such drastic measures are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, it does make you consider all the jobs that have been lost, and will be lost, as a result of these closures.

How you can help:

  • Buy other services from the company: See if your favorite theme park has other goods or services, such as merchandise you can buy online. It’s a small way of showing your support for them and their employees.

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sports and covid-19

Finally, I don’t think anyone expected sports to be shut down across the world.

I know I didn’t.

Among the list of cancelled and postponed sporting events and sports leagues are the NBA, NHL, Major League Soccer, NCAA March Madness Tournament, English Premiere League, MLB, Kentucky Derby, and of course, the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Affected by these cancellations are not only the coaches and the players but the sporting arena staff, photographers, trainers, broadcasters, and many more who are employed by the industry.

How you can help:

  • Buy merchandise online: Visit the official website of your favorite sports teams and buy something to show your support for the teams and players you love.

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Support Those Struggling During COVID-19 with Moola

At the end of the day, every industry, is, or will be, impacted by this global pandemic. Consider helping out those in your community in whatever way you can, be it buying a gift card now to use later, or simply offering words of encouragement and support on a tough day. We’re all in this together.

Looking for more ways to support small businesses? Check out this article on 10 ways to support small businesses during COVID-19.

No one knows how long this is going to last, but we’re stronger together. Show your support with Moola. 

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