A deeply depressing read from the Atlantic. Transaction volumes, a decent-enough proxy for sales, show Travel agencies are down 98%, photography studios 88%, day-care centers 75%, and advertising agencies 60%. Will this mean high streets filled with banks and 24-hour pharmacies rather than independent retailers?
It will mean town centers filled with banks and 24-hour pharmacies rather than bookstores and nail salons and takeout counters. It will also mean fewer start-ups competing with incumbents. Ultimately, this means a less competitive American economy. New companies and small businesses drive net job growth in the U.S. They generate more productivity growth than bigger and established businesses. The great small-business die-off will fuel industry consolidation, which will both depress wages for workers and increase prices for consumers. More inequality, more sclerosis, and a smaller GDP: These are some of the legacies the coronavirus pandemic is leaving.