Going Broke in the City of Oaks, Survey Finds 60% of Raleigh Small Businesses Face Closure Due to Pandemic Panic

RALEIGH – One of the few predictions from back in the spring to actually manifest in reality is the level of job losses and business closures that were sure to come from lockdown policies spurred by the fomenting of Pandemic Panic.

Now, months later, the economic pain and suffering of Main Street, USA is clear to see in cities around the country. Case in point: a recent survey from Shop Local Raleigh finds that 60 percent of small-businesses are facing closure. And those are the ones still available for a survey, which means they’re the ones that have hung on this long already; many have not.

From ABC11:

“[…] A recent survey by Shop Local Raleigh found 60 percent of small businesses are facing closure.

More than 200 owners participated in the questionnaire.

When asked ‘What keeps you up at night?,’ one small business owner said, “Being able to pay my bills and keep my home.” Another said, “No new clients. People are afraid to go out for services.”

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A string of small businesses have already closed on Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh and the landlord is trying to lease the spaces. […]”

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Many of those businesses are restaurants with downtown locations, facing the double whammy of Pandemic Panic and recurrent violent protests/riots that have made boarded up windows the new urban landscape.

Even though limits on indoor dining is set at 50 percent, many restaurant owners say their sales are closer to 20 percent. No one is coming in. Can you blame them? Most of the media, and the governor, has been non-stop fear mongering about the virus for months; no wonder customers are hesitant to venture out.

And those are the places that are actually allowed to open their doors at all. Bar and tavern owners, movie theaters, amusement parks, event venues — they are still prohibited from opening. Livelihoods are languishing. For their part, the bar owners are protesting at the governor’s mansion on Thursday.

The original justification for the Pandemic Panic was the millions of deaths the virus would cause, and the goal was, ostensibly, to avoid overwhelming our hospitals. Our current understandings of the virus, its scale, and its actual risk level to different cohorts tell us that the panic was never justified, that lockdown policies weren’t warranted, and our hospitals never really faced an overwhelming crisis.

Yet the consequences of bad policy reverberate mightily, and will continue to do so for as long as the fear mongering continues.

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