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More than 1.2K Tampa Bay businesses have closed since March

By The Numbers

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay businesses have been hit especially hard the past several months while navigating the growing number of cases of coronavirus.

In its Q2 2020 Yelp Economic Average report, Yelp took a look at how local businesses are faring in metro communities across the country.

Between March 1 and July 10, the Tampa Bay metro area lost 1,228 businesses to temporary and permanent closures. Nearly 150 of those closures were retail businesses while 125 closures – around 10% – were restaurants.

Florida is one of the 10 states with a significant rise in consumer interest in restaurants, bars and nightlife and gyms in May following the reopening of the state, along with a large increase in COVID-19 cases in June to follow.

Since March 1, Florida has seen the fourth-highest number of business closures with around 4,700 permanent closures and 4,100 temporary closures.

“As outbreaks worsened through late June, consumer interest in these categories started to come back down in states like Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Arizona,” the report read. “This emphasizes the strong correlation between the pandemic and consumer behavior. When there’s a major outbreak, Yelp data suggests it negatively impacts consumer interest in businesses where social distancing may be harder to enforce.”

Fortunately, more than 7,000 local businesses have received small business loans to stay afloat amid the pandemic, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Nationally, temporary business closures have decreased while permanent closures continue to increase, now accounting for 55% of all closed businesses since March 1.

Between March 1 and July 10, business closures across the United States dropped to just over 132,500.

Yelp reported 140,000 total business closures on June 15, which increased to more than 147,000 total business closures just 14 days later on June 29.

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