In our last blog, “How to Plan Your Business Reopening Strategy,” we discussed some important steps to take in order to reopen once the COVID-19 limitations are loosened. Unfortunately, it does not appear that we will soon return to business as usual.
We will be facing, in the words of The Economist Magazine, a “90% economy” – better than a severe lockdown, but far from normal. To put it in perspective, a plunge in GDP in the U.S. of anything like 10% would be the largest since the Second World War.
Today, even in those states that have eased their stay-at-home restrictions, a third of Americans say they would be uncomfortable going to a shopping mall. In addition, a poll by YouGov on behalf of The Economist finds that over a third of Americans think it will be “several months” before it will be safe to open businesses as normal – which suggests that if businesses do reopen, many customers may stay away.
Similarly, the online publication Vox predicts “a quarantine state of mind” among Americans could persist for weeks, if not months.
Other Post-COVID-19 predictions from Vox:
Childcare will be recognized as essential work. Following the closing of schools, many day care centers followed suit, leaving tens of millions of American parents suddenly taking on additional childcare duties while working from home or unemployed. Day care workers, typically low paid and without benefits, may get their well-deserved recognition.
Americans will become a nation of savers. The pandemic has left many Americans caught by surprise, and with little money in the bank for the long haul. As U.S. consumer confidence dipped 30% since February, 30% of Americans have no emergency savings to draw on, and only 20% have enough cash to get through six months.
Small businesses, like restaurants, are in peril. Already operating on tight profit margins in good times, and now essentially shuttered under stay-at-home restrictions, independently owned and operated restaurants are at particular risk with some industry experts predicting anywhere from 50-75% not reopening. Those still choosing to dine out would have to settle for a culinary monoculture where corporate chain eateries cover the land.
Real estate: Living, working spaces will change, relocate. Many Americans, having worked remotely from home the past few months, have discovered that they could work from nearly anywhere that offers convenience, access to transportation and amenities, and of course, reliable broadband service. Their employers have made the same discovery, and this will change the face of commercial and residential real estate. I believe many major city dwellers may be looking for smaller communities, and more office space could be vacated.
Jack Lane, a Michigan real estate broker, offers his forecast:
“The weekly (short-term vacation) rental market will resume and likely grow larger once landlords can assure sanitized conditions at check-in. Monthly rentals will rise in the short term. New construction will become more attractive as existing home prices jump. Rural properties will benefit from an increasingly popular “grow your own food” trend. Farms, which were headed off a cliff pricewise, are going to be saved (somewhat) by increased demand. Large commercial office space is going to take a hit. Small office space will see an increase. Retail stores are going to suffer as online sales supercharge during this period.”
As you look to the future and prepare to reopen your business, know that Teachout Security Solutions is here to assist. We gained much firsthand experience while providing services in a variety of environments throughout this entire pandemic. We believe this has positioned our team well for moving forward and supporting changes for the “new normal.”
When you identify a need, such as security staffing and wellness monitoring, or have questions about any re-opening security strategies, call on a trusted advisor and partner–Teachout Security Solutions, a Michigan-based company. Our objective is to keep you, your business, and your employees safe and secure. Contact us to learn more.