We can say 2020 was like the tale of two businesses. It was the best of times for big retailers like Amazon—driven by online sales. And it was the worst of times for many small businesses who couldn’t compete with lockdowns and other restrictions.
Retail giants made huge profits in 2020, driven by sharp increases in online sales due to the pandemic.
Amazon’s third quarter results showed a net income of 14.1 billion dollars for the first 9 months of 2020. For the same period in 2019, it was 8.3 billion dollars. That’s a 70 percent increase.
Amazon is also expecting growth for the fourth quarter.
Mastercard says e-commerce sales in the United States jumped 49 percent in this year’s holiday shopping season.
And new government data shows that the pandemic has had a moderate-to-large negative impact on over three quarters of the nation’s small businesses.
Washington DC has been hit the hardest—47.6 percent of the businesses there reporting a large negative impact. New York state follows—with about 42 percent reporting a large negative impact. That’s followed by Hawaii, Mississippi, Vermont, New Jersey, and Alaska—all at around 37 to 39 percent.
From March to September, nearly 98,000 small businesses listed on Yelp have closed permanently. Of those, the restaurant industry was hit the hardest.