The Womply Research team has been analyzing revenue trends at millions of small, local businesses across the country. We’re trying to determine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local businesses like restaurants, retail shops, lodging places, supermarkets, entertainment venues, and more.
Georgia made national headlines as one of the very first states to allow businesses to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Naturally, we wanted to take a closer look at local businesses in the state to see if Georgia’s decision to reopen early has resulted in a “return to normal,” or if local businesses in the state are still struggling.
About this report: The charts below automatically update every day. They show a daily view of average 2020 revenue for Georgia businesses in a particular category compared to the closest day of the week in 2019.
Check back regularly to see how the local business economy in Georgia is faring.
How many Georgia businesses have stopped transacting entirely?
First, we wanted to see what percentage of different types of Georgia businesses stopped transacting entirely during the coronavirus outbreak, and when they were able to open back up again.
Here’s what we did in order to learn how many businesses have closed due to the coronavirus:
- We analyzed credit card transaction data at businesses who were regularly transacting between January 1, 2020, and March 1, 2020
- A business was designated as “closed” if it didn’t process a single transaction for three straight days starting on March 1
- If, after that three day period, the business processed a transaction, they are no longer considered closed and we back-update previous dates to represent that business as being “open”
- An important note: Restaurants who have shifted to processing 100% of their transactions via third party delivery apps (like Doordash, Grubhub, etc.) would also show as being “closed” by this metric
Taking the above requirements into account, here’s a look at how many local businesses in multiple categories have stopped processing transactions since the start of the coronavirus outbreak:
Note: if viewing on mobile, rotate device to landscape for best viewing experience of the charts in this article
Closure rate at businesses in Georgia:
A few notable dates for Georgia businesses when evaluating the charts in this report:
- 3/2- Georgia announces its first positive case of COVID-19
- 3/14 – Governor Brian Kemp declares a “public health emergency”
- 3/24 – bars and nightclubs ordered closed, ban on public gatherings of 10+ people
- 4/2 – statewide shelter in place order announced
- 4/24 – businesses allowed to reopen, including: gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors
- 4/27 – restaurants and movie theaters allowed to reopen
- 6/1 – bars and nightclubs allowed to reopen
How has COVID-19 impacted revenue at local businesses in Georgia?
The section above showed us how many businesses were forced to shut down entirely, and how many have been able to return to business. But we also wanted to see how the outbreak has impacted both consumer behavior, and the bottom line at local businesses.
With that in mind, we look at two figures in order to determine the overall economic impact of coronavirus on local businesses:
- First, is the impact on total consumer spending in a given category (the increase or decrease in total dollars spent on businesses overall).
- Second, is the impact on average revenue at those businesses who are still open and doing business.
Impact of coronavirus on total spending at Georgia restaurants
This chart examines total revenue at Georgia restaurants in our analysis in 2020 compared to total revenue at restaurants on a similar day in 2019.
As you can see, total spending at Georgia restaurants plummeted in mid-March. Total spending began a slow recovery in late April, but has remained consistently behind 2019’s figures even long after restrictions on restaurants were lifted on April 27th.
Impact of coronavirus on average revenue at open and transacting restaurants in Georgia
This chart includes only data from restaurants still open and transacting on each day examined. Each day represents a comparison of average daily revenue at open restaurants vs. a comparable day in 2019.
Even those restaurants who were able to remain open and transacting during the statewide shelter in place order saw daily revenue plummet. And while average revenue at open restaurants has been on a steady path of recovery, restaurants in Georgia are still earning consistently less than they did in 2019.
Impact of coronavirus on total spending at Georgia bars and lounges
This chart examines total revenue at Georgia bars and lounges in our analysis in 2020 compared to total revenue at bars and lounges on a similar day in 2019.
As you can see in the closure rate chart at the beginning of this article, upward of 76% of bars and lounges in Georgia had stopped transacting entirely during the height of the shutdown in the state. As a result, total spending at local bars and lounges plummeted to near zero.
Total revenue has rebounded slightly as the state began to ease restrictions on bars and lounges. But it looks like the vast majority of Georgians are still staying away from the local bar or night club, despite the state’s status as an “early reopener.”
Impact of coronavirus on average revenue at open and transacting bars in Georgia
This chart includes only data from bars and lounges that are still open and transacting. Each day represents a comparison of average daily revenue at open bars and lounges vs. a comparable day in 2019.
Examining average revenue at open and transacting bars and lounges becomes a more challenging task.
Due to the state’s heavy restrictions on bars and lounges from the start of the pandemic through mid-May and early June, we end up seeing only data from a small set of businesses that were able to remain open during that time frame (likely specialty “bars” that were able to continue to do business through takeout food orders or similar).
As a result, you can take the the spikiness from mid-March until the end of May with a grain of salt.
More interesting to note, however, is the figures after June 1st, when bars were allowed to reopen across the state. Once again, despite Georgia being ahead of many other states in easing restrictions on businesses, revenue has lagged well behind 2019.
Impact of coronavirus on total spending at health and beauty businesses in Georgia
This chart examines total revenue at Georgia health and beauty businesses in our analysis in 2020 compared to total revenue at health and beauty businesses on a similar day in 2019.
Health and beauty businesses such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, and massage parlors, became something of a symbol of the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. And, as you can see from our total consumer spending chart, it’s easy to see why.
Total consumer spending at Georgia health and beauty businesses dropped to basically zero by the end of March. Spending stayed at zero until Georgia became one of the first states to allow health and beauty businesses to reopen for business on April 24th.
As you can see, consumer spending immediately rebounded from zero, but once again, has yet to recover to 2019’s levels.
Impact of coronavirus on average revenue at open and transacting Georgia health and beauty businesses
This chart includes only data from health and beauty businesses that are still open and transacting. Each day represents a comparison of average daily revenue at open health and beauty businesses vs. a comparable day in 2019.
As was the case with bars and lounges, the figures you see for the average open and transacting health and beauty business through most of the month of April are somewhat misleading. They do reveal, however, that even those health and beauty businesses who were able to remain open through the shutdown for the most part did very little business.
Once the state opened back up, and health and beauty businesses went from being over 90% closed down to less than 15% closed, average revenue rebounded somewhat. By June, average revenue at open health and beauty businesses in Georgia had approached near 2019 figures, but there’s clear evidence that enough Georgians are still postponing that haircut or trip to the nail salon. At least for now.
Keep an eye on this post to measure the impact of Georgia’s decision to “open up”
While there are some signs that things have begun to rebound for some Georgia businesses, our analysis shows that most local businesses are still struggling. Even despite the state being on the forefront of “reopening” its economy.
We will update the data in this post on a daily basis and add analysis as the story changes. So check back frequently to see if Georgia businesses start to turn a corner as the state continues to open up.
In the meantime, we’re rooting for local businesses in Georgia and across the country to weather the storm.
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