COVID-19

How the coronavirus is affecting one American business

Andie Corban Feb 7, 2020
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A sign at an empty mall in Beijing urges visitors to wear masks Wednesday. China's struggle to contain the deadly coronavirus is deepening concerns about the impact on the world's No. 2 economy. Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

How the coronavirus is affecting one American business

Andie Corban Feb 7, 2020
A sign at an empty mall in Beijing urges visitors to wear masks Wednesday. China's struggle to contain the deadly coronavirus is deepening concerns about the impact on the world's No. 2 economy. Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images
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Many stores and factories in China have shut down in an attempt to restrict the coronavirus from spreading, and many big businesses are reporting that the virus will affect their profits.

The coronavirus, and subsequent factory closures, could have an even greater impact on smaller businesses.

“We have several hundred employees just in China,” said Anne Harper, CEO and founder of OMG Accessories, which makes fast fashion accessories for kids. Her supply chain starts in China, where her company has a factory that produces products like purses and backpacks.

“I talk to the owner of my factory every single day, just checking in, obviously making sure all the people around him are OK,” Harper said.

They also talk about when her Chinese employees are likely to return to work. She and the owner of the factory anticipate the virus will set production back by at least two months.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

Are people still waiting for unemployment payments?

Yes. There is no way to know exactly how many people have been waiting for months and are still not getting unemployment, because states do not have a good system in place for tracking that kind of data, according to Andrew Stettner of The Century Foundation. But by his own calculations, only about 60% of people who have applied for benefits are currently receiving them. That means there are millions still waiting. Read more here on what they are doing about it.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out Tuesday from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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