Over 1,300 Orlando businesses have closed since the beginning of the pandemic, says report


Big Time Street Food Co., one of my Orlando restaurants forced to close permanently - PHOTO COURTESY BIG TIME STREET FOOD CO./FACEBOOK
  • Photo courtesy Big Time Street Food Co./Facebook
  • Big Time Street Food Co., one of my Orlando restaurants forced to close permanently
Orlando area businesses have taken a beating since the beginning of March, according to a new report.

The Orlando-Sanford-Kissimmee metro area endured 1,325 total business closures both temporary and permanent between March 1 and July 10, according to Yelp’s Economic Average Q2 2020 report.

Of the total number of closed businesses, 129 are permanently closed restaurants and 111 are retail businesses.

On the national level, temporary business closures decreased, while permanent closures continue increasing, now accounting for 55 percent of all closed businesses since March 1. Additionally, the total number of business closures dropped to just more than 132,500, since March 1.

The report found a significant correlation between an increase in consumer interest in May and an increase of coronavirus cases in June. Florida is one of 10 states with a significant increase in consumer interest in restaurants, bars and gyms. Florida’s May interest level experienced a 104 percent increase and was soon enough followed by a 529 percent increase in coronavirus cases.

People’s interest in supporting the Black community by spending at Black-owned businesses does continue to remain high, according to the report. From May 25-July 10, there have been more than 2,500,000 searches for Black-owned businesses on Yelp, compared to approximately 35,000 over the same time period last year, more than 7,000 percent increase.

On Thursday, Florida added 10,249 new coronavirus infections and 173 deaths. Orange County currently stands at 25,254 cases total.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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