Nearly 60 percent of COVID-19 business closures are permanent: report

Nearly 60 percent of businesses that closed nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic are never reopening again, according to a report.

The vast majority of those businesses are restaurants and gift stores, according to Yelp’s Local Economic Impact Report, a monthly survey of business listings.

As of Aug. 31, 163,735 businesses were listed as closed, with 97,966 of them permanent closures — a 23 percent increase from July 10, the report said.

Within the retail sector, permanent closures of bars and nightclubs grew by 10 percent since July, while closures of beauty related shops grew by 23 percent over the same period. Fitness club closures grew by an alarming 23 percent.

On Monday, the owner of New York Sports Clubs filed for bankruptcy protection, following on the heels of the May bankruptcy filing of Gold’s Gym.

Meanwhile, some businesses have actually thrived during the pandemic, according to the report.

Home improvement businesses, including contractors and plumbers as well as auto-related businesses like towing companies have been spared the brunt of the pandemic.

“Even in the wake of increased closures we’re seeing businesses effectively transition to new operating models while keeping their employees and consumers safe,” the report stated.

The five top cities for permanent closures were New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Baltimore had among the fewest closures, according to the report.