COVID-19 sucker-punched us. No one ever saw this coming. Not one person out of the seven billion people on Earth could have predicted that the world would be brought down to its knees by an unseen opponent.
Yet, here we are now. Struggling to navigate through this global health crisis as we trek deeper into uncharted territory. To say that the virus has adverse effects on countries and economies is one of the biggest understatements ever in the history of mankind.
It has upended a lot of our plans. What took years for all of us to build, the novel coronavirus destroyed and took down in a matter of weeks.
Bankruptcies and Shut Downs
Some of the world’s biggest companies have already declared bankruptcy due to the pandemic. In the U.S. alone, as many as 25,000 stores are expected to close their doors before the year ends.
Several brand names have been gravely affected by the health crisis. We saw Victoria’s Secret file for bankruptcy recently. Zara closed 1,200 of its stores. Rolex stopped production.
According to Fortune, we’re seeing an unprecedented acceleration in bankruptcies with 20 of the biggest companies filing for bankruptcies as shown below:
- The Hertz Corporation
- Latam Airlines Group S.A.
- Frontier Communications Corporation
- Intelsat S.A.
- McDermott International, Inc.
- J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
- Whiting Petroleum Corporation
- Neiman Marcus Group LTD LCC
- Avianca Holdings S.A. (2020)
- Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.
The latest casualty is Chuck E. Cheese, or CEC Entertainment, Inc., which filed for a Chapter 11 less than a week ago at the time of writing.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in, whether you’re in retail or managing a credit union, the reality is everyone got struck hard by it.
Now just because a business has declared bankruptcy doesn’t mean that it will already cease to operate. However, because of the weight brought down upon us by COVID-19, both the Davids and Goliaths of several industries are facing not just economic and health crises but a crisis of failure as well.
For almost five months of the pandemic, we’ve seen companies accumulate outrageous amounts of debt in hopes of keeping their business afloat. Millions of workers were laid off or furloughed.
Business experts and analysts say that each company’s goal at this point should no longer be about making a profit but should be about staying alive until the end of the year.
With projected numbers of hundreds of thousands of businesses permanently closing doors this year, you already are extremely blessed if your company is still operational by year’s end.
Business owners and proprietors are doing all they can to navigate and get through this season in one piece. Even with the provisions that allow each establishment to accommodate and comply with the CDC’s safety guidelines, it is still no guarantee that patrons and customers will come in the way they used to due to health concerns.
Changes in the way businesses are done have taken place. Companies that were resistant to changes brought by the digital age have now transitioned to the online world for them to stay open.
While we’re still in a trial-and-error phase, checking to see which processes work and which ones don’t, it is best if we keep our eyes on the prize and do all we can to survive this challenging season. It won’t be easy but as long as we all learn to work with each other, we will see this through.