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Businesses Close Across Massachusetts As Unemployment Claims Rise

BOSTON (CBS) -- As unemployment claims rise in Massachusetts, so do reports of businesses laying off workers and closing doors permanently.

"My mom and dad started it in the 40s," said Jon Diamond, owner of Dorothy's Boutique in Boston. It's a quirky costume store that stood the test of time, until the coronavirus hit.

"I'm looking at the forecast for sales going forward and I don't see anything. There's no ballgames, no concerts, no parades, no festivals, no nothing," he said.

The tough decision came as the U.S. Department of Labor reported the first jump in unemployment claims in several weeks in Massachusetts. In the Bay State, 44,732 people filed for unemployment insurance last week. Nationwide, the number was 1.5 million.

Boston College economist Robert Murphy said small businesses are the engines of job creation.

"To the extent that we now end up with small businesses going out of business, not being able to make it go down the road, we're going to see…concern that we won't have these employment opportunities for people to go back to," he said.

Dorothy's Boutique is one of many examples. The Tumble Inn Diner in Saugus just closed after seven decades. The Four Seasons Hotel in Boston announced it's cutting about half its staff and a Honey Dew franchise store that's been in Natick for 35 years is closing.

"I cannot make money and I cannot pay the bills, so that's why we made a decision to close the shop," said store owner Harry Patel.

The last cup of coffee will be served there this weekend.

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