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More than 163,000 businesses on Yelp have closed since March

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More than 163,000 U.S. businesses listed on Yelp have closed since March, when the coronavirus brought the U.S. economy to its knees, according to the online review company.

The troubling findings illustrate the ongoing economic pain inflicted by COVID-19, which has killed more than 196,000 Americans and triggered a historic wave of layoffs. 

In a new report, Yelp said a total 163,735 businesses have closed at some point between March 1 and August 31. Of those businesses, 60% indicated they have shut down permanently. Temporary and permanent business closures listed on the site have shot up 23% since early July, Yelp said.

While 11 million workers have been rehired as states reopened their economies, there remain 11.5 million fewer jobs now than before the pandemic. Roughly 500 businesses have filed for bankruptcy since March, including large enterprises such as retailer J.C. Penney, gym chain 24 Hour Fitness and Hertz, according to analytics company GlobalData. 

In Yelp's report, three states with especially high jobless rates — Hawaii, California and Nevada — had the most temporary and permanent business closures. All three are among the biggest states for tourism, Yelp noted. 

The restaurant industry has been especially battered by the pandemic, with more than 32,000 eateries listed on Yelp as closed — 61%, for good. Nearly 3,500 bars and nightclubs on the site have also permanently closed. Among retailers, another hard-hit sector, more than 17,600 listed on Yelp have shut their doors for good.

Other types of work have proved more resilient. Professional services and sole proprietorships like many law, real estate, architecture and accounting firms experienced a low rate of closures since March 1, Yelp found. 

Health-related businesses have also weathered the pandemic better than many, including orthopedists, internal medicine, hospitals, physicians, family doctors and OB-GYNs. Demand for services from towing companies, plumbers and contractors also remains robust, Yelp stated.

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