Small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) like your local restaurant, dry cleaner, bookstore and building contractor are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus, as they don’t have the reserves to withstand the many weeks of no income the lockdown is placing them under. Many of them have already laid off their employees. Many may never reopen.
The jaw-dropping severity of this job carnage can already be seen in last week’s unemployment numbers. Claims spiked up to 3.3 million — nearly 6x higher(!) than the worst week of the Great Financial Crisis.
So what impact will this all have? What will the rest of 2020 be like?