While business may reopen, many businesses will not

A sign for these times.

A lot of retail establishments closed under orders from the governor as part of the stay-at-home and lockdown moves taken to fight the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic that has shut down most of the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.

Many hope to open but more than a few will not.

Many shops, restaurants, and service establishments were living on borrowed time before they had to close their doors. Small Business Loans promised early in April did not come because far too much of the money allocated by Congress went to larger establishments that weren’t anything close to small business.

Some have returned the money but most have not. The federal government has asked many of them to give the money they didn’t deserve back but they “asked” and did not demand.

Business analysts say the pandemic are the final nails in the coffins for once-giant retail chains like JC Penney, Sears, and KMart. Even luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is close to bankruptcy and may not reopen any of its stores.

Macy’s was shuttering several of its locations before the crisis hit. Many of the ones dark from the coronavirus may stay closed.

Business credit rater Fitch has issued “significant downgrades” for Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kay Jewelers, Jared, Levis Strauss, Dillards, and other once stellar brands.

Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Victoria’s Secret, Gap, and, in a double whammy with Fitch, Macy’s.

Lord & Taylor has permanently laid off its entire management team.

Outlook for Kohls? Not good. Same for restaurants like Olive Garden.

A popular Starbucks location in Richmond now has a sign up that says its closing is permanent. Other locations of the once-dominant coffee chain may follow suit.

Moneywise lists chains like Olive Garden along with Steak & Shake, Red Robin, and Chili’s as strong candidates for permanent closings.

Steak & Shake in Roanoke closed earlier this year. Christiansburg and Roanoke have Red Robins.

Will our lives ever turn to normal after this pandemic? Not likely, many say.

We will have to live with a “new normal,” whatever that may be.

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