States like California may have set restrictions on small- and medium-size businesses that kept consumers from entering physical stores, but during the holiday season these struggling smaller U.S. companies sold nearly 1 billion products in Amazon's store.
To support their efforts, Amazon launched more than 250 tools and services to help sellers manage and grow their businesses and hosted more than 1,000 educational events for small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide, with more than 150,000 attendees, through programs like Amazon Small Business Academy.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon absorbed more than $5 billion in operational costs on behalf of independent businesses selling in Amazon’s store, with the expectation to invest billions more through 2021.
This year the company also provided more than $1 billion in Amazon Web Services credits to help early-stage startups accelerate their growth and development.
Yelp in September released data estimating that more than 97,966 businesses across the United States have permanently closed.
These are physical locations. While restaurants were the hardest hit, retail and shopping followed closely with 30,374 total business closures, 17,503 of which are permanent. Similar to bars and nightlife establishments, the share of permanent closures increased by 10% since July. Both men and women’s clothing retailers, as well as home decor, have the highest rate of business closures.
Hawaii, California, and Nevada at the time of the September report had the highest rate of total closures and permanent closures. They are also the three states with the highest unemployment rates at the time, and among the biggest states for tourism. West Virginia and the Dakotas had the lowest closure rates.
Yelp released several reports throughout the year.