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Students Researching COVID-19's Effect on Businesses

BYU-Idaho Radio · Students Researching COVID-19's Impact on Local Businesses- A Conversation

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a remarkable toll on businesses and the economy, to the point that it can be hard to keep track of everyone affected by it. But a group of BYU-Idaho students working at the Research and Business Development Center in Rexburg have provided a way for people to keep up with everything happening to businesses because of COVID-19.

These students go out into the community and see which industries are either losing business, maintaining business or even gaining business.

Austin Isaac, a Junior Analyst Intern at the RBDC, said they've found some businesses are doing better than others.

One of the most affected industries, according to Isaac, is entertainment centers like movie theatres and bowling alleys, since they've had to keep their doors closed for the past two months.

Isaac also said restaurants have lost some business due to the pandemic, but services like a drive-thru, delivery and curbside pick-up have helped them stay afloat.

One of the biggest surprises in their research has been the emergence of arts and craft stores.

"[One arts and crafts store] said their sales have gone up like 200% since the coronavirus started," Isaac said. "It's been crazy how popular they've been."

Their research lists many other businesses as well, but these were some of the most eye-catching findings to this point.

Isaac said this research is important because it helps businesses remain aware of the current situation.

"The purpose is to help local businesses...understand what's happening to the economy...because...they are the ones that have been hit hardest by the pandemic," Isaac said.

The center posts updates of their research every week. If you want to look at those, click here.