Pandemic hammers small businesses vital to economic recovery
Added 10-15-20 11:04:03am EST - “In a normal year, hundreds of book lovers would have descended on Winchester this summer for Shenandoah University's annual children's literature conference. Winchester Brew Works would have rolled out kegs this month for Oktoberfest…” - News.yahoo.com
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WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) — In a normal year, hundreds of book lovers would have descended on Winchester this summer for Shenandoah University’s annual children’s literature conference.
Some would have made their way to Christine Patrick’s bookshop downtown. Winchester Brew Works would have rolled out kegs this month for Oktoberfest revelers. The Hideaway Café would be advertising its monthly Divas Drag Show.
But 2020 is no normal year. The literature conference, Oktoberfest and drag shows have all been cancelled — casualties, like so much else, of COVID-19.
The pandemic has hammered small businesses across the United States — an alarming trend for an economy that’s trying to rebound from the deepest, fastest recession in U.S. history. Normally, small employers are a vital source of hiring after a recession. They account for nearly half the economy’s output and an outsize portion of new jobs.
Small companies are struggling even here in a city of 28,000 that works hard to promote and preserve local enterprises. Founded in 1744 and fought over repeatedly during the Civil War, Winchester, 75 miles west of Washington, D.C., at the northern edge of the Shenandoah Valley, years ago blocked off several blocks to create a pedestrian mall downtown — a bulwark for local businesses that must compete against the big box stores on the outskirts of town.
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