David Erickson: This is a MediaPost article by Laurie Sullivan, who reports about Yelp becoming the barometer of the destroyed local economy because of the failure to bring the Coronavirus to heel.

Yelp’s Economic Average Report

David Erickson: Yelp has something called the Economic Average Report that they do quarterly. They’ve recently released new data and I’ll just cite from the report. “As people began resuming common pre-pandemic activities like restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, across states like Florida, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Georgia and others, a clear spike in the COVID-19 cases within those locations quickly followed. Yelp data shows a statistically significant correlation between an increase in customer interest in those activities in May” and then increase in COVID-19 cases in June.

Correlation Between Hospitality Reopenings & COVID-19 Spike

David Erickson: You look at the data and there’s a clear correlation between between people showing interest by viewing the the local profiles of businesses like restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and gyms, and then the increase in those states of COVID-19 cases, as well.

Chart: Consumer interest in hospitality businesses correlates with a spike in COVID-19 cases

In-Depth Survey

David Erickson: On the flip side, some positive data out of the report–and it’s a really in-depth report, so I’ll put a link to the report in the show notes. There is a lot of really good data in there.

Surge In Interest In Black-Owned Businesses

David Erickson: But on the flip side, they show a graph for searches for Black-owned businesses, which are surging; so there’s a year-over-year increase in Yelp searches for Black-owned businesses within select categories. So it has like bakeries and ice cream shops are up 50% year-over-year. Coffee shops up–I can’t read this–161%. Restaurants are up like 2,000% from year-over-year.

BL Ochman: This is all for Black-owned business?

David Erickson: For Black-owned businesses, yeah. So very interesting stuff. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes for people to check out the full report.

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