That the coronavirus disease has grounded industries and businesses globally is no news. While some industries benefit more from the pandemic with their emergency policies like work-from-home, others drastically lose out, on account that their products and services are not essential for this period.
COVID-19 has succeeded in reworking our ways of life across all aspects. Businesses are already crippled and the business environment faces more challenge than ever, especially considering that no end to the crisis has been foreseen.
Enforcement of lockdowns and curfews has led to decrease in consumer demand for certain products and services. Some of the industries that would lose during this period include transportation, entertainment, event management and tourism.
The pandemic has affected the transportation industry so much, and the reason is not far-fetched. Government of most countries with COVID-19 cases have had to enforce stringent policies such a lockdowns, prohibition of public or large gatherings and restriction on movement. The rules that directly affect the transportation industry are the ones restricting movements, conditioning everyone to stay at home. Hence, all means of transportation have been affected, as there are no passengers to convey. The transportation industry will sure bounce back to its feet after the pandemic.
Under transportation is the aviation sub-sector. Maintenance of the aviation sub-sector is capital-intensive. Restriction on movement has undisputedly affected revenue generation for the sector and created huge debts. Most aviation operators depend on debt financing because of the capital-intensive nature of the sector. With the downturn in their activities, these industries will either liquidate or seek bailout. Some have started cutting salaries and placing some personnel on compulsory vacation without pay. In these times, aviation businesses are struggling to survive.
The entertainment industry has also had its share of the toll the pandemic is taking on economies. This industry used to be one of the most lucrative. Shows, film productions, shoots, concerts, live performances, among others have been cancelled or postponed to comply with laws churned out to prevent further spread of the disease. Comedians, artistes and brands have had to momentarily pause all activities through which they generate revenue. However, through innovative utilisation of available opportunities such as social media and other technological tools, the industry still manages to stay afloat.
Measures such as social distancing and lockdowns have also affected the event management industry. Due to the restrictions, events have been cancelled. For instance, events halls are bare; rental services are on hold; decorators, caterers and photographers are left without jobs. All the personnel involved in the event management industry are affected by the stagnant economy. Once the crisis wanes, the industry will definitely recover fast, as events would have piled up, and their services will be sought even more frequently than ever.
Start-ups, as well as Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, with no viable continuity plan will be affected by the pandemic. Start-ups with little capital will, at this time, record low or no sales. The remaining but insufficient capital will be spent on personal affairs and will be seen as a means of sustenance, especially during these times. In another vein, SMEs have been the bedrock of many big economies, as they engage majority of the unemployed who sustain several hangers-on. Sadly, due to the outbreak, start-ups and SMEs are struggling to balance up and reduce the impact on their activities. For most of them, there’s a chance for recovery once the pandemic is contained.
The fashion industry is another that encompasses a variety of skilled workers, including dress and footwear makers, designers, models, fabric manufacturers and jewellers. However, products from these varied personnel are not necessary for survival, though clothing is one of the three primary human needs. People have nowhere to go, as the expectation is that everyone is at home due to lockdown and the cancellation of social gatherings. The reduction in demand for fashion products has constituted a roadblock for business continuity within the fashion industry.
Some critics have described religion in this clime as business. For some religious organisations, the major source of revenue is members’ contributions, in line with the individual’s belief. The reality is that many religious leaders become even richer than those in the business world. COVID-19 has, however, hindered revenue generation for such institutions. Most religious houses are now silent buildings. Even as some churches and other religious institutions have made available online payment channels, since individuals are financially down, giving to such religious organisations is measured.
Not to forget tourism. Local and international lockdowns have rendered tourism lame. Even medical and religious tourism, which used to be status symbol in Africa, are now like hell. Overseas returnees, unlike before COVID-19, are now treated as lepers in many African societies. However, this sector is another that will bounce back fully after the pandemic.