Black Friday 2020 is unlike any other. As the coronavirus surges across the country, more than half of consumers are nervous about in-store shopping this holiday season, according to a survey from the consulting group Deloitte.
Amid financial uncertainty, the National Retail Federation expects sales to rise between 3% and 5% from last year — amounting to more than $755.3 billion.
Sectors from business to retail to the government are reeling from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, 778,000 people filed for unemployment, up from 742,000 the week before, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Two key federal programs from the spring’s stimulus are expected to expire on Dec. 26. An estimated 12 million people will lose their benefits, according to the Century Foundation.
Meanwhile, Congress is on Thanksgiving recess, and the outlook for another stimulus package appears uncertain.
City and state officials are working to address budget shortfalls in the coming year. The Chicago City Council on Tuesday passed Mayor Lori Lighfoot’s $12.8 billion budget — filling a $1.2 billion shortfall. Illinois faces a nearly $4 billion budget deficit after Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s graduated income tax amendment failed. After the defeat, Pritzker said, “deep, painful cuts” are in the state’s future.
While millions are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday — despite pleas from public health officials — the airline industry could lose roughly 90,000 full-time equivalent jobs by the end of the year, CNBC reports.
Many small businesses are also struggling to stay afloat. In Chicago, some are closing their doors for the winter, while others have shut their doors for good.
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