COVID-19 has forced permanent closures for thousands of local businesses across the country this year. With the development of a third spike of the disease moving into the winter months, it’s likely some local businesses will rely on holiday shopping to stay afloat.

Restaurant and retail industries at the local level are among those hit hardest amid the pandemic. According to the Yelp Local Economic Impact Report, COVID-19 prompted the closures of 32,109 restaurants as of August 2020. Though some businesses recovered in fall, the inability to host outdoor seating and fully social-distanced space  in the winter poses a significant threat for many and may prompt another wave of mass closures. 

In Ashland, the impact of COVID-19 is evident but has yet to cause permanent closures at the local level. Nonetheless, local retailers encourage Ashland residents to direct their holiday shopping needs to the community. 

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By Sofi Zeman