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Report: One in Five TN Businesses Vulnerable to Coronavirus Recession

One-in-five Tennessee businesses operates in an industry most likely to be affected by the coronavirus recession, according to a new report.

Based on data from 2019, that’s about 34,000 businesses across the state.

Jobs that have disappeared tend to be concentrated in the industries most affected by social distancing, including restaurants and bars, retail and manufacturing, travel and transportation, and entertainment.

Brian Straessle, external affairs director at The Sycamore Institute, said without extra assistance for unemployed Tennesseans, the state will begin to see multiple crises of hunger, eviction and mental health.

“The folks who maybe were going to have a tougher time regardless are also the more likely to be losing their job or having their hours cut,” Straessle said.

Not surprisingly, the report says counties with more workers employed in at-risk industries now have some of the highest unemployment rates. In May, the official unemployment rate reached 18.5% in Sevier County, 17.6% in Warren County, and 17.5% in Marshall County. Unemployment insurance claims across the state remain at an all-time high.

Restaurants across Tennessee continue to go out of business because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Adobe Stock)

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. Current news director for On Target News and manager of Rooster 101.5 FM. Knott can be heard on 93.9 The Duck, The Rooster 101.5 and Whiskey Country 105.1 and 95.9. He is currently the play by play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders on The Rooster 101.5. Lucky has done play-by-play for 3,500 sports events on Radio & TV. He also served 4 years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for 6 years at Grundy County High School.

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