Yelp finds more than half of restaurants are permanently closed

132,580 businesses listed on restaurant review website Yelp are closed

Restaurants are recovering from lost revenue in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but many have remained closed for good, new data suggests.

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A staggering 132,580 businesses listed on the review website Yelp were closed as of July 10 as a result of COVID-19, according to its most recent Economic Average report. And while the industry continues to face devastating closures, the good news is that number is slightly down from 140,000 last month as reopenings continue.

Cities such as San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas and Honolulu experienced the most temporary and permanent closures, according to Yelp. Texas, California and New York have the highest total number of closures, according to the report.

CORONAVIRUS COULD CLOSE 2.2 MILLION OF WORLD'S RESTAURANTS

And while the total number of temporary business closures have eased slightly, 72,842 businesses are permanently shut down, an increase of 15,742 permanent closures since June 15. Now, permanent closures account for 55 percent of all closed businesses since March 1, a 14 percent increase since June when Yelp reported 41 percent of temporary closures became permanent.

Permanent business closures account for 55 percent of all closed businesses since March 1, a 14 percent increase since June when Yelp reported 41 percent of temporary closures became permanent. (iStock).  (iStock)

What's more, Black-owned businesses have faced heightened challenges during the pandemic. The total number of black-owned businesses dropped 41 percent from 1.1 million in February to 640,000 in April as a result of COVID-19, according to a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research which sourced census data.

YELP ASKS DINERS TO BE MORE 'EMPATHETIC' WITH RESTAURANT REVIEWS

On a positive note, consumers seem to be doing their part to support local businesses with diversity in mind. Yelp searches for Black-owned businesses surged more than 2.5 million from May 25 to July 10, a 7,043 percent increase compared to overall searches a year ago.

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Indeed, Black-owned restaurants are now the most sought-after on the businesses review site, up 2,508 percent from last year, according to the report.

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