More than 5 in 6 Temporarily Closed Businesses Have Reopened During the Pandemic According to the Yelp Economic Average

Businesses Related to Leisure, Hospitality and Beauty Help Drive Growth in New Businesses

Yelp Inc., the company that connects people with great local businesses, today released third quarter 2021 data for the Yelp Economic Average (YEA) report, a benchmark of local economic strength in the U.S. The Q3 2021 YEA report reveals the vast majority of businesses that experienced a temporary closure during the pandemic have reopened. Yelp data also finds that increases in both new business openings and consumer interest reflect consumer demand for leisure activities that were upended by early pandemic restrictions.

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“We are seeing local businesses successfully adapt to serve their communities amidst continued uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic”

In the third quarter, the level of reopenings decreased in raw count and volume, according to Yelp data, signaling that local economies are successfully adapting to operating as the pandemic continues to evolve. Of all the businesses that temporarily closed in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic (March 2020), 85% have reopened as of September 30, 2021. The total number of new businesses opened in the first nine months of this year (439,094) is above pre-pandemic levels for the same period in 2019 (433,243).

“We are seeing local businesses successfully adapt to serve their communities amidst continued uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic,” said Justin Norman, Yelp’s vice president of data science. “Our data shows that an overwhelming majority of businesses that had to temporarily close their doors during the pandemic have reopened. The strong number of reopened businesses combined with the high volume of new business openings is evidence that the economy continues to recover from pandemic lows. As people return to activities that were most impacted by pandemic restrictions, like dining out, going to the gym or socializing at a bar, we expect to see this pent up demand create new opportunities for local businesses.”

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New Business Openings for First Three Quarters of 2021 Are Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

The total new business openings across categories remained relatively flat in Q3 2021 reaching 142,328 openings, up 1% compared to Q3 2020. However, the total number of new businesses opened in the first nine months of 2021 (439,094) is above pre-pandemic levels for the same period in 2019 (433,243).

Businesses Related to Leisure, Hospitality and Beauty Help Drive New Businesses Growth

The majority of businesses that temporarily closed since March 2020 in beauty (90% reopened), nightlife (83%), and hotel and travel (86%) categories, have reopened as of September 30, 2021. Notably impacted by pandemic restrictions, new business openings in leisure, beauty and hospitality on Yelp increased in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020. Hotels accounted for 3,514 new businesses opened in Q3 2021, a 32% increase year-over-year.

Nightlife saw 2,570 new business openings in Q3 2021, up 30% from Q3 2020. In Q3 2021, dance clubs (53 new business openings, up 279%) comedy clubs (34, up 240%) and lounges (213, up 88%) were all above Q3 2020 levels.

Beauty added 11,029 new businesses in Q3 2021, a 7% increase from Q3 2020. Teeth whitening (295, up 132% ) body contouring (654, up 184%), eyebrow services (796, up 49%) and permanent makeup (729, up 62%) all trended above Q3 2020 levels.

Restaurant and Food Businesses Continue to Adapt as the Pandemic Evolves

For restaurants and food businesses, 83% of businesses that were temporarily closed between March 2020 and the end of Q3 2021 have reopened as of September 30, 2021. New restaurant and food business openings remained steady with 19,892 new openings in Q3 2021, a 2% increase year-over-year. As diners return to indoor dining, new business openings for food courts (64 new business openings, up 166%) and buffets (54, up 200%) increased above 2020 levels.

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