COVID-19 hampers holiday, economy

By Yu Bai
Delta Digital News Service

The first Monday in September is the traditional Labor Day in the United States. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, most people recognized the holiday at home rather than attending public settings.

Jonesboro physician Chance Smith stayed home for the holiday. “I did have a barbecue, and I swam with friends and family only on Labor Day,” said Smith.

Smith practiced safety precautions by staying home and only being close to those familiar to him.

To contain the spread of COVID-19, the city Jonesboro strongly encourages residents to keep social distance and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

Businesses such as restaurants and bars are limited to takeout or delivery while personal care services, and gyms have been closed.

Slowing customer traffic has caused small businesses to have limited profits limiting funds for overhead costs. The city provides some grants and loans to help these companies survive the temporary closures and loss of customers.

Director of Communications for Jonesboro Bill Campbell said, “We have built reserves to get through what we call ‘rainy days,’ which means the periods of emergency or catastrophe or anything like that.”

Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry has always been a dominant area of Jonesboro’s economy, and the permanent closure of these businesses will make many people in Jonesboro unemployed.

Labor Finders is a temporary staffing and employment agency in Jonesboro, which provides good short-term services for those who are unemployed. It can immediately provide jobs for people who need to find a job and pay a daily salary.

Debra Dunaway, the assistant manager of Labor Finders, said, “ We provide construction workers and construction clean up, and we give them money right away when they’re in need.”

However, Dunaway said that they did not recruit too many workers to work in recent days compared with before because so many things are shut down right now.

Jessica Tran is a local resident whose parents have a business. “My parents were forced to close their business for a few months due to a mandate ordered by the governor. As for me, I actually had a job as a desk assistant. However, when the virus started spreading more, everyone was sent home, including me.”

The epidemic has suppressed the development of many private small businesses, and it also has diminished the government sales tax. Companies continue to develop their business while expanding social distancing requirements to stimulate economic recovery.