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Localizing the economic impact of Coronavirus

February 17, 2020

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Coronavirus has dominated the news cycle. Here's how you can cover the outbreak from the business desk. (Photo of a person in a white lab coat with a red stethoscope by Online Marketing.)

The recent coronavirus outbreak has obviously impacted Chinese businesses, as factories remain closed and offices encourage employees to work from home. Experts worry that in addition to the rising death toll from coronavirus, a prolonged economic shutdown could lead to layoffs.

Meanwhile, the virus is also sending ripples through the U.S. and its businesses. Hospitals, international airlines, travel agencies, and cruise ships are obviously dealing with the fallout from China. Consumers with trips planned to Asia later this year may be wondering if they’re entitled to any refunds. But travel and healthcare aren’t the only industries impacted. 

Here’s a look at several other industries to consider. 

Gas stations and refineries.

Lower gas demand in China has lowered U.S. gas prices in some places. Is that happening in your area? And is there an economic impact on gas stations or refineries? 


Chinese factories manufacture much of the world’s consumer products. Qz identified 11 product categories dominated by Chinese manufacturers including electric blankets and video-game consoles. If factories continue to stay closed, what will be the long-term impact on retailers in your area? Or have they already started sourcing products from elsewhere due to tariffs?

Schools and professional arts groups.

College study abroad programs and school groups may have to change their travel plans if Asia was on the itinerary. Professional touring groups are another consideration. The Boston Pops has cancelled its Asian tour and  isinstead doing a free series of concerts in its home city. Will there be any financial fallout from this change or will insurance make these organizations whole?  

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