Local businesses fight to survive

Sister’s Home Style Entrees General Manager Mary Catherine Ferry (left) takes the temperature reading of an employee prior to work recently. Submitted photo.

Second in a series
The Novel Coronavirus has turned what was a robust overall economy with relatively low unemployment into an economy in a downward spiral with unemployment numbers surging, currently reported at 25 million nationwide.
Thanks in part to having an ag-based manufacturing sector and many of the local industries deemed “essential services,” the overall unemployment numbers for Humboldt County have not been as depressed as some other areas of the country. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds reported at one of her early press conferences in March that 81 percent of Iowa’s workers are in “essential services.”
Humboldt County’s unemployment rate increased to 4.2 percent in March and April figures are likely to be significantly higher. Statewide, unemployment has reached 1000,000 people and set records for the most unemployment claims filed in a week, for several weeks.
“It’s hit us hard from an economic standpoint. Some businesses and industries have been hit harder than others. Obviously consumer-based businesses like restaurants, hair salons and retail stores have been hit hard,” Humboldt County Economic Development Director Alissa O’Connor said. Many of those businesses deemed “non-essential” services have had to shut their doors or severely curtail operations during the past six weeks.
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