By March 23, Apple had lost $435 billion in market value in about five weeks and many of its retail outlets were shut as the virus pandemic walloped the global economy and stock markets. Meanwhile, a report issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 2% of small businesses surveyed had shut down permanently in March.
On Dec. 21, Apple’s stock market value totaled over $2.18 trillion, up 121% since March 23. On the same day, Congress approved nearly $300 billion in additional relief for small businesses, money that many hard-hit owners only hope can help them survive until the pandemic finally eases.
The success of Apple and other big technology companies and the struggles of the smallest of businesses is just one example of how the pandemic created winners and losers in the business world in 2020. Wall Street recovered after March; Main Street is still struggling.
In 2020, it hasn’t been uncommon to work remotely in sweatpants — while meeting on video conferencing platforms like Zoom — hop onto an expensive high-tech exercise bike afterwards and have your favorite restaurant dish delivered to your home (by a driver trying to earn an extra buck and hoping not to