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COVID-19 Industry Impact Report: Restaurant Industry

With the shelter-in-place regulations in full effect, many businesses are being compelled to find creative ways to offer their services.  No longer able to provide dine-in services, many of Minnesota’s restaurants and breweries have leaned on curbside pickup – allowing customers to pull up outside the business to pick up their food and drink order with minimal interaction with others.  Kim Carlton, an environmental health supervisor at the Minnesota Department of Health states that, “Curbside is a good opportunity to still get food from your favorite restaurants locally,” but adds, “we really just want to stress that you keep washing your hands regularly.”

From an economic perspective, supporting local businesses through curbside pickup or delivery could decrease the expected drop in food and retail sales.  This would be a brush of optimism in the painting of a picture for what may come to the restaurant industry – record earnings and job loss.


This model above, using Bureau of Economic Analysis’s (BEA) RIMS II multipliers, helps illustrate the possible near-term economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The above illustration of a worst-case scenario of a loss of 3 months of Full-Service Restaurant sales—or 25% of the industry’s typical annual sales—shows possible earnings, jobs, and tax revenue impact across Minnesota.  Initial losses in earnings or employment represent income or positions lost immediately in the short-term because of the reduction in sales in the Full-Service Restaurant Industry, whereas direct losses can be directly attributed to the event, but may be felt outside of the specific Full-Service Restaurant Industry. Indirect losses are wages and jobs in the firms that sell goods and services to the Full-Service Restaurant industry (such as food, cleaning supplies, and other goods), who are impacted as business slows.  Finally, induced losses occur when employees of the Full-Service Restaurant Industry and other related industries affected have less of a local economic spending power in their communities due to loss of work, and have a negative resulting impact on other broader aspects of the economy.



Based on the demographic makeup of employees currently working in industries likely to be impacted by strain on the Full-Service Restaurant Industry, a disproportionate burden of job and wages loss will likely be placed on female workers—particularly young workers between the ages of 14 and 34.

These projections are alarming, but they are not certain.  What is certain, is the positive impact businesses are seeing from these alternative methods of providing services.  Don Seiler, owner of Inver Grove Brewing in Inver Grove Heights and Lakeville Brewing in Lakeville states, “Curbside ordering has allowed us to maintain a critical revenue stream.  Although it is not as high as dine-in service, curbside business is covering fixed expenses and enabling us to keep a core group of employees on payroll.”

For questions about this report, contact Erin Olson, Research Strategist at erin@realtimetalentmn.org


Change in Earnings: Represents total change in earnings resulting from the initial, user-made change. This figure includes the initial change. The change in earnings figure is dependent upon the multiplier listed below.  Source: RealTime Talent analysis using Emsi data based primarily on the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Change in Jobs: The total number of jobs changed, including the initial change. The figure is dependent upon the multiplier listed below.  Source: RealTime Talent analysis using Emsi’s model, incorporating data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Taxes on Production and Imports: Taxes on production and imports (TPI) consist of tax liabilities, such as general sales and property taxes,that are chargeable to business expense in the calculation of profit-type incomes. Special assessments are also included. TPI is comprised of state and local taxes—primarily non-personal property taxes, licenses, and sales and gross receipts taxes—and Federal excise taxes on goods and services.  Source: RealTime Talent analysis using Emsi’s model, incorporating data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Interview with Kim Carlton: Click Here

Empty Restaurant Photo by 99.films on Unsplash

Erin Olson Graduates from U.S. Chamber Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

Fellowship Provided State and Local Chambers with Opportunities to Engage Nationally on Critical Education and Workforce Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced Erin Olson, Research Strategist of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation graduated from its premier business leadership program. The inaugural Business Leads Fellowship Program trained and equipped leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.

“The business community is the key to solving our state’s talent shortage and skill misalignment,” said Erin Olson. “Chambers of Commerce are uniquely positioned to help infuse the critical skills of tomorrow’s economy into our educational system from early childhood through postsecondary.” Olson provides labor market research, consultation, and employer engagement support to higher education, high school CTE programs, employer associations, workforce development, and career pathway initiatives across Minnesota.

“As clearly displayed throughout this program, state and local leaders know better than anyone the critical link between education and economic development,” says Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce. “Not only did the Fellows gain a network of peers and experts in the field, the program is designed to help these leaders find opportunities to develop initiatives that will continue to advance the growth of their local economy and put education policy into practice.”

Following a competitive application and selection process, Olson was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives across the nation to participate in the inaugural class. The four-month program, which ended this week, covered the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education, and workforce development.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.

Given the overwhelming interest in the program, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a second cohort in spring 2019.

For a full list of participants in the Business Leads inaugural class, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website.

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