Even after businesses were allowed to partially re-open in late spring last year, many wound up going bankrupt, closing their doors forever. But there have been exceptions.

Carl Van Horn, the director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, said with so many people continuing to spend more time at home, many businesses that offer home improvements, upgrades, landscaping and remodeling are doing well.

Cleaning and disinfecting companies are in high demand, and companies that deliver things to people’s homes have also been extremely busy. This trend may continue even after the pandemic is over.

“Once people get in the habit of consuming or obtaining things directly in their home or apartment, they may continue to do that for years to come,” he said.


A YEAR OF COVID: A SPECIAL SERIES
New Jersey 101.5 this week looks at the how COVID-19 has impacted the way New Jerseyans work, from the challenges to the success stories, and what the future could look like. At 7 p.m. Thursday, Eric Scott will host a live Town Hall with special business and medical guests taking your calls. Listen on our app or at our Facebook page.


Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said that with less face-to-face travel and in-person meetings these days, businesses like hotels and motels have seen a drastic drop-off. Even dry cleaning businesses have seen a sharp decline in demand because less travel and public events means less demand for cleaned and pressed suits and dresses.

Also, the fact that alcohol sales are also on the rise indicates how stressed many people are, she said.

Tom Bracken, the president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, said telecommunications businesses that allow people to connect electronically, like Zoom, have given many companies an expanded ability to connect with clients and colleagues instantly.

Van Horn noted the pandemic has been especially tough on smaller restaurants, the arts, as well as travel and hospitality businesses that have seen their revenues dose-dive over the past 12 months. He said it may take years for these businesses to recover, if they ever do at all.

“Once you’ve learned to be cautious about something and make that your priority, it doesn’t just go away because you got a (vaccination) shot," he said.

THE SERIES

MONDAY: COVID-19 has changed the way we work — but how permanently?
TUESDAY: These were the in-demand industries that survived the pandemic
WEDNESDAY: 4 small businesses in NJ that survived and prospered in the pandemic
THURSDAY: How small businesses took chances to navigate the pandemic storm
FRIDAY: We're already in the year 2025: Post-pandemic future for NJ businesses

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

Jersey City home transformation: From falling apart to full luxury

41 Bentley Ave. was basically falling apart. It was typical of many homes you see in the older sections of Jersey City, before the developers get to them, that is. Many of them are rundown, neglected with the population of the town not having the means to repair and update them.

COMPARE: Highest 2020 property taxes in each county