3 pandemic trends to watch as the digging-out phase begins

This week, states are starting to ease up on lockdown orders. Here’s what we’re following.


April 28, 2020

Ready or not, we’re starting the process of digging out from the coronavirus pandemic.

This week, a handful of states are easing up on lockdown orders. It’s also a key week for some tech titans. Here are 3 big questions we’re keeping an eye on.

Will we see new signs of Big Tech’s dominance? 

The nation’s tech behemoths report quarterly earnings this week — starting today with Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft will follow in the coming days.

One important caveat from Netflix’s recent earnings report: A crush of new users (in its case, nearly 16m) won’t necessarily translate to long-term success.

That said, the economic turmoil from the pandemic is feeding a popular Silicon Valley prediction — power will be consolidated in the hands of the titans.

The big guys haven’t been immune to the crash. Google and Facebook’s advertising revenues could take a big hit — one estimate said Google’s could drop by at least 20% in Q2. Google also said it was hitting the brakes on hiring.

But as The Washington Post pointed out, small startups have already laid off thousands of workers — and when the dust settles, the big players may be the only ones left.

Can the food supply chain get unkinked?

Chicken wings, frozen french fries, and kegged beer all have something in common (besides being some of our favorite things).

Along with healthier grub like fresh veggies and milk, they’ve fallen victim to a weird dynamic of the nation’s food supply.

Food producers are struggling to shift all of their operations to focus on grocery stores with restaurants still largely shuttered. At the same time, fears of a meat shortage are growing.

Restaurants in Georgia were allowed to reopen yesterday under strict guidelines, but many won’t do so right away.

Will small businesses fare any better?

In the face of a public outcry, some big-name companies returned coronavirus relief money that had been earmarked for small businesses. 

Shake Shack was the first, and the latest we heard about yesterday was :::checks notes:::the LA Lakers?!

A 2nd helping of relief money — $300B+ worth — became available on Monday. Once again, the SBA’s system buckled under the avalanche of applications.

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