NJBIA's Public Policy Forum: The Road to Recovery REGISTER

Reopening businesses in the pandemic requires more than just following the governor’s executive orders; businesses also need customers who are willing to spend time in public places. On that front, Gallup’s update on what businesses people are visiting is not encouraging.

More than half of the Americans surveyed in August said they had been to a grocery store in past 48 hours. But only one in five respondents said they had been to a restaurant or pharmacy, fewer than one in 10 said they had visited a gym or hair salon, and only 6% said they had traveled on public transportation or spent a night in a hotel.

Gallup notes that the data in August are nearly the same as in July, suggesting Americans are taking a wait-and-see approach to businesses reopening. According to Gallup writer Steve Crabtree, August data on community mobility from Google indicate that visits to retail and recreation establishments remain down 15% from a pre-pandemic baseline, while visits to grocery stores and pharmacies remain down 4%.

“The data also offer evidence that consumers’ pre-pandemic habits are important to account for in assessing their likelihood to visit businesses in person during the recovery,” Crabtree adds. “For example, those who frequently dined in at restaurants before the pandemic are more likely to currently say they have done so in the past 24 hours.”

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Businesses That Americans Have Visited in the Past 48 Hours

In the past 48 hours, have you or anyone in your household visited any of the following places? Please select all that apply.

July 2020 August 2020
% %
Grocery store 56 57
Restaurant 19 20
Pharmacy 19 19
Gym 6 7
Salon or barbershop 7 7
Public transportation 5 6
Spent the night in a hotel or similar accommodation 5 6
FRANKLIN TEMPLETON-GALLUP