Coronavirus outbreak changing way businesses operate

Coronavirus outbreak changing way businesses operate

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The coronavirus has reshaped how businesses operate in just a few weeks.

Some are laying people off, some are working completely from home and others are thriving.

Mike Morgan, a finance professor at the University of Southern Mississippi’s College of Business and Economic Development, says it’s about how long this virus lasts right now.

“The question is how long, and nobody knows." Morgan said. “The medical community doesn’t know, so the business community, we really don’t have a lot to work on.”

Morgan thinks the effects won’t be as severe if the spread is slowed down quickly.

“If we can push down the curve and get people back to work, I think we’ll come back pretty strong pretty quickly,” Morgan said.

Regardless, some changes being made now are here to stay.

“The change that we’ve seen in buying patterns and the economy, some of that’s going to be long lasting,” Morgan said.

But if we can’t get the virus under control quickly, the impact could be more drastic.

“The longer it goes the more businesses are going to either have to permanently cut back or maybe go out of business,” Morgan said.

Provisions Living at Hattiesburg is one business that is hiring workers during the pandemic.

“In this particular time, we are actually hiring more folks where some businesses are maybe scaling back," said Todd Spittal, president of Provisions Living. “Our business of caring and providing protection and love and support for elders doesn’t stop.”

Many businesses that are still operating have had to shift the way they provide services, such as restaurants moving to take-out, delivery and drive-thru and financial institutions only doing business by appointment.

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