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Businesses both large and small have been greatly affected by COVID-19 and arguably more so by government response to the disease. How these businesses have been affected depends much on whether they were deemed as “essential” or “non-essential” — many “non-essential” companies were either shut down or required by the state to modify their operations so as to “flatten the curve” and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Viewing the results of government shutdowns through the lens of economics allows us to see tradeoffs and the dynamics of competition and government intervention during a pandemic. This paper analyzes several industries and companies so as to show how, because of government intervention, certain companies were able to not only survive but thrive during the quarantines while others fell by the wayside.

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