COVID-19 is more than a health crisis — it is also an economic crisis across the globe. Many businesses are struggling, from small restaurants to large clothing companies like Lucky Brand.
Despite the pandemic, many companies are thriving in 2020. Below, we'll explore several companies succeeding in the current economic climate and what factors may be impacting their growth.
Business and Finance News Grows Fast
Data from Similar Web found that business and finance became the fastest area of growth for news and information sites during the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in many years, politics is no longer the top news category — which is particularly interesting during a presidential election year in the US.
Finance and business news website traffic was 42% higher in the first quarter of 2020 over the same period in 2019. Axios suggests the change may be due to more people being stuck at home, but it may also indicate concern over the economy. Those who are still employed may be looking for guidance to help them save and invest more.
And note that this data is from before the full effects of COVID-19 had been felt.
Sustainable Funds Thrive
Sustainable funds, those funds that focus on investing in companies based on their environmental and social standing, have seen an uptick in recent months. According to Morningstar Direct, overall investments in sustainable funds have skyrocketed from around 5 billion at the end of 2019 to 10 billion as of March 2020.
This increase may be due in part to millennials' desire to support companies that are dedicated to the environment. However, the funds' exceptional performance compared to the rest of the market is likely also a factor.
Online Trading Surges
CNBC found that a large number of Americans used their stimulus check to invest in the market, rather than saving it or spending it on bills. People earning between $35,000 and $75,000 increased trading in stocks by 90% the week after receiving their stimulus check.
A recent study by a team in Germany found that retail investors increased their trading activity by 14% for every doubling of COVID-19 cases. Investors are also increasing short selling. Vextrade, a straight-through processing broker in the Forex market has seen a boost in their bottom line since the pandemic began.
What is the cause of the increase? Researchers believe it may be partially due to investors having more time on their hands due to fewer sports games, less travel, and more time at home.
Then there is the economic impact — many investors may be looking to grow their wealth in an effort to safeguard themselves against future downturns.
Business Tools See a Dramatic Increase in Sales
The COVID-19 crisis increased remote work drastically — a shift that many businesses have been avoiding for years. As cases continued to climb, many companies had no choice but to allow remote work.
Businesses like Slack and Zoom, which facilitate communication between teams, have seen explosive growth recently. Slack says it saw an 80% increase in paid customers between February and March of 2020. In June, Zoom said it expects to see nearly $1.8 billion in sales this year — double what the company forecasted in March.
Many experts expect people will continue to work from home long after the pandemic is over.
Cybersecurity Tools on the Rise
As more workers login from their homes, businesses are working harder to ensure data remains secure and accessible. But darker forces are also taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. The WHO reported a fivefold increase in cyber attacks directed at its staff and email scams targeting the public.
McKinsey found that many companies have increased their security budget significantly due to the increase in remote work and rise in online attacks. Seventy percent of security executives expect those costs to come down in the coming year. However, that decrease may depend on how long the pandemic continues and whether workers return to the office once the threat is over.
The COVID-19 crisis has impacted how we live, where we work, even how we learn. It may be months or years before we understand its full impact on our lives. However, one thing is clear: despite the overall economic downturn, many businesses are finding opportunities.