State Policy Network
Stories from the States: American livelihoods hurt by economic lockdowns

The coronavirus created an unprecedented health crisis that has tragically taken the lives of more than 100,000 people in the United States.  But not much attention has been paid to the livelihoods lost as a result of economic shutdowns. As economic lockdowns have gone on, millions of Americans have felt their peace of mind and financial security threatened by the uncertainty of when business—and even regular income—can resume.

State think tanks are offering policy reforms to ease the economic burden on Americans, and to help these ideas gain traction in the states, several think tanks are sharing stories of Americans struggling to keep jobs, businesses, and livelihoods afloat in the wake of the pandemic’s economic impact.

Idaho Freedom Foundation

Idaho Freedom Foundation has been raising awareness about how the stay-at-home order is affecting Idaho’s small businesses. In April, the Foundation launched the “Stay-At-Home” stories project that features Idaho workers and business owners whose livelihoods have been threatened by the shutdown.

Alisha Anderson
Photo credit: Idaho Freedom Foundation

Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois Policy Institute is sharing the stories of several business owners and their struggle with the economic shutdown. As IPI highlights these stories, featured business owners are seeing a flow of orders from Illinoisans eager to keep these local businesses alive.

Read more stories here.

Janice Yoder
Photo credit: Illinois Policy Institute

Pelican Institute for Public Policy

The Pelican Institute traveled across Louisiana, collecting stories of Louisianans impacted by the economic shutdown. Pelican is sharing these stories in a new video series, “Faces of the Shutdown.”

Jarett and Kallie Landry
Photo credit: Pelican Institute

Mississippi Center for Public Policy

For many small business owners, livelihood is directly tied to a state’s reopening timeline. The question of when and how to reopen is inextricably linked to the question of whether their businesses will be able to keep their doors open. Mississippi Center for Public Policy is highlighting this reality for Mississippi business owners by telling the stories of salon, gym, and restaurant owners struggling from the state’s shutdown orders.

Civitas Institute

Civitas Institute highlighted how North Carolina’s mandated lockdown is devastating the state’s tourism industry. Civitas featured stories of hotel owners, homeowners who rely on vacation rental income, and restaurants fighting to keep the lights on.

The Keewatin House
Photo credit: Civitas Institute

John Locke Foundation

Sometimes, the shutdown orders prove to be too much for a small business. The John Locke Foundation highlighted how North Carolina’s lockdown forced the closure of a local pub.

Photo credit: John Locke Foundation