How COVID-19 has affected different industries

jennieThroughout the meetings we had during the week of the AFM 415: International Study Course to New York City, I had the opportunity to interview professionals from a variety of industries ranging from accounting, finance, consulting and entrepreneurs. With the everlasting effects of COVID-19 serving as our main topic of discussion, I gained valuable insights into the impacts of the pandemic in different industries and the future implications it will continue to cause. A common theme I found in our week of meetings in relation to the pandemic, is that every crisis has its own winners and losers. Some industries will weather the storm and see brighter days whereas others may be buried in the ashes forever. Although the pandemic was a tragic event for all of society, to my surprise, it was also the tailwind some industries needed to propel their growth.

In our meeting with Anthony Denier, the CEO of Webull, he boldly stated that COVID-19 was the force Webull needed to skyrocket the company. Prior to the pandemic, not as many individuals were actively using e-trade platforms to grow their own investment portfolios. However, when work-from-home mandates went into effect across the United States, Anthony saw a massive spike in user activity. It was the tailwind he needed to launch Webull into the league of big players in e-trade.

Furthermore, in our meeting with Deloitte Consulting, I learned from Steve McCaughey, the Managing Partner of Technology and Transformation, that technology and remote work will continue to shape our future. During our conversation, I could not help but wonder about the ways in which human needs will be compromised in a remote setting and the fact that most individuals would miss the social element of being able to go to work. To my comment, Steve replied with the idea of having hubs located outside the core of Downtown and repurposing strip malls to become work centres for those who want the office element back in their lives. Likewise, during our meeting with Shubham Datta, the Corporate Development Lead for Shopify, he stated that they were the first company to establish remote work for all of its employees permanently. Personally, it was quite fascinating to see how work has changed over the course of just about half a year since the pandemic started.

Again, with every crisis, there are always winners and losers. Unfortunately, not everyone we spoke to belong to the winning side. One of the industry’s most heavily impacted by the pandemic is Sports Entertainment.

Upon meeting with Don Fishman from the Washington Capitals and Jeff Deline from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), I learned that the sports industry is not only undergoing an extremely hard time, but the industry at large may be forever disrupted by the impacts of COVID-19. I learned from our meeting with Don how the outlook of the salary cap has changed for the worse. All NHL teams are expected to face a $81.5 million freeze on the salary cap, which means the salary cap will stay stagnate for the foreseeable future, and the amount of money players could have made will decrease. Supported through our conversation with Jeff, the salary cap being flat for teams is due to the fact that there is no revenue coming into sports. Sports entertainment is largely dependent on ticket sales and the sale of merchandise. With all arenas closed, fans are unable to watch games and therefore, there is currently minimal revenue being generated.

I found it both disheartening and fascinating that a pandemic was able to help some industries propel themselves forward whereas for others, inflict grave financial burdens. That being said, the International Study Trip course has been a fantastic journey that enabled me to see the pandemic through the lens of different companies and industries, which is knowledge that I will carry with me in my pursuit for a successful career.

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