More than 5 in 6 Temporarily Closed Businesses Have Reopened During the Pandemic According to the Yelp Economic Average

Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today released third quarter 2021 data for the Yelp Economic Average (YEA) report, a benchmark of local economic strength in the U.S. The Q3 2021 YEA report reveals the vast majority of businesses that experienced a temporary closure during the pandemic have reopened. Yelp data also finds that increases in both new business openings and consumer interest reflect consumer demand for leisure activities that were upended by early pandemic restrictions.

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Reopenings of temporarily closed businesses are above 80% across all categories as of September 30, 2021. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Reopenings of temporarily closed businesses are above 80% across all categories as of September 30, 2021. (Graphic: Business Wire)

In the third quarter, the level of reopenings decreased in raw count and volume, according to Yelp data, signaling that local economies are successfully adapting to operating as the pandemic continues to evolve. Of all the businesses that temporarily closed in the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic (March 2020), 85% have reopened as of September 30, 2021. The total number of new businesses opened in the first nine months of this year (439,094) is above pre-pandemic levels for the same period in 2019 (433,243).

“We are seeing local businesses successfully adapt to serve their communities amidst continued uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic,” said Justin Norman, Yelp’s vice president of data science. “Our data shows that an overwhelming majority of businesses that had to temporarily close their doors during the pandemic have reopened. The strong number of reopened businesses combined with the high volume of new business openings is evidence that the economy continues to recover from pandemic lows. As people return to activities that were most impacted by pandemic restrictions, like dining out, going to the gym or socializing at a bar, we expect to see this pent up demand create new opportunities for local businesses.”

New Business Openings for First Three Quarters of 2021 Are Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

The total new business openings across categories remained relatively flat in Q3 2021 reaching 142,328 openings, up 1% compared to Q3 2020. However, the total number of new businesses opened in the first nine months of 2021 (439,094) is above pre-pandemic levels for the same period in 2019 (433,243).

Businesses Related to Leisure, Hospitality and Beauty Help Drive New Businesses Growth

The majority of businesses that temporarily closed since March 2020 in beauty (90% reopened), nightlife (83%), and hotel and travel (86%) categories, have reopened as of September 30, 2021. Notably impacted by pandemic restrictions, new business openings in leisure, beauty and hospitality on Yelp increased in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020. Hotels accounted for 3,514 new businesses opened in Q3 2021, a 32% increase year-over-year.

Nightlife saw 2,570 new business openings in Q3 2021, up 30% from Q3 2020. In Q3 2021, dance clubs (53 new business openings, up 279%) comedy clubs (34, up 240%) and lounges (213, up 88%) were all above Q3 2020 levels.

Beauty added 11,029 new businesses in Q3 2021, a 7% increase from Q3 2020. Teeth whitening (295, up 132% ) body contouring (654, up 184%), eyebrow services (796, up 49%) and permanent makeup (729, up 62%) all trended above Q3 2020 levels.

Restaurant and Food Businesses Continue to Adapt as the Pandemic Evolves

For restaurants and food businesses, 83% of businesses that were temporarily closed between March 2020 and the end of Q3 2021 have reopened as of September 30, 2021. New restaurant and food business openings remained steady with 19,892 new openings in Q3 2021, a 2% increase year-over-year. As diners return to indoor dining, new business openings for food courts (64 new business openings, up 166%) and buffets (54, up 200%) increased above 2020 levels.

Read the full report, as well as previous YEA reports, at Assets and images from the Q3 2021 YEA report can be found here. For more information and Yelp’s latest company metrics, visit:


New Business Openings

Openings are determined by counting new businesses listed on Yelp, which are added by either business representatives or Yelp users. Openings are adjusted year-over-year, meaning openings are measured relative to the same time period in the previous period for the same business categories and geographic locations. This adjustment corrects for both seasonality and any differences in the baseline level of Yelp coverage in any given category and geography.

Business Reopenings as a Percentage (%) of Temporary Closures

To measure the percentage of businesses that have reopened after a temporary closure, we count U.S. businesses that were identified as temporarily closed and then reopened between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. The timing of temporary closures and reopenings are based on when these events were reported to Yelp by consumers or businesses, as such the data may reflect delays depending on when Yelp received that information.

Reopenings include the termination of temporary closures as set by a business through Yelp’s temporary closure feature, or by the editing of business hours (excluding holiday closures). These changes to business pages are also vetted by Yelp’s moderators. Each reopened business is counted only once, on the date of its most recent reopening during the applicable time period.

Temporary closures are signaled by a business owner marking the business as temporarily closed, including by changing its hours or through a COVID-19 banner on its Yelp page. One-day closures that appear to be unrelated to the pandemic are not counted. Each temporarily closed business is counted only once, on the date of its most recent temporary closure. Temporary closures are a likely measure of businesses that were most impacted by the pandemic, however, many other businesses were also likely affected but remained open with curtailed hours and staffing, or did not update their Yelp business pages to reflect closures.

Business Reopenings

On each date, starting with March 1 2020, we count U.S. businesses that were temporarily closed and reopened through September 30, 2021. A reopening is of a temporary closure, whether by using Yelp’s temporary closure feature or by editing hours, excluding closures due to holidays and single day or less closures that appear unrelated to the pandemic. Each reopened business is counted at most once, on the date of its most recent reopening.

Consumer Interest

We measure consumer interest by looking at select actions users take to connect with businesses on Yelp: such as viewing business pages, or posting photos or reviews.

Changes in consumer interest for each category were measured by comparing year-over-year data from Q3 2021 and Q3 2020, focusing on each category’s share of all consumer actions in its root category.

About Yelp Inc.

Yelp Inc. ( connects people with great local businesses. With unmatched local business information, photos and review content, Yelp provides a one-stop local platform for consumers to discover, connect and transact with local businesses of all sizes by making it easy to request a quote, join a waitlist, and make a reservation, appointment or purchase. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004.


Yelp Inc.
Nick Spence

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