25 percent of all Oakland County businesses close for good due to pandemic

Nadir Jiddou who owns Michigan Business Broker based in Farmington Hills has seen the fallout first-hand.

"I do see more than normal, and obviously Covid affected most of these businesses especially the small ones like salons or gyms and bars," he said. 

The pandemic forced restrictions on businesses and several couldn't survive. Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter announced this week -  25 percent of small businesses there closed for good and 156,000 jobs went with it, mainly because of COVID-19. 

"It is a more affluent county but I think the leases are the key," Jiddou said. "Because if a salon is in Oakland County paying $3,000 to $4,000 for rent and in Wayne or Macomb, $1,500 to $2,000 helps you stay open opposed to closing down."

Landlords he says, were able to give tenants a break on their rent for a while. But when it was time to collect, the money still wasn't there.

The University of Michigan who helped put together the annual economic report, says Oakland County is in the best position for a faster recovery because of its educated population, a large number of professional and managerial jobs, and an attractive standard of living.

"Even for me and my business, I had a big pause for a few months from Covid because we did not know what was going to happen and there was a lot of uncertainty because nobody wanted to put money into this," he said. "I would say in July we started closing on some businesses and we have been closing on them ever since."

Jiddou, who sells businesses in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties says he does have more listed this year compared to years past, but there's another challenge. besides the need for customers, stores and restaurants are also in need of workers, who are either afraid to work or have been reluctant because of collecting unemployment checks.

"We are selling businesses there are definitely deals but it also hard to find people to pull the trigger," he said. "It was kind of like the housing market in 2008-2009, there were lots of good deals but did everyone buy them? A big risk can get you a big reward."