Thousands of businesses across North Carolina have closed their doors with no hope of returning, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. According to a recent research brief by the John Locke Foundation’s Jon Sanders, roughly 4,000 businesses in North Carolina have closed since March, and most of them will never open their doors again. Sanders writes:

In September, North Carolina had lost over 267,000 jobs since last September, with 115,000 of those lost jobs being from the leisure and hospitality sector. That’s a lot of employers suddenly out of business, and lots of jobs suddenly gone.

The vast majority of lost jobs are in the restaurant and retail sectors. Sanders writes:

[R]ecent data released by] Yelp found that over 60 percent of businesses that have closed since March will not reopen, and that restaurants and retail are hardest hit…

[R]oughly 4,000 businesses in North Carolina have closed since March, most of them forever. Hardest hit are restaurants and retail, which are not coincidentally also the hardest hit by Cooper’s executive orders. Most of them are forbidden by the governor to do any better at any point in time than 50 percent capacity, a limit that cripples their business model and keeps many from reopening.

While mom and pop shops go bankrupt and people remain out of work, Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration is still providing taxpayer dollars to multimillion-dollar corporations. Sanders explains:

[Cooper] is not relaxing his open-ended restrictions against businesses and individuals… What he has done is pledge half a billion dollars in state money so far this year to just 38 corporations to support 10,202 jobs

Cooper has so far this year pledged $499,648,050 to those 38 corporations on their promises they’ll add 10,202 jobs. That’s $48,975 per job.

Meanwhile, the small businesses that survive Cooper’s unprecedented string of executive orders severely affecting their industries will do so despite the governor’s actions.

Read Sanders’ full brief here. See the breakdown of the corporations Cooper has given taxpayer funds to here.