COVID-19

Conversation about the Coronavirus Impact on the Economy

Americans worried about the economic impact of the virus. Equal attention was paid to the impact on small businesses and big business bailouts.

Twitter was a popular platform to share daily updates on stock market performance and draw historical comparisons to 2008, 1987 and the Great Depression. It also became a place for speculation about how the Trump Administration will act to stimulate the economy (e.g. bailouts for big business, lowering interest rates, banning stock buy-backs, universal basic income).

There was more sympathy on Twitter for small business than big business. Many described small business owners as “the backbone” of local economies and took to Twitter to share information about different opportunities for individual Americans to support small businesses in their communities. People also tweeted support for federal legislation to provide relief for small businesses (e.g. payroll tax holidays).