Animation of various brand logos around a petri dish with a dollar sign that someone is dropping silver on.
Animations: Shira Inbar

Special Report

The 101 Biggest Business Moves of the Pandemic

From the admirable to the audacious, the highs and lows that have defined the last eight months

Marker
Published in
41 min readNov 16, 2020

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Extreme times tend to bring out the best and worst in humanity — and the same can be said for business. Over the past eight months, the pandemic has taken companies, brands, CEOs, workers, and the economy on a wild ride we never asked for. Some companies have made prescient pivots and brilliant decisions; others have been crude opportunists or have gone to exceptionally creative lengths to stay afloat. Marker captures this improbable moment with our compilation of the 101 moves we’ll remember, we’ll learn from, or we’ll desperately try to forget — from the admirably heroic to the jaw-droppingly audacious. —Marker Editors

March

1. Facebook drops out of South by Southwest, crushing Austin’s economic spigot

On Monday, March 2, well before concerns about the coronavirus in the U.S. jump from mild anxiety to full-blown panic attack, Facebook deals a blow to the tech scene’s favorite annual gathering when it announces it will no longer be participating in SXSW, Austin’s iconic 34-year-old tech-music-film festival. Within two days, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, and TikTok have also dropped out, with more than 40,000 people signing a petition to cancel Austin’s single most profitable event. Mounting pressure and widespread concern lead Austin Mayor Steve Adler to finally pull the plug on Friday, just one week out from the conference, costing the city an estimated $360 million in loss of potential revenue, but possibly sparing it from becoming the first epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak.

2. The NBA marks the official start of the pandemic by pulling the plug on the rest of its season

The March 11 matchup between Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder is seconds from tip-off when the game is delayed by 30 minutes after an NBA player tests positive for Covid-19. Within a half-hour, NBA commissioner Adam Silver calls off not only the game, but the entire season, becoming the first major U.S. sports league to pause…

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