‘Everybody’s on the same ship:’ Impact of coronavirus ripples through Houston’s economy

Tacos a Go Go built a reputation for its lamb barbacoa and frozen margaritas. In a way, the meal was a feat of alchemy. It brought together meat and tomatoes, tequila and lime, and produced the stuff of early morning taco runs, catered birthday buffets and late nights out with friends. But the act of transformation didn’t end there. The food was then turned into paychecks for employees, orders for vendors and rents for landlords, who, in turn, converted it into spending of their own. It was an everyday miracle, performed, in one version or another, by restaurants, retailers, salons and other businesses around the world until the need to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus clamped down on social interactions. The question is, how soon will that miracle return? Stay-at-home orders have been lifted in Texas, but fears of the pandemic’s resurgence, a decrease in disposable income and an increase in deferred debt remain for many. Workers have seen hours and paychecks reduced, vendors and their salespeople have lost sales and commissions and landlords have begun negotiating rents to help tenants survive, thinning their own bottom lines and potentially imperiling the commercial mortgage industry. Click to read more at www.houstonchronicle.com.