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  • Campaign to tame coronavirus in Memphis idles 80,000. When will all the jobs return? No one’s sure.

    Refreshed after a cruise to Puerto Rico and Saint Lucia, Darin McDonald stepped off the passenger liner Norwegian Jewel fully expecting his family’s business in Memphis would perform in the spring as it had in the winter — near record sales.

    Within two weeks of the February cruise, orders for sports banners, restaurant signs and highway billboards sagged for McDonald Outdoor Advertising and have never recovered, said McDonald, vice president of the firm, which manages about 70 Tunica casino district billboards. Nearly two-thirds of the dozen employees were idled, and the firm cast for new sales making acrylic sneeze guards.

    “I’m not against buying a lawn mower if I have to find something else to do with my life,” McDonald laughed. “I just don’t know how long it’s going to take to come out of this.”

    Neither does anyone else.

    More than 100,000 residents of metropolitan Memphis are now drawing unemployment checks. When the bulk of them can return to work depends on how fast orders start rolling in again at shops like McDonald Outdoors. And that’s a question without an answer today. To read more, visit The Commercial Appeal.


    Posted: May 11, 2020