As MLB plays on, the businesses it feeds fight for survival

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As MLB plays on, the businesses it feeds fight for survivalBy WILL GRAVESSeptember 15, 2020 GMThttps://apnews.com/141ea2b8c6fe5bc33fdd941dea868716The cathedrals lie empty. Wrigley. Fenway. Yankee Stadium. PNC Park. Progressive Field. Sure, their lights are on as Major League Baseball tries to squeeze in a truncated 60-game season in the middle of a pandemic. But no one is home save for a few dozen players running around in masks under the din of artificial crowd noise in front of a handful of well-positioned cardboard cutouts.Step outside the gates, and the artifice evaporates. Reality sets in. As MLB sprints through two months trying to provide a small semblance of normalcy to its fan base and much-needed fresh content to its broadcast partners, the businesses in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadiums that rely so heavily on thousands making their way through the turnstiles 81 times a year are struggling, their futures murky at best. According to the ADP Research Institute, firms with fewer than 500 employees – a much-used cutoff for small businesses — have lost more than 5.4 million jobs, or nearly 9%, since February. It’s those kinds of businesses that serve as the lifeblood at downtown stadiums.The bars …

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