Some businesses thrived, many lagged during pandemic in 2020

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - A traveler wears a mask as she waits for her flight in Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. The coronavirus pandemic created winners and losers in the business world. Wall Street recovered after March, even though Main Street is still struggling. As few people traveled, the airline industry needed billions of dollars in aid from the government and is still threatening to lay off workers.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By March 23, Apple had lost $435 billion in market value in about five weeks and many of its retail outlets were shut as the virus pandemic walloped the global economy and stock markets. Meanwhile, a report issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 2% of small businesses surveyed had shut down permanently in March.

On Dec. 30, Apple's stock market value totaled $2.29 trillion, up 133% since March 23. Meanwhile, Congress has approved nearly $300 billion in additional relief for small businesses, money that many hard-hit owners only hope can help them survive until the pandemic finally eases

The success of Apple and other big technology companies and the struggles of the smallest of businesses is just one example of how the pandemic created winners and losers in the business world in 2020. Wall Street recovered after March; Main Street is still struggling.

In 2020, it hasn't been uncommon to work remotely in sweatpants — while meeting on video conferencing platforms like Zoom — hop onto an expensive high-tech exercise bike afterwards and have your favorite restaurant dish delivered to your home (by a driver trying to earn an extra buck and hoping not to catch the coronavirus).

Of course, the flip side of that scenario has been deserted office buildings, empty restaurants and sparsely-populated gyms. And as few people traveled, the airline industry needed billions of dollars in aid from the government and is still threatening to lay off workers.

What follows is a look at those businesses that benefitted from the pandemic and those that faltered.

First, the winners:

BIG TECH