Kevin O'Leary, a millionaire businessman who sits as one of the investors on Shark Tank, has issued a dire prediction that 20 percent of all small businesses in the United States are soon going to die out.
According to Business Insider, O'Leary said that both the coronavirus pandemic and a change in consumer habits may be to blame for the estimated closure of an estimated one-fifth of small businesses in the country. He added that the industries that would be hit hardest include the travel, entertainment, and foodservice sectors.
"There is a change in consumer preference. Everybody's still eating 2,200 calories a day, they're just buying it a different way. Go support the way they're buying it, the digital delivery," he said.
O'Leary appeared to imply that the future of companies would depend on being "digitized." This does not necessarily mean making them accessible on digital platforms, but rather includes a complete overhaul of the business structure so that the digital information and experience is at its core.
"It's going to be a different America, 2.0, a digitized America, and not everybody's going to make it," O'Leary elaborated.
The Shark Tank star is not the only analyst to have warned about the demise of the restaurant industry. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, top restaurateur Rohini Dey had claimed that as many as 80 percent of all restaurants in the country could close down due to losses sustained during the pandemic. This would also spell unemployment for a staggering 33 million Americans who work in foodservice.
In light of the grim predictions, O'Leary added that he is hesitant to try to save any failing business, as he believes it would likely be a waste of money.
"My whole point is let the market be the market, let those things that are going to die, die, and those employees will support them through the transition. That's how capitalism works," the investor said.
Similarly, he is against struggling small companies taking out government loans from the Paycheck Protection Act, the stimulus passed earlier this spring to help businesses continue despite lockdown measures.
"I can't help them. They're dead," he bluntly stated.
"And I don't want the government taking my tax dollars to help them"In other Shark Tank related news, there is at least one company that seems to be doing well despite negative responses from the mogul investors and a volatile economy. As was previously covered by The Inquisitr, LoveSync -- which was not only rejected but deemed one of the most "cringe-worthy" pitches on the series's history -- is showing solid growth after the debut of a new app.