Local businesses and on-campus jobs affected by COVID-19

Illustration by Monique R

There is an economic pandemic spreading like the disease itself. The economy has seen a rapid shift over the course of two months as nearly 17 million individuals have filed for unemployment.

With today’s unemployment rate estimated at 13%, the current percentage has the potential to surpass the 25% of jobless Americans during the Great Depression. According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate rose by 4.4%.

The U.S. is showing many of the characteristic signs of being in a recession.

Laying people off, prematurely closing businesses or being completely closed are some of the changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Local Georgia State businesses and on-campus jobs have been collateral damage of the pandemic and the students leaving campus.

Claudio Furgiuele, the owner of Reuben’s Deli, said that he remains open to serve police officers, firefighters and healthcare workers. He has not recognized any students who come into his shop. The two Georgia State students who once worked at the Deli have now returned home.

“There’s nobody downtown. Right now, I’ve got six cops in here [and] we’re feeding three times a week. We’re feeding Children’s Healthcare [of Atlanta], Marta… there are still people that have to work. We’re feeding Piedmont Hospital. This morning we went to Grady. We’re feeding what’s here,” Furgiuele said.

Reuben’s Deli has adjusted its business hours and has not had to lay off any employees.

But the deli is not the only business that remains open.

Landmark Diner, on Luckie Street, is a family business with two locations. Both the locations in Buckhead and on-campus remain open.

More on-campus businesses (in a 1-mile radius) that are open:


  • Arby’s
  • Reuben’s Deli
  • Jimmy John’s
  • FIGO Pasta
  • Landmark Diner
  • Waffle House
  • Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks
  • Land Of A Thousand Hills Coffee


Several local businesses and on-campus jobs are either closed or accommodating social distancing by having mobile orders, curbside pickup or online work opportunities.

Along with classes shifting to online, few on-campus jobs have as well.

Kevin Horning, a Georgia State student, works at the STEM tutoring center located in the sports arena. He now works remotely while maintaining his normal schedule and pay.

“My eight hours a week is split evenly between tutoring and grading for lower-level computer science classes. I haven’t had much to grade since moving online, but I suspect that will change as I see a lot of assignments being given on iCollege,” Horning said. “The tutoring center for computer science still has similar traffic… my guess from logging in a few times last week is that there are a little less students now overall, but I was definitely busy on my Friday shift.”

Horning’s tutoring job allows him to work online, however, other on-campus jobs like building managers and office assistants do not have this possibility.

Nick Perry, a Georgia State student, worked for housing as a Learning Community Assitant and is no longer working due to students moving out from the dorms on March 15.

“Basically, I don’t have a job anymore and have not been offered an alternate position,” Perry said.

This response is common among Georgia State students as local businesses and on-campus jobs have experienced the effects of COVID-19. As the summer semester will also be continued remotely, it is to be determined as to when the Georgia State community will re-open businesses and have available jobs near or on campus.