Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

For the last couple of years, startups have been preparing for a recession, but the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on the economy are unlike anything they predicted.

Why it matters: Even companies that had recession plans and have been modeling burn rates, cash flow, and dips in business are throwing those projections out the window and taking drastic measures.

Case in point: TripActions, a company whose app lets employees book their business travel, laid off three hundred employees this week — roughly a quarter of its staff, per Protocol.

  • Last October, co-founder and CTO Ilan Twig told Axios that the company had been preparing for a recession with cash in the bank and modeling potential decreases in business travel.

Between the lines: Whatever TripActions predicted about a recession was much milder than what it’s facing right now, as business travel has essentially dropped to zero across the U.S.

"This situation is one that virtually no one was prepared for," says Shift co-CEO George Arison, whose company recently announced salary cuts and furloughs.

  • "I mean, who would have ever thought that our entire economy would be 'shut down' for a month or longer?"

The big picture: Companies are rushing to stretch out budgets for as long as possible, given the fog of uncertainty hanging over the economy.

Go deeper: Sequoia Capital calls coronavirus "the black swan of 2020"

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Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision Monday rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.