Which Business Sectors Are Most Resilient in Tough Economic Times?

Written by Chloe Harwood

Some businesses are more likely to fail than others when times get tough. Those that stick around tend to be those that offer something important and in demand. That’s true when times are tough, as well as when times are good. So, which business sectors are most resilient of all in tough economic times? Read on to find out about some examples.


We still want to have a good time. In fact, when the ship seems to be sinking, we tend to want to party more and have some fun. This, at least, can take your mind of how bad things are. So, alcoholic drinks manufacturers tend to survive recessions pretty easily. People don’t stop buying, so they don’t stop selling. The cheaper retailers do tend to do better than the premium ones, however. Even if they do have to take small hits, bigger drinks companies can ride these out and stay profitable.


The construction industry doesn’t always have an easy time during recessions. However, it does tend to be one of the sectors that recovers most quickly. This was the case in the last recession. As soon as things start to pick up even slightly, construction companies see profits rise. This means that they can make it through the tough times more easily. As soon as orders start to rise, the buying of screws, drills, cranes and rig matting starts to go up too. This acts as a motor for the economy as a whole.

Household Necessities

There are some things that we all keep buying no matter how tight things get. For example, we are not about to stop buying toothpaste or washing up liquid just because we have a little less to spend. These things always keep flying off the shelves, no matter how bad the economy seems to get. So, if you can start a business that offers something that people really need to have, then it should be very resilient indeed. Unfortunately, most of these items are sold by big companies with a monopoly on them.

Discount Retail Stores

When people have less money to spend, they head to the retailers that can offer them a bargain. That’s why many budget retailers have grown massively in the last seven or eight years. People want to get the same kinds of products that they’ve always bought. But they want them for lower prices. So, companies that sell cheap products to people always tend to do well when times are tough for the economy. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it.


This is one that is perhaps a little more surprising than the rest. After the last recession, it was found that the cosmetics industry did not take much of a hit at all. People carried on buying cosmetics and beauty products in the same way that they always did. These kinds of items tend to be used habitually all year round, so maybe that explains this. People get into the habit of using certain cosmetics, and they want to carry on looking good.

About the author

Chloe Harwood