Updated: Apr 30
With Governor DeWine’s release of his incomplete plan to re-open the economy, Ohio’s Future Foundation (OHFF) continues to share the concerns of thousands of small business owners across Ohio, along with the millions of Ohioans employed by them. OHFF and its Business Advisory Council have called for the re-opening of Ohio’s economy to the fullest extent by May 1. A complete opening is vital to ensuring small business owners can survive and Ohioans currently unemployed are able to return to work, pay their bills, and breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the Governor’s re-opening plan has left our fellow Buckeyes with more questions than answers.
Ohio is already reeling from 1 million Ohioans unemployed, and Governor DeWine’s plan does little to mitigate the economic damage being done to these families. Of the industries still closed under the plan, and yet to be slated with a date to reopen, over 950,000 workers are affected and will remain jobless for the foreseeable future. These include salons, gyms, the entire entertainment industry, bars, and restaurants, among others. Simply put, many of the businesses slated to reopen in May have already been open and have continued to work through the initial order – manufacturing and construction, for example, have seen limited comparable interruption. This does not help the economy which will continue to slug along as vital tax dollars will not be reaching government coffers. Even worse, thousands of business owners will be faced with near-insurmountable economic challenges and may be forced to never reopen.
The limited May 1st re-opening of hospitals, doctors’ offices, veterinarians, and dentists posed yet another blow to small business owners across Ohio. Not only are there logistical problems, such as dentists’ offices being unable to acquire appropriate PPE to meet the state’s requirements to reopen, seeing as they were asked to donate those same resources a month prior. This problem will ultimately trickle into the manufacturing, construction, and retail industries as they are slated to open later in the month.
As OHFF has heard loud and clear through its Business Advisory Council, they want to open May 1st before irreparable damage is done to our already weakened economy. Ohio’s Future Foundation will remain the steadfast voice for pro-business and pro-taxpayer public policy in Ohio. Though Governor DeWine responded to media questions by calling his plan the “sweet spot” for Ohio, he has actually given business owners and their employees yet another bitter pill to swallow.