Ohio is one of the worst-hit states in the United States, with almost 94,000 confirmed cases and over 3,500 deaths since the virus was first recorded in the US. Over 68,000 people who had contracted the virus are now considered safe as they have recovered from the disease. This leaves about 25,000 active cases in Ohio State, something that sends cold chills on business people in Ohio.
Since the arrival of the Coronavirus in Ohio, a lot of businesses have since been shut down to allow for effective control and management of the disease. Mike DeWine, the Governor of Ohio state, started the lockdown procedures by banning public gatherings of more than ten people. He then proceeded to close all K-12 schools for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year. He also shut down, eating in restaurants and drinking in bars. Visits to prisons, juvenile detention centers, psychiatric hospitals, and nursing homes also received a blow. College students had to settle for online learning as the new normal rendering all colleges dead or dormant businesses.
All these happened within a few months, which means many businesses were caught unawares and unprepared. The devastating effect of this impromptu shutdown of Ohio has seen many small businesses go to ruins and some immense counting losses.
All these began on March 9, 2020, when Ohio recorded its first three positive cases that saw DeWine declaring a state of emergency in Ohio later in the month. Since then, it has been a series of business shutdowns, slow reopening, and debates of more restrictions as cases shot high.
From the moment the first case was announced to March 13th, Ohio already had 13 Coronavirus cases. Since then, Ohio has seen a constant rise in cases within the state that have seen the numbers rise from 76, 168 to 93,963 in the last 15 days. Each day has had a steady percentage increase between 1 to 2%. As cases keep rising, the bad news is that the number of socio-economic activities in the state has been on the decline.
In a table depicting how the virus has affected the population in relation to age, you will find out that most of the active population are worst affected. The virus worst hits people from age 20-60 in Ohio. It is people in these age groups that run a majority of businesses in the state. Catching the virus only means they will be unavailable to run their businesses even if they were free to open the stores.
The statistics from this table below will make you easily understand how the virus’s spread has been among different age groups. Take a look.
Covid-19 Cases in Ohio by Age Groups
Source: Ohio Dashboard, August 03, 2020.
Hard-hit Businesses in Ohio
While almost all businesses in Ohio have felt the Coronavirus impact, some small businesses have been on the receiving end of the worst Coronavirus had to offer. These businesses include the following.
People running daycare businesses in Ohio have nothing to smile home about since the coronavirus pandemic’s surfacing. All daycares have since been ordered to close unless they have secured a temporary pandemic childcare permit from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. And even these certificates come in limited numbers, and so your chances of getting your business back on its feet remains a matter of probability and chance.
Business Contracts with the Government
Doing business with the government is an admirable venture. However, the same cannot be said of the situation at Ohio State currently. If you had planned to get a business contract with the government in Ohio, you might get ready for a rude shock. The governor, DeWine, ordered that the state government freeze all state government hiring, which includes contractors. This action, he took in a step aimed at saving the state’s money.
Barbershops, Nail and Hair Salons
Barbershops, nail, and hair salons are probably the most widespread small businesses in Ohio. With so many contacts involved in these businesses’ operations, you could only expect the state government to shut them down for reduced risks of spreading the virus. On March 18th, all such businesses were ordered to close down and were later on March 23rd, followed by a government’s stay-at-home order. This means that no Ohioan could leave their homes for these services.
Bureaus of Motor Vehicles
With over 180 bureaus of motor vehicles shut down in Ohio State, only the dealers in that sector can narrate and feel the impact the virus has had on them and their businesses. Only about five of the bureaus have been left open to allow for easy access to commercial driver’s licenses for those who want to get one. The governor also requested the Ohio General Assembly to come up with a legislation that will give people who can’t renew their licenses a grace period to do so.
Bars and Restaurants
Both for revelers and bar owners, the temporary closure of all bars order never landed sweetly in their ears. Ohio’s governor had no other option but to shut down the bars and restaurant after receiving complaints about the surging crowds in such places over the weekends. This was a move to prevent large gatherings and hence minimize the spread of the virus within Ohio.
Generally, the Covid-19 pandemic has not been good news to most businesses the world over. Save for a few businesses that have thrived over this pandemic, most businesses have suffered loss, and some have even closed down completely. In Ohio, the case has not been any better, but the governor there has done a commendable job in trying to manage the spread and bring things back to normal.