Economy

Business news

Ohio gave General Motors some $60 million dollars in state tax credits for its Lordstown operation. Now the attorney general is demanding the company pay the state back.

A new report from a group of business leaders shows many Ohio companies cannot get back on their feet because their employees no longer have affordable day care options. 

photo of steve burns
LORDSTOWN MOTORS

Electric cars are gaining traction in the marketplace as Tesla builds a devoted following.

But is America ready for an all-electric pickup truck?

The start-up Lordstown Motors is betting on it.

They’re hoping to produce America’s first electric pickup, and part of Lordstown’s gamble is a different approach to electric motors.

a photo of the Endurance truck with Mike Pence and Steve Burns
YOUTUBE

Vice President Mike Pence rode onto a Mahoning Valley stage Thursday as Lordstown Motors unveiled its all electric pickup truck, the Endurance. 

The company says it already has orders for 14,000 of the Endurance trucks.   

Vice President Mike Pence rode onto the stage Thursday in the newly-unveiled Lordstown Motors electric pickup truck, the Endurance, to deliver a wide-ranging speech to the Northeast Ohio crowd.

Among the topics he touched on at the former General Motors plant in Lordstown were the economy, the Trump administration’s negotiations with China and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“We fought for free and fair trade and the values and ideals that have always made this country great,” Pence said. “On every single promise, President Trump delivered for the people of Ohio.”

downtown skyline
SHANE WYNN / AKRON STOCK

Minority contractors can apply for funding and technical support through a new Summit County program. The Minority Contractor Capital Access Program aims to help businesses that otherwise might not survive the pandemic.

The fund was created through  a partnership by the city of Akron, Summit County, Akron Urban League, Greater Akron Chamber and the Western Reserve Community Fund. 

A bill that would have allowed an extension of benefits to unemployed Ohioans who are at risk or have medical conditions that could be deadly if they contract COVID-19 has been in the works at the Statehouse. But the sponsor of that legislation says it is not necessary now that Gov. Mike DeWine has issued an executive order.

The fund that the state uses to pay jobless benefits is now broke – which was predicted even before the pandemic. And now state leaders are struggling with how to pay back the money being borrowed to keep those unemployment checks coming.

Summertime is prime time for amusement parks, zoos and other venues. But the months of shutdown and the limits on operations – plus safety concerns from consumers – are all having a big impact on communities that rely on tourism dollars.

photo of 1099 form
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

As employees return to work in Ohio, questions remain about how 2020 tax returns could be affected by the stimulus money that many Americans got as part of the CARES Act. We ask an expert in this edition of “OH Really?”

MADDIE MCGARVEY

Perhaps no city in the midwest is more emblematic of Rust Belt identity than Youngstown. A steel boomtown in the first half of the 20th century, things went bust in the second half. One-by-one, steel mills facing fierce foreign competition shut down. Unemployment spiked, residents fled the city.

In the aftermath, city officials came up with a plan to attract new business, offering a range of incentives including free land, tax abatements, grants, low interest loans and more. However the track record shows that more often than not, the city was coming away with little to show for its incentives. One project from the last five years symbolizes the failed promise. ProPublica teamed up with the Youngstown Business Journal to take a closer look. Dan O’Brien from the Business Journal has this story on Chill-Can.

Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland are planning millions of dollars in aid for tenants who haven't been able to pay their rent during the coronavirus pandemic, just as the city’s housing court begins to accept eviction filings after a three-month pause.

The county is cuing up $6.8 million in eviction relief, and the city plans another $11.3 million. The nonprofit CHN Housing Partners will manage the aid for both local governments, aiming to launch the program in July.

Cleveland Housing Court Restarts Eviction Hearings Monday

Jun 15, 2020

Cleveland Housing Court starts hearings on evictions and accepting new filings Monday morning for the first time since March.

The court paused all hearings and new eviction filings as of March 18, so a flood of evictions could be headed to the court. But it won’t be clear for some time how many evictions the coronavirus pandemic caused in Cleveland, because the court set a limit of 125 filings per day.

photo of Zoom meeting Frank LaRose minority business
ZOOM

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose hosted Akron civic and business leaders today for a virtual roundtable on minority business.

The discussion focused on ways to help entrepreneurs connect with services and capital – whether starting a business, or growing one.

Akron Deputy Mayor James Hardy says last year, the city spent just five percent of its budget with minority contractors. He says they’re committed to changing that.

Marnie Behan got a surprising message last month from Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services about her ongoing unemployment payments. Instead of sending her next unemployment payment, they said she needed to pay the department.

The state has paid out more than $3.8 billion in unemployment benefits to over 683,000 Ohioans since mid-March, more than it’s ever paid out in a full year. And the state has paid $1.4 billion in federally funded pandemic unemployment assistance nearly 200,000 people who wouldn’t normally qualify for unemployment.

Business Owners In Cleveland Question Curfew Restrictions

Jun 2, 2020

Business owners in Downtown Cleveland and Ohio City are raising concerns about whether a lengthy lockdown in the aftermath of Saturday’s protest against the death of George Floyd is necessary.

Just off of West 25th Street in Ohio City, Michael Kaplan had the doors of the Glass Bubble Project, his glass studio and shop, open on Monday morning while all the other businesses on this usually busy commercial strip were closed.

“I’m an artist, so where else would I go?” Kaplan said.

A photo of a factory worker.
/ CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE

The manufacturing industry has suffered during the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic. A new report from the Institute for Supply Management expects the industry won’t return to pre-recession levels until 2022.

The University of Cincinnati is furloughing 360 employees for the summer.

Tourism Losses Will Have 'Tremendous Impact' On Columbus Economy

May 27, 2020

Columbus has lost about $145 million in tourist spending due to the coronavirus pandemic.

photo of Clean Committed Undefeated poster
DESTINATION CLEVELAND

Starting next week, Destination Cleveland will unveil a marketing campaign designed to re-open the city's restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions.

Help covering rent and mortgage payments is coming to small businesses in Mentor under a new grant program designed to help reopen the local economy.

The Mentor Small Business Restart Program is focusing on small, local storefronts that had no opportunity to collect revenue during the shutdown, said Mentor’s Director of Economic Development and International Trade Kevin Malecek.

1.2 million Ohioans have filed jobless claims since mid-March. And as Ohio’s businesses reopen, workers are concerned about the availability of child care, the cleanliness of their workplaces and the safety of vulnerable family members as they go back to work. And the agency processing claims has seen that concern too.

Ohio’s unemployment rate nearly tripled in just a month and set a record as COVID-19 closures and the state’s stay at home order fully hit economic activity.

chapel hill mall
JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

JCPenney had intended to permanently close its store at Chapel Hill Mall in early April. The coronavirus pandemic changed that plan. With the governor's stay at home order, the store was shut down in March. Now a spokewoman says the store will reopen for five more weeks before it closes permanently. 

Pages