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The I-X Center is shutting its doors after decades hosting many of Cleveland’s biggest events, its managing company announced Wednesday afternoon. 

For 35 years, the massive events center brought Northeast Ohioans together for boat shows and trade conventions, garden expositions and the indoor amusement park with its iconic Ferris wheel and unforgettable TV jingle.

Ohioans’ Perspectives on COVID, Economy Differ Based on Life Experiences

Sep 15, 2020
a photo of vote buttons
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

When people make decisions in their everyday lives, they seldom analyze their choices by running through a checklist of who they are – age, race, income, level of education, or where they live.

But that checklist is important, especially now, in an unusually tense presidential election as Ohioans try to understand how others think and as politicians and campaigns try to manipulate minds.

Video job interviews are becoming the norm, especially during COVID-19. But there is some question as to how fairly you are evaluated in this medium.

Ohioans receiving unemployment benefits can expect an additional $300 weekly starting mid-to-late September. The payments will be retroactive, going back to Aug. 1.

Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) President John Baker told ideastream those additional funds are “really a lifeline” for many restaurant employees, whose industry has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. 

Maria Torres loves the 10-year-old townhouse she rents in Cleveland’s Tremont Pointe neighborhood. It’s new and clean, she said, and the best part is she’s got enough space for a music room — a place she can practice singing and playing guitar for her church.

"I told my husband, you know what? The only way I move from this place is that somebody put in my hand a key of the house and tell me, 'I'm going to give you this house free. You don't have to pay rent,'" Torres said with a laugh.

Ohio’s businesses say they’re optimistic about the future of the economy, but the coronavirus pandemic continues to have them worried.

State agencies were forced to make cuts at the end of Ohio’s fiscal year in June to deal with coronavirus impacts. And in most cases, those have carried over into this current year’s budget. Now a liberal leaning think tank says continuing at that level will slow the economic recovery even further.

The state’s tax revenue report for July was the first one showing gains in three months. But Ohio’s chief budget officer says she expects the economic effects of the pandemic to last for far longer than the pandemic does – perhaps years.

More than half of the state’s restaurants and bars could be out of business soon, according to a survey by the Ohio Restaurant Association. Owners of those establishments say the restrictions put on them because of COVID-19 are hurting their businesses. And they fear it will get worse.

A photo of the blimp
AKRONITE

An Akron business owner is optimistic about the potential impact of a new app being launched by the city to support local businesses.  Called the Akronite, the app aims to increase community engagement and connect residents with local retailers. It incentivizes “Akronites” to shop locally with a rewards system that features a blimp.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Going back to school will be different this year but there’s one thing that won’t change. Ohioans will still be able to take advantage of a tax-free weekend for shopping for those back to school items. And it is happening now. 

Destination Cleveland is launching a campaign encouraging local residents to get out into the community and boost the local economy.

The Rediscover CLE initiative is phase two in the plan to aid Cleveland’s economy from the private non-profit convention and visitors bureau. It aims to encourage residents to explore the area safely in ways they’re comfortable with during the coronavirus pandemic, said CEO David Gilbert.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

East 4th Street
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

A restaurant group has come out with a plan that it hopes will help its industry and the state's economy.

Forest City Brewery
Natalia Garcia / ideastream

A popular local brewery is temporarily closing its doors due to COVID-19 risks and customers not following the rules.

Forest City Brewery in Tremont’s Duck Island neighborhood will close to the public July 22. No employees have tested positive for COVID-19, but it was too risky to stay open while cases are rising in Cuyahoga County, said owner Jay Demagall.

 

A drawing of the overall site plan for the Residences at Good Park.
ALPHA PHI ALPHA HOMES

A proposed new housing development in Akron involves an organization with a history in the city. This project takes them in a new direction.

The proposed Residences at Good Park development in West Akron is a step away from one of Alpha Phi Alpha Home’s goals to provide housing for Akron’s low-income, elderly population. Instead, Executive Director Tom Fuller said the developer is aiming to create an economically integrated community with properties starting at $195,000.

A photo of Congressman Tim Ryan
KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

The Youngstown Air Reserve Station and additive manufacturing programs in Northeast Ohio are expected to benefit from a $270 million defense spending bill approved Tuesday by a House of Representatives subcommittee.

Congressman Tim Ryan, a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said the Fiscal Year 2021 defense spending bill includes significant investment in Northeast Ohio.

a photo of the exterior of Akronym Brewing
GOOGLE EARTH

Craft beer has been a growing part of Ohio’s economy, but the pandemic struck bars and restaurants hard.

Some of Akron’s largest craft brewers have weathered the situation well, and how they’ve done it may be a model for others. 

Akronym Brewery in Akron found a way to expand its services during the pandemic. General Manager Joey Greising said Akronym started offering food on its menu and added three more employees because of increased business.

The Federal Reserve last month issued an order for Reserve Banks to ration their coin inventories. The move came as the COVID-19 pandemic "significantly disrupted" normal coin supply chains and circulation.

With one of the highest eviction rates in the country, Dayton city leaders set out to do something about it last year with the formation of an Eviction Task Force. This summer, city commissioners passed two task force recommendations and may take further steps.

An extra 20 weeks of unemployment compensation will be made available to eligible Ohioans once they have exhausted their other benefits. 

The COVID19 pandemic has hurt a lot of businesses but not the residential real estate market in Ohio. And there are a couple of factors that are at play here.

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. 

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