Economy

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Nearly 200,000 Ohioans have filed unemployment claims in the last two weeks, and more are likely to need those benefits soon. But many are reporting still having problems getting through either by the phone lines or online, as the state has been struggling to keep up with a system not built for this kind of volume.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 doubled from yesterday - going from three deaths announced Sunday to six today. And Gov. Mike DeWine has issued several orders to state government as it fights coronavirus, saying that he expects state revenues to go to go down dramatically.

The numbers of Ohioans filing for unemployment benefits are rising daily – so many that the state’s unemployment website was having trouble handling them. And the state is now clarifying why it will no longer do daily releases about how many people are filing jobless claims.

Bus and train ridership have plunged in Greater Cleveland as workers stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority ridership fell 50 percent last week, Chief Operating Officer Floun’say Caver told board members Tuesday.

While transit remains “the veins of Cleveland,” RTA CEO India Birdsong told board members, the agency is cutting back on services because of low demand during the stay-at-home order.

Mark Arehart / WKSU

To help contain the spread of coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order will last for at least a couple of weeks. But Ohioans can still leave the house to take care of essentials like getting food, medicine or exercise. They can also head to the bank.

a photo of Vertical Adventures in Columbus
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Thousands of Ohioans are being laid off as businesses have temporarily shut their doors to prevent the spread COVID 19.

Those businesses and state officials are doing what they can to help those workers and keep the companies afloat.

The U.S. economy has never hit the brakes quite like this before.

While the course of the coronavirus pandemic is unpredictable, forecasters are using their economic models and making some educated guesses about just how bad the damage will be. The forecasts are not pretty:

  • Oxford Economics expects the U.S. economy to shrink at an annual rate of 12% between April and June.
  • JPMorgan Chase sees a second-quarter contraction of 14%.

Local Manufacturers Grapple With Coronavirus Response

Mar 20, 2020

While Ohio schools, restaurants, and salons are among those closed to enforce social distancing, many manufacturers are still open for business.

Ohio has seen its first confirmed death caused by COVID-19. Now Gov. Mike DeWine is ordering senior centers to close as he evaluates the potential shutdown of other businesses.

It probably comes as no surprise that unemployment claims in Ohio have skyrocketed this week as businesses continue to temporarily close and lay off workers to try to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Cleveland-area philanthropic groups have raised nearly $4 million for a COVID-19 rapid response fund.

The fund initially will support nonprofits that offer safety-net services such as food pantries and housing assistance, according to a Wednesday news release. The aim is to assist vulnerable groups, such as low-income residents, the homeless and those at greater risk from coronavirus.

gun and bullets
KIATTIPONG / SHUTTERSTOCK

There have been reports of bare store shelves across the region as people buy supplies for social distancing amid the spread of COVID-19. Local gun shops are no exception. Firearms and ammunition stores across Northeast Ohio are reporting a spike in sales.

Jilly's Music Room
Jilly's Music Room

Bar and restaurant employees across Ohio have found themselves out of a job as the state works to curb the spread of COVID-19. On Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine told Ohioans in the food and beverage industry that unemployment compensation is available. He also waived the one- week waiting period to receive benefits. 

At the South Village Grill, manager Drew DeBoard struggled to decide whether to call Sunday night’s reservations. She seemed a bit shocked that her restaurant was closing.

AMANDA RABINOWITZ / WKSU

One year into Ohio’s medical marijuana program, cultivators, processors and dispensaries are still learning how to navigate this complex, new industry. Akron cultivator Galenas just completed its third harvest, and while yields haven't been what they anticipated, CEO Geoff Korff believes it will be worth the wait.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

As odds of a global recession rise, governments and central banks around the world are racing to fend off the economic damage from the spread of the coronavirus.

illustration of coronavirus
ANGELA HSIEH / NPR

A local expert on China says the coronavirus outbreak has already impacted some Ohio businesses. A professor in Akron’s global business institute, Mahesh Srinivasan says some tire and medical implant manufacturers have seen disruptions in their rubber supply chain, but two main factors have delayed the impact elsewhere.

First, tariffs have forced some businesses to find alternate supply sources outside China, and second is the annual disruption in supply that occurs around Chinese New Year.

a picture of the Skechers GOrun shoe
SKECHERS

Goodyear is putting its rubber on the road in a different way — tennis shoes. The Akron-based tiremaker has teamed up with Skechers to create a tennis shoe with sustainable high-performance soles. The outsole is built using a soybean oil-based polymer.

photo of Tara Brown's former house
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

When the housing bubble burst, it left a trail of dilapidated homes in Ohio’s cities and rural communities. A decade later, that gave birth to a new problem for those communities: lease-to-own deals that promised a piece of the American dream but often turned out to be nightmares. 

North Hill storefronts
SHANE WYNN / AKRON STOCK

At his state of the city address Wednesday, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan will announce a new program to help entrepreneurs launch or expand their businesses while filling vacant storefronts  in 10 of the city’s small business districts.

photo of trucks on highway
SHUTTERSTOCK

A bill that would give Ohio employers up to $25,000 in tax credits for training truck drivers has passed the state House and is on its way to the Senate.

State Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Twp) from Stark County authored the bill, and says he’s seen first-hand in his manufacturing business how a lack of drivers can delay shipments. 

Thursday brought an end of an era in the fashion world and in Central Ohio.

Columbus-based retailer L Brands announced that CEO Les Wexner is retiring and the company is selling off lingerie company Victoria’s Secret.

The City of Cleveland is offering roughly $25 million total in grants in the proposed incentive package for the construction of a new downtown Sherwin-Williams headquarters.

a photo of a factory worker
/ CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE

Northeast Ohio manufacturers are facing two main challenges—finding skilled workers and adopting new technology. That’s according to an annual survey of nearly 700 Ohio companies.

Team NEO and manufacturing advocacy group MAGNET found 56 percent of those who responded to the survey reported increased revenue last year. Nearly three quarters expect revenue growth this year.

Tim Ryan and LGChem executives
MICHAEL ZETTS

A delegation of Korean executives from LG Chem met in Washington, D.C., Wednesday with state and federal officials to lay the groundwork for a new electric vehicle battery factory in Lordstown.

Congressman Tim Ryan (D - Niles), along with Ohio lawmakers, Sen. Michael Rulli ( R - Salem) and Sen. Sean O'Brien (D - Trumbull), praised the investments being made in the Mahoning Valley by the battery maker and its partner General Motors Corp.

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