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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.

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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.

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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. 

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.

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