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Ohio House speaker listens to problems caused by COVID-19 in Hancock County

Rep. Robert Cupp, R-Lima, visited Findlay Wednesday to talk to public officials and business owners about the challenges they are facing from the coronavirus.

FINDLAY, Ohio — Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Robert Cupp, R-Lima, made a pit stop in Findlay Thursday. He met with public officials and business owners to find out what problems they're facing during the pandemic.

Even though many places are back open, business leaders stressed it's not back to business as usual just yet.

"A lot of businesses around the state are facing the same issue with the virus," Cupp said. "There's been an economic slowdown. Business is down and revenue is down."

Businesses are open but as many would tell you, we're not out of the woods yet. COVID-19 remains a challenge for many of them. Cupp said the legislature is working hard to help out in any way it can.

"We still have some federal dollars available that we're going to be allocating to help small businesses and help to pay rent and things like that," he said.

Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn warns that businesses are doing well but there's uncertainty going into the winter.

"Our businesses have bounced back better than expected but as we go into the winter months. I think everyone is a little nervous on what do the numbers look like and how do we make sure that people can come into our environment safely," she said.

The food industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.

"It was terrifying. Nobody was coming in, we thought we were doomed," Wilson's Sandwich Shop owner Doug Baker said. 

That's how Baker remembers the first week of quarantine. But the community rallied, especially around his drive-thru service. He would like to see the state revise its health orders to allow more customers indoors and provide funding to help businesses stay safe.

"If they could donate a little bit, a little bit of funds, a little bit of that tax money back to help up to put dividers or something up to get more people in," he said.

Baker noted businesses have adapted but they can't wait for the day when COVID is gone.

"It's going to be like another holiday. People are going to be coming out of the woodwork which will be awesome," Baker said. 

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