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What would happen if Ohio had to close businesses again?

If Ohio got to the point where we had to close again, economists say it could close a lot of local businesses for good.
Credit: Amy Steigerwald

TOLEDO, Ohio — COVID-19 continues to present challenges for small businesses owners. Some Michigan bar owners are once again not allowed to serve customers indoors. 

Back in May, when Ohio was opening back up, Governor Mike DeWine wanted to make sure once everything opened it could stay open, in order to make sure business owners weren't in jeopardy.

"They can't operate at full capacity and make a full profit, so they may be just barely getting by. So if we have to shut down again oh my gosh that's going to be difficult," said Greg Arburn, an assistant economic and finance professor at the University of Findlay.

Local business owners had a lot to think about when it came time to open up. Many restaurants put up plastic barriers and had loads of hand sanitizer.

"They're making hand sanitizer available, a lot of them are doing paper menus or no touch menus," said Dr. Brian Kaminski, an emergency room doctor with ProMedica.

While medical experts say taking these types of precautions is good, it also costs money for business owners, putting them at a bigger setback. If Ohio got to the point where we had to close again, economists say it could close a lot of local businesses for good.

"It would be so devastating because we finally opened back up we figured out how to do it, so it would be very difficult," said Arburn.

Right now, Kaminski doesn't believe we're at a place where businesses would have to re-close, but it all depends. 

For this reason, medical experts continue to stress wearing a face mask in public and keeping distance, so Ohio is not put in the same situation as states like Florida and Texas.

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