Greene County lawmakers meet with local business owners to discuss easing COVID restrictions

Local News

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – A crowd gathered at Wings Sports Bar and Grille in Beavercreek to call on lawmakers to ease restrictions for restaurants.

About two dozen people showed up to the rally to support their locally owned businesses as they met with Ohio state representative Rick Perales and Ohio state senator Bob Hackett.

“No, no this is on the governor and again he’s got a ton of stuff on his plate,” said District 73 Rep. Rick Perales. “But in a couple more weeks, some of these people are going to say I’ve had enough and can’t do it anymore.”

Doug Finkle, owner of Julia’s Nite Club in Dayton and event organizer says the guidelines in place to curb the spread of coronavirus are taking a toll on his business. The nightclub only opens on weekends and most of the business is during the late night hour. This means that the 10 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales has cost his club a lot of business, which impacts employees.

“I have employees here that are not working right now. I have other employees that are working less hours. They rely on this income to support their families, put a roof over their heads and they don’t have much money coming in,” said Finkle.

Finkle is hoping to make a statement with the rally and the meeting with the lawmakers about their concerns.

“I hope the group that we put together today and the amount of people that show up outside gives a message to the governor that there are a lot of people hurt by this and are being negatively affected. I know a lot of people who are going out of business and have gone out of business,” he said. “We’re doing our best to abide by the rules that are set forth but not being allowed to serve people past 10 o’ clock is really killer for us.

Patrons and local supporters rallied for the curfew to be lifted, saying businesses need to open back up.

“They’re afraid that people are going to lose their inhibitions and get closer to one another, trust me that can happen before 10 clock,” said Springboro Resident Paula Schmitz. “Let adults be adults and I think the outcome is still a work in progress but at least we have legislatures who are listening.”

Residents say they are demanding Governor DeWine to start listening and said Ohio’s businesses want to work.

“Governor DeWine is still getting paid, our friends that own a nightclub that it’s their livelihood they are not getting paid,” said Schmitz. “They don’t want a government handout, they want their business back open.”

The event was joined by Ohio Barhop, founded by Aaron Crater. Crater’s mission is to advocate for service industry professionals. He organizes similar events across the state. To contact Crater, email or call 614-290-7375.

“The lowest number I’ve seen reported is a 30-percent loss and one bar I visited last week is reporting a 95-percent loss of sales right now so it’s absolutely devastating the industry,” said Ohio Barhop Founder Aaron Crater. “People are getting laid off, less hours and making less money. Business owners are in jeopardy of losing their business right now.”

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