Local, national economy will take ‘huge hit’ due to closures, officials say

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As some businesses work to help their employees now out of work due to state restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19, experts say the local and national economy will be hit hard and face some lasting damage.

Some local businesses are now trying to help their employees who are out of work.

“We didn’t really know what to expect, but we’ve had a lot of great community response, just support locally,” said Brad Hull, manager at Jimmie’s Ladder 11 on Brown Street.

All tips from carryout orders are being donated to the restaurant’s employees, most of whom are now out of work, Hull said.

In two days, they’ve raised more than $1,000, he added.

“Amongst our 50 employees, that’s $20 a person, but hopefully that does a little something for everybody to make a difference,” Hull said.

Near the restaurant, the University of Dayton Arena was supposed to be packed for the first night of the First Four, an event that generates $4.5 million for the local economy each year, according to Holly Allen, director of marketing and communications for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Now, the arena’s parking lot serves as a COVID-19 testing site.

The economy will take a “huge hit” at both the local and national levels, Allen said.

“Right now, immediately, we’re seeing restaurants, retail, hospitality,” she explained. “Those are the businesses at the front lines, but then you think about the ripple effect this is going to have.”

The chamber recently sent out a survey to its member businesses to find out what changes they’re making due to COVID-19 and their biggest needs, Allen said.

“We’re in contact with the SBA every day as they try to work through opening up the loan application process, and then as the chamber of commerce, what we can do is expedite those loan decisions,” she said.

For now, Allen and others are encouraging people to support local businesses when they can.

“I’m just fortunate that I have a job and be able to keep working for this establishment,” Hull said. “We look forward to hopefully getting everyone back as soon as possible once this passes.”

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce hasn’t made any projections yet about the economic consequences of the closures and COVID-19, Allen said.

Allen encourages affected businesses to contact their insurance providers and lenders to see if there’s anything they can do to help.

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