DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – At Tuesday’s state briefing, state leaders announced new resources to help Ohio small businesses weather the storm. An emergency rule is allowing breweries like Warped Wing to sell beer to-go to walk-up customers. But staff has been laid off and production has been slashed, and the general manager says it will be difficult to survive if extreme measures last for months.
Erin O’Neill says, “Music would be going, people would be sitting here enjoying the weather, they’d be walking around downtown.” But nothing is the same at Dayton’s Warped Wing Brewing Company.
O’Neill is practicing social distancing as the brewery is trying to get by on carryout and delivery orders. They’re not alone. “I think it’s a mixed bag. I think some are able to make it, some are deciding that it doesn’t make sense for them and their business model.”
The chairs are up, servers and staff laid off, and the brewery has scaled down production. O’Neill says bills are still racking up, so customers are stepping up. “Throwing extra money in the tip jar, just trying to be helpful. I really think people are really understanding that everyone’s going to have to deal with the same issues.
Tuesday’s Ohio Liquor Control Commission emergency rule also allows for the sale of alcohol with a carryout meal. Governor Mike DeWine says it applies to drinks that are “pre-packaged, that cannot be opened until you get home, but two drinks per order.”
Lt. Governor Husted announced the state created a new office of small business relief to support Ohio’s more than 950,000 small businesses. “They’re going really be there to help people navigate the recovery fund component of this, regulatory issues, and other services.”
The website has been made more user friendly and more resources are available. Lt. Governor Husted says, “We listened to what small businesses are telling us, we listened to what people are saying. They’re having a hard time navigating. We hope that this new office will help with that.”
But gauging success right now is complicated. O’Neill says, “Yes. We’re doing the best we can. We’re doing pretty well and the public has been supportive.”
CLICK HERE: for the state’s resources for small businesses