News and Analysis
On Wednesday, April 1, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the creation of the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19 — a public-private partnership that aims to help meet the urgent need for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used by health care workers and first responders.
The OMA is a lead partner in the effort, along with the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (and its partner organization MAGNET), the Ohio Hospital Association, JobsOhio, the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA), the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).
To date, nearly 700 communications have been received from manufacturers and individuals who want to help. Manufacturers who have the potential to produce PPE are urged to visit RepurposingProject.com, review the list of in-demand products, and fill out the online response form if they can help. 4/1/2020
Following yesterday’s action by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton to extend the state’s “stay-at-home” order through Friday, May 1, the OMA’s legal counsel, Bricker & Eckler, produced this analysis. Overall, the order’s definition of “essential businesses and operations” is almost identical to the current order — meaning a manufacturer operating under the current order may continue operating under the new order, which takes effect Monday evening, April 6. 4/2/2020
In recent weeks, the OMA has devoted much of its social media activity to sharing positive stories about Ohio manufacturers who are helping their communities through donations, or pivoting to manufacture products to fight COVID-19. We’ve shared these stories on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. If you have a story featuring your company that you’d like us to share, let us know. 4/1/2020
On Thursday, April 2, Gov. DeWine announced the creation of an economic advisory board, which will be led by RPM International Chairman and CEO Frank Sullivan. The board, which will aid the administration in its efforts to expedite Ohio’s recovery, also includes:
- Patrick Bowe, President and CEO, The Andersons, Inc.;
- Mike Hennigan, President and CEO, Marathon Petroleum;
- Dan Pritchard, President and CEO, A.J. Rose Manufacturing Company;
- Mark Smucker, President and CEO, The J.M. Smucker Company; and
- David Taylor, Chairman, President and CEO, Procter and Gamble.
See the governor’s press release for the full list of board members. 4/2/2020
As the COVID-19 emergency continues, employers, employees and their families are experiencing immense uncertainty. Employees are looking for guidance. OMA Connections Partner OneSource Advisors says employers can help calm employees’ fears by taking these actions:
- Acknowledge employee fears surrounding their jobs and the company, but also reassure them of their value to the company and the company’s desire to keep them as members of the team.
- Be open with employees about management decisions and ask for suggestions to rectify problems.
- Provide as much information as possible about the pandemic.
- Highlight employee benefits that employees might not know about to relieve any financial stress.
- Encourage employees to take advantage of any telemental health services to preserve their mental well-being.
- Communicate the future of the business with employees often — in meetings, on the company intranet site, in newsletters and in blogs.
- Be empathetic in your communications, as every employee’s situation is different.
In uncertain times, it’s imperative to clearly communicate your business’s plans as frequently as possible. 4/1/2020
With more employees working from home — including many manufacturers’ administrative staff — cyber-attacks are disrupting businesses. OMA Connections Partner Roetzel has put together this list of best practices to follow while working remotely. 4/1/2020
Churches, schools, libraries and theaters closed. No public weddings or funerals. Loitering in restaurants or taverns is prohibited. Those orders aren’t from 2020, but from Cleveland during the influenza pandemic of 1918-19. The Lexington (Ky.) Herald Leader recently published a story examining the similarities between today’s pandemic and the one that struck a century ago.
Case Western Reserve University research says the 1918-19 flu killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The estimated death toll for the U.S. was 675,000, and more than 4,400 in Cleveland. 3/31/2020
This week, the Ohio General Assembly approved sweeping legislation (House Bill 197) in response to the coronavirus outbreak. There were no votes against the bill. Gov. DeWine said he will sign the bill today, March 27.
- Aligning the state tax filing deadline with the delayed federal deadline;
- Extending the dates for estimated payments;
- Waiving interest on tax filings; and
- Extending the “20-day rule” for municipal tax withholding for employees who are now working from home.
The bill also expands eligibility for unemployment compensation and extends the mail-in ballot period for the primary election. For a more complete overview, see the summary by OMA legal counsel Bricker and Eckler.
Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) said approval of the COVID-19 package will likely be the final legislative action for the near future. 3/27/2020
Speaker Larry Householder, Senate President Larry Obhof, and Gov. Mike DeWine have announced that the State of the State Address, which had been set for next week, will be postponed. The three leaders vowed to hold the address after the COVID-19 emergency passes. 3/27/2020
Speaker Householder has announced he will be creating a bipartisan task force to prepare the state to return to work after the coronavirus emergency subsides. Hannah News Service quoted Householder as saying that while the focus now is on keeping Ohioans safe, state leaders must also begin to focus on tomorrow. “How we transition and restart Ohio’s economic engine is critical,” he said.
Details of the task force will be forthcoming, the speaker said. 3/26/2020