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What Will Factories Look Like in the Post-Pandemic Era?

May 1, 2020

Manufacturing will look strikingly different in the post-pandemic era, says a Purdue University expert in supply chain and manufacturing management.

“But we’re really bullish on the future of manufacturing,” said Ananth Iyer, senior associate dean in the Krannert School of Management and director of the Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises. 4/30/2020

OMA Urges Re-Opening of Economy; Governor’s Plan Coming Monday

April 24, 2020

The OMA and Ohio’s other major business groups this week urged the DeWine-Husted administration to begin re-opening the economy beginning on May 1. In a letter to the governor, the business groups pointed to “irreversible devastation and bankruptcies under prolonged ‘non-essential’ stay-at-home scenarios,” while highlighting the health-related consequences of long-term high unemployment.

The letter followed last Friday’s testimony by the OMA and the other primary business groups to the Ohio House 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force. The testimony outlined the business community’s concerns in the wake of the pandemic — including access to materials, business cash flow, employer liability, supply chains, and workplace safety.

Also this week, a coalition of state manufacturing associations — including the OMA — urged the governors of seven Midwestern states, including Ohio, to re-open “all of manufacturing and other essential businesses to protect our regional economy.” See the coalition’s letter.

Gov. DeWine has said he plans to unveil details about Ohio’s re-opening plan on Monday, April 27. 4/24/2020

Senator Portman Joins OMA Members for Special Briefing

April 24, 2020

On Tuesday, April 21, the OMA hosted an hour-long phone call with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who updated members on recent federal legislation and new programs in response to COVID-19. During the call, the senator heard from a panel of large and smaller manufacturers who conveyed industry concerns, including problems with supply chains, availability of protective equipment, and the varying definitions of “essential business” across the county.

Listen to the call. (It begins at the 4:25 mark.)

The senator noted several tax provisions that can help businesses with liquidity. OMA Connections Partners — including Plante Moran and GBQ Partners — have provided guidance on the recently enacted tax relief. The IRS also has a site detailing coronavirus tax relief for businesses. 4/21/2020

Rethinking U.S. Reliance on Chinese Manufacturing

April 24, 2020

“The COVID-19 pandemic has America rethinking its reliance on China for not only key medical supplies, but production capacity in general after Beijing clamped down on exports of critical items used to combat the disease,” according to a recent report by FOX Business.

The network interviewed Charles Freeman, senior vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber, who said that while a number of companies have already moved, or made efforts to move, there are others that have “huge sunk costs in the market” and are unable to relocate in “any reasonable time.”

To get companies to return, Freeman says, U.S. policymakers should “incentivize domestic production instead of penalizing output in markets like China.” 4/20/2020

Calls From D.C. Grow Louder: Boost America’s Industrial Base

April 24, 2020

More Congressional leaders are calling for investment in U.S. manufacturing as the COVID-19 emergency continues to expose the nation’s vulnerabilities.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, wrote this week that failed policy choices has left America’s manufacturing base diminished, adding: “There is a clear need for a sweeping pro-American industrial policy.”

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama), ranking member of the House Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, wrote a recent editorial saying it’s time to “move critical medical manufacturing back to America” by implementing “Buy America” requirements. 4/21/2020

Six Suggestions to Protect & Grow U.S. Manufacturing

April 24, 2020

In his editorial published by IndustryWeek, Keith Belton, director of the Manufacturing Policy Initiative (MPI) at Indiana University, advocates for U.S. investment in “manufacturing resilience” — to ensure America’s industrial base “can adjust in real time to emerging global threats by shifting the location of production while minimizing any loss in capacity or product quality.”

Read the editorial, which contains MPI’s six policy proposals to improve the competitiveness and resilience of U.S. manufacturing. 4/22/2020

Ford CEO: Future Cars Will Kill Viruses

April 24, 2020

Vehicles of the future will be built with surfaces designed to destroy viruses, CEO Jim Hackett said in a recent interview with Barron’s (subscription). Hackett said, “Surfaces will have to have micro structures that can’t hold viruses. These things are there. They’re nano-level structures that are in the fabrics. … You can’t feel them, but if you had a microscope, they’d look like you’re putting a virus on top of arrows. The virus can’t live. The surface punctures it, literally.” 4/20/2020

JobsOhio Aims to Fill Gaps Left by SBA Loans

April 24, 2020

JobsOhio, Peoples Bank and First Federal Bank/Home Savings Bank have announced a partnership to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

JobsOhio this week committed up to $50 million to assist the institutions with their lending support loans, which can be used to help businesses pay their payroll, rent, mortgages, fixed debt, utilities and other bills. For information on how to apply for this lending support, visit JobsOhio’s website. 4/23/2020

PPP Funding Replenished; What to Do Now

April 24, 2020

This week, Congress approved and President Trump will sign new funding legislation that does the following:

  • Authorizes another $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — the SBA’s forgivable loan. ($60 billion of this will be earmarked for smaller lending facilities to better reach businesses that are minority-owned and in rural areas).
  • Provides $10 billion for grants under the SBA’s Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and $50 billion for other emergency disaster loans and grants.
  • Provides $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for COVID-19 testing.

If your business plans to apply for the PPP or EIDL, OMA Connections Partner GBQ Partners has this information on what you need to do now.

 

If you need free business counseling on SBA programs, find local expertise here. 4/23/2020

Ohio’s Voting Deadline Nears; Here’s How to Get Your Absentee Ballot

April 17, 2020

The deadline to cast your vote in Ohio’s extended, almost exclusively mail-in primary election is nearly here. Votes will be counted Tuesday, April 28. Ohioans who haven’t yet cast a ballot need to apply for an absentee ballot soon. Voters have three options:

  1. Apply for an absentee ballot by printing an application form available online, or have one sent to you;
  2. Call your county elections board to request a ballot; or
  3. Make your own vote-by-mail ballot request.

Remember, if you voted early before the March 17 primary election was canceled, you do not need to do anything.

Requests must be received at the board by noon on Saturday, April 25. Completed ballots must be postmarked by April 27 or submitted directly to a county elections board by 7:30 p.m. April 28. 4/14/2020