Business Groups React to DeWine’s ‘Stay at Home’ Order

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – As the business community prepares to comply with Gov. Mike DeWine’s “stay at home” order that goes into effect Monday night, industry organizations say that the order allows enough room for critical functions to continue on during the coronavirus outbreak in the state.

“Throughout this process, Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. [Jon] Husted worked extensively with Ohio’s business community to ensure our members’ concerns were heard,” said Ohio Business Roundtable President and CEO Pat Tiberi in a statement, “properly taking into account the comprehensive supply chains that make up the essential industries that we all rely on during these unique and challenging times.” 

On the list of essential businesses that can remain open are businesses in the “manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries” like the health-care sector, food and beverage, energy and steel. 

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association praised the order, which can be read in full here, for its wide definition of essential businesses in the sector. 

“Ohio’s manufacturers are either making the products that will see us through this crisis or are part of the critical supply chain for those products. This supply chain is vital to those who make pharmaceuticals, medical devices, disinfectants, protective equipment, food products, and many more goods we need every day,” said managing director Jamie Karl in a statement. “Some states have mistakenly or inadvertently limited supply chains by crafting orders that were too restrictive, which created confusion and required subsequent revisions. Ohio is taking a more sensible route by ensuring that the production of final products, components, and all aspects of critical supply lines are not interrupted.”

The order also allows for essential government functions, such as those carried out by the courts and law enforcement to continue. Many courts, said Ohio State Bar Association CEO Mary Augsburger, have already limited in-person contact in compliance with standard safety practices.

Ohio courts are still operating in order to address emergency and time-sensitive legal matters and to ensure constitutional rights are protected. To each of those efforts, lawyers are integral and indeed essential,” she said in a statement. “Additionally, our lawyers are actively working with Ohioans amid the COVID-19 outbreak, helping to navigate pending and evolving legal issues related to their health, personal safety and housing. They are also advising Ohio businesses who have shut down or limited operations to ensure they can be on the best footing to get back up and running once the crisis has passed, for the sake of their employees and Ohio’s economy.”

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.