Businesses Step Up: Education at Home and Mental Health

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – How is your company or organization coping with the state’s “stay-at-home” order? How are your friends and family dealing with the quasi-quarantine? 

Monday morning, The Business Journal sent a letter to the business community, asking readers to share how they’re adjusting and what they’re doing to help others through this crisis.

What we’ve received are business notices as well as stories of inspiration, neighbors helping neighbors and perseverance. 

In the days ahead, we’ll share more from our readers on how they’re getting through an unprecedented time that has affected all businesses and all walks of life. You can submit your own story at BusinessJournalDaily.com/submit-your-story

Oh Wow! 

YOUGNSTOWN, Ohio – As children stay home from school during the coronavirus outbreak, Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology has updated its website, OhWowKids.org, and begun distributing STEM Saks, available for pickup at the downtown museum.

The kits include activities for families to do at home, says Executive Director Suzanne Barbati. Since March 17, the museum has distributed 315 STEM Saks and plans to distribute 200 more per week through Neighborhood Ministries. 

The website, which contains directions for STEM-based activities and educational resources, has seen its traffic increase to 9,200 visitors, up from 7,100 prior to the outbreak. Its TikTok account, which previously had zero views, have now increased to 1,121 as the museum looks to find new ways to teach kids about the STEM fields.

Moondance Boutique

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Prior to Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order issued Sunday, Moondance Boutique had been offering drive-thru pick-ups, with clothes delivered on a disinfected rolling rack. 

Since the order, owner Peggy Christy has moved her business entirely online and is offering shipping at a reduced rate.

“We are striving to keep our customers safe. We know this will end at some point,” she says. “Now is the best time for them to shop from home and support their local shopkeepers. Moondance is offering phenomenal price cuts in order to make ends meet.”

Small Business Accounting LLC

BOARDMAN, Ohio – “Although it’s the height of tax season. I have notified all of my clients that they can drop off their tax documents at a secure location but I will not be taking any appointments to meet with them,” says owner Nicholas Moga. “All contact will be through telephone or email until we are all safe.”

He adds that the postponement of the federal filing deadline to July 15 has not slowed business.

“Most people want to get it filed so they can get some kind of refund, especially now with the loss of jobs and people having to stay home,” he says. “They’re more worried than ever about their income and paying bills.They want to get these returns filed.”

Howard Hanna

POLAND, Ohio – “In these times of daily change, Howard Hanna has created a safe, supportive and remote work environment for all of our agents and employee,” says sales manager Rebekah Rouser. 

“As a company we are continuing to educate and update our agents through online weekly meetings,” she continues. “Virtual open houses and showings are being used and encouraged. The company has created our own community forum to help us all stay in constant communication with one another and also to share positive and uplifting stories.”

Churchill Counseling Services

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – “Churchill Counseling Services, with two locations in the Mahoning Valley, will continue to offer counseling and medication management services to its clients via online counseling, also called telehealth,” says CEO Toni DiMargio.

“Current clients will be contacted by phone or email at the time of their regularly scheduled appointment. Anyone interested in obtaining services may call our office or email us,” she says. “Office staff will be working limited hours in the office to answer phone calls, and they will also be working from home. We expect this to continue until Ohio’s governor lifts the stay-at-home order sometime in April.”

 Poland Veterinary Centre

POLAND, Ohio – Beginning March 16, Poland Veterinary Centre began implementing safety measures to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, including curbside service with pets brought into the office while owners wait in their cars.

“We are also offering the option of dropping off the pet for treatment, with detailed phone communication with the doctors,” says Dr. John W. Daugherty. “We have instituted a telemedicine service via Skype. If the patient can be evaluated properly and medication can be prescribed, we can provide service while pet owners do not have to leave their homes, which helps to protect everyone. If it is determined that the pet needs to be seen, the fee for the telemedicine consultation is credited toward the subsequent exam.”

The veterinary practice has also suspended all elective surgeries in an effort to save personal protective equipment for human medical facilities.

“All of this feels very strange to us, as we enjoy interacting with our pet-owning clients, but during this time of increased risk of developing COVID-19, we have instituted these steps to keep all of us safe, and still provide the needed medical care for our patients,” he says.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.