Coronavirus

Businesses Step Up: Funeral Services, Relaying Info

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Business Journal is asking companies and organizations to tell us how they are faring, what they are doing.

Monday morning, we sent a letter to the business community, asking readers to share their stories and what they’re doing to help others through this crisis. You can submit your own story at BusinessJournalDaily.com/submit-your-story

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.

Here’s the latest edition of what we’re hearing:

WYSU

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – “The spread of the coronavirus across the United States, the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and the WYSU service area, has created a very stressful environment for everyone,” says coordinator Ed Goist. “During these trying times, WYSU is dedicated to keeping its listeners fully informed by providing them with the trusted, in depth, and up-to-date information they need to know.”

The station broadcasts the Business Journal Service Buzz, a 60-second overview of local coronavirus services; the Business Journal Daily Buzz at 4:44 p.m. and 5:44 p.m.; the Mahoning Matters coronavirus update, which airs hourly; official Youngstown State University updates; and NPR programming including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Takeaway and top-of-the-hour news updates.

WYSU is also a part of the Emergency Alert System and a provider of the Youngstown Radio Reading Service.

“Moreover, to protect its listeners, members, staff, students, and volunteers,” Goist says, “WYSU is following the guidance of the CDC and has temporarily suspended all of the station’s in-person events, including its spring donor drive, its sponsored community events, and its listener appreciation events. When the time is right, the station looks forward to rescheduling all of these popular and important events.”

HD Davis/White Glove Payroll

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio – HD Davis CPAs and White Glove Payroll, a team of four is focusing all efforts on any business updates related to COVID-19.

“With the interest and needs of our clients as our No. 1 focus, our goal is to remain as educated and prepared as possible in the ever-changing scenarios regarding COVID-19,” says Marcy Angelo, director of client relations. “We’ve spent time creating presentations and webinars to educate our clients and the Mahoning Valley on items including, but not limited to, SBA loans, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Ohio and Pennsylvania unemployment and tax credits and deadlines.”

NEO3

CANFIELD, Ohio – Business software company NEO3 has been working remotely since March 17 and will continue to do so until at least April 6, says President Jim Rosenberg.

“When Gov. Dewine issued the stay at home measure, we were already ahead of it,” he says. “We continue to service all of our customer – the customers that are still able to operate – from our homes and will do so until we are past this disaster.”

ECMSI

STRUTHERS, Ohio – IT provider ECMSI has been working diligently to help clients get set up with same-day remote access, says marketing and communication specialist Lauren Butka.

“We’re working tirelessly to keep the community and our partners in constant communication with our team,” she continues. “We’re maintaining our adherence to our core values of empathy, communication, modesty, service and integrity at the forefront of our business operations.”

IT businesses have been deemed essential under Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order and as it continues to operate, ECMSI is following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control to keep workers and clients safe.

“We’re following all guidelines … while keeping our employees working in a diligent, appropriate and safe manner utilizing technology provided by Microsoft as an esteemed partner,” Butka says. “These tools are not only keeping our business functional but also encouraging employee engagement to reduce feelings of isolation.”

Lane Funeral Home

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Among the changes at Lane Family Funeral Homes in recent weeks have been making funeral arrangements via email, allowing directors to walk families through the process with meeting face-to-face.

“So far, families have been very willing to work with us in this fashion as it saves that contact at the funeral home,” says Dave Knarr, director of corporate assets. 

The funeral home, which operates eight sites throughout the Mahoning Valley, is also limiting services to 10 attendees or fewer, with larger services having “shifts” to allow everyone their time to grieve. Knarr notes that cemeteries are also limited to the governor’s order, so burial witnesses are limited to that number.

All chapels are disinfected after each service and larger chapels, such as the Austintown site, are subdivided to allow back-to-back services without having to use the same room consecutively without cleaning.

“Technology is being harnessed at every opportunity possible. From making arrangements over the phone to emailing documents to live streaming services on our Facebook page,” he says. 

Lane Funeral Home has also made changes for personnel, spreading staff over its eight sites. Funeral directors now work ten days on and five off, while administrative assistants are on a rolling paid administrative leave every third week.

“Social distancing is very foreign to funeral directors who do this line of work because they care about the people they serve,” Knarr says. “Not shaking hands and not hugging people seems so cold to all of us, but we’ve gotten used to it for the greater good of society during this time. With solid planning and compliance, we will get back to taking care of our client families as if they were our biological families very soon.”

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.