COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Retail business owners are reacting to what Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had to say on Wednesday about possibly closing bars, restaurants, and fitness centers if the number of COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise.
Jason Dowell opened Fera, a Short North clothing boutique, in March. That same day, he was forced to close because the rate at which the coronavirus was spreading.
Dowell explained business was slow when he reopened and has since picked up. October has been his best month since the beginning of the pandemic. He hopes that stores like his will be allowed to stay open.
“This is our livelihood here as we’re trying to do everything we can to make sure we can pay our rent and actually support our families,” he said.
Jeremy Rike is a hair stylist who owns Loft Nine and says he’s confident that businesses like his will avoid being shut down.
“It’s not really a concern,” said Rike. “I could see it being a possibility, but I don’t think that that’s the main issue as far as spread goes.”
Rike noted that cleaning and sanitizing his equipment is a priority along with making sure he and his customers wear face masks. He hopes that everyone follows the health and safety guidelines and shutdowns in any industry can be avoided.
“The longer that people kind of break the rules, and things like that selfishly, it’s just going to hold us all back,” he said.
According to Gov. DeWine, the possibility of closures will be discussed next Thursday.