• Our latest local COVID-19 numbers: The current tally, as of 11 a.m. today, is 29 positive cases, but no further breakdown was supplied by the Ross County Health District. (Please note: The Ohio Department of Health reports 36 cases in Ross County, but local officials say seven of those reported cases are from outside our county.)
  • If you missed today's Facebook Live with Mayor Luke Feeney and Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library Director James Hill you can view it here.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine announced today that schools will remain closed to students for the remainder of the school year. The impact on business is clear: Child care and education burdens will be borne by families, which means that even as we return to work, some employees won't be able to do so.
Take our Return to Work survey
Currently, the indications are after May 1 Ohio will start the recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown. What that looks like is still a mystery, but it's time to assess the damage, and start the return to work.

But that's going to look differently for each business. At the Chamber, we're striving to provide the resources you need to make the moves toward the new normal. Do you need access to PPE, hand sanitizer and other things to start back up? Guidance on marketing your business?

Let us know what you need so we can start taking action for you!
If we don't fix PPP the right way, small businesses will simply miss out again
Are you outraged? Maybe you should be. Maybe not.
As mandated shutdowns hit them, small businesses were rightfully worried. The programs and systems designed to help small businesses navigate the massive impact of COVID-19 closures forced or voluntary have proven to be unwieldy and complicated.
Those same small business owners were anxious as they worked through the application process. The Paycheck Protection Program, approved by Congress through the CARES Act, ran out of money in 13 days, and many banks, fearing they wouldn’t be able to live up to promises to their most loyal local customers, halted their application processes. In short, PPP is a mess .
Then came word large chain restaurants and other large companies getting millions of dollars in payouts from the Paycheck Protection Program created through the CARES Act. Statistics show that 44% of the SBA loans were given to 4% of the loan requesters. Some banks prioritized large companies at the expense of small businesses.
Well, now they’re even more worried and anxious, and you can add hurt, angry, and fearful. They have every reason to feel that way.
But, fixing PPP begins with all of us. It’s time for all of our small businesses to tell Congress that they can’t repeat the same mistakes.
Currently, there are talks for a deal to replenish the PPP funds, and Congress could vote this week on that bill. But it doesn’t make any sense to put more money into a program that has the same problems. How can we make the program work for those who are intended to be its beneficiaries? Congress will have to create rules that prevent the same mistakes from being repeated. A group of 17,000 small businesses has a good outline of some standards that can prevent the same problem.

Last week, I signed the Chamber onto mass letters from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and The Center for Association Leadership, but also sent a letter to both of our Congressmen.
In a separate email, I also urged them to send letters of support to have associations such as the Chamber included in updates to PPP.

Send an email to your Congressmen and Senators to tell them you want an influx of cash to PPP, but only with rules that give incentive to small businesses under particular employment numbers. You can find your House representative here , and your Senator here .
*NEW* Information for small business owners
  • Tuesday, April 21 at 10 a.m. - Social Media Dos and Don'ts During Times of Crisis (EventBrite link)
  • Wednesday, April 22 at 9 a.m. - Jarvis Law Firm Zoom session on Navigating the COVID-19 Resources. (Facebook event)
  • Thursday, April 23 noon - Jarvis Law Firm session on How to Protect Your Business and Family (Facebook event)
  • Tuesday, April 28 at 2 p.m. - Leading the Charge in Uncertain Times (Eventbrite link)
  • Tuesday, April 28 at 2 p.m. - Strong Towns and Vibrant Community Partners on how communities can emerge from the pandemic stronger and better than before. (register here)
  • Wednesday, May 6 at 9 a.m. or noon - Grow with Google session: Manage Your Business Remotely in Times of Uncertainty (webinar link)
Click the video above for Quint Studer's message: How Businesses Cane Use the Downtime to Sharpen the Saw.
Miss one of these updates? Click here to catch up!
Coronavirus numbers, facts and figures
Links to information:

  • Looking for a job? The state has a job page on its Coronavirus page that helps connect those out of work with jobs.

  • The Ohio Channel YouTube page, where the Governor, Lt. Gov. and director of the Ohio Department of Health give regular updates at 2 p.m. on most days.

  • Governor's Stay at Home Order (Link)

  • The Chillicothe Ross Community Foundation's Coronavirus Fund needs donations, and can potentially help non-profits with some of the costs of helping the community cope with the impact of COVID-19 in the area.

  • The United Way of Ross County is awarding micro-grants to non-profits working to address community needs due to COVID-19's impact.
Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce | Email Mike Throne |