• The latest numbers for our county: The Ross County Health District announced today the following information: 41 positive cases (one death), 59% male and 41% female, and nine currently hospitalized. The age range is from 19 to 80 years. There have been 414 Ross County residents tested with 353 testing negative, and 20 awaiting test results. Twelve recovered cases are reported.
  • The advisory groups to help with the Responsible RestartOhio have been named. The Personal Services Group (salons, spas, nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy locations, and tanning facilities) and the Restaurants Advisory Group are listed. Your Chamber offered a list of a half-dozen names in both groups to be considered. While we're disappointed that no Ross County names were selected, we're excited at the progress that is being made to get these businesses up and running again.
  • Ohio BMV locations will physically open later in May, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced today. No specific date has been announced, but he said all locations are working on plans to hire workers and create plans to comply with safe work protocols as well as create a safe environment for visitors.
  • Just as a reminder: Directly from the Stay Safe Order issued last week: “Currently closed retail establishments and facilities, that will restrict their operations to curbside pickup, delivery or appointment-only (limited to 10 customers at any time) may reopen effective May 1 at 11:59 PM.” Which means boutiques, flower shops, jewelry stores etc. may like to be open prior to Mother’s Day. Although they cannot fully open until May 12, this provision allows them to permit customers in by appointment.
Despite slowdown, #GivingTuesdayNow can help provide those need with assistance
What is the Chamber doing?
Your Chamber has been busy getting ready to return to work, while still doing the work we need to do to keep you informed on the resources available, progress being made, and the community support needed to get us all through this time.

Here are parts of our plan:
  • We intend to re-open our office no later than Monday, May 8, but may open again this week if a deep clean of the building can be done earlier.
  • We'll be working under the new guidelines established in the Chamber's Safe Work Handbook, which is currently under review by the Ross County Health District.
  • We'll be staggering our shifts and some of us will work from home on certain days for a variety of reasons.
  • We will resume invoicing this week. We understand the current time, but we're also committed to continuing the work we do for our business community. In order to do that, we need to continue normal business including invoicing. BUT, as our letter says, if you aren't in a position to pay the invoice, call and let's talk.

If you have questions, send Mike Throne an email or call 740-702-2722.
What if an employee doesn't want to return to work?
As employers begin reopening their doors to a “new normal,” in compliance with the Responsible RestartOhio requirements, many employees are expected to return to their previous employment. Ohio law prohibits individuals from receiving unemployment benefits if they refuse to accept offers of suitable work, or quit work, without good cause. 
If businesses have employees who refuse to return to work or quit work, it’s important to let the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) know so an accurate eligibility determination can be made. To report these occurrences, please visit and click on “Return to Work Guidelines.” This will take you to a web page to report these employees for investigation by ODJFS. 

For reference, here are the updated BWC updated payroll reporting guidelines and the COVID19 FAQs from BWC.
Free webinars for small business owners
  • *NEW* Tuesday, May 5 at 2 p.m. - Recruiting in the COVID-19 time period. (register here)
  • *NEW* Wednesday, May 6 at 11 a.m. - SBA Loans: Forgiveness Updates, myths, and additional scrutiny (register here)
  • Wednesday, May 6 at noon - ThinkHR compliance seminar on layoffs, furloughs, and recalls (register here)
  • *NEW*Thursday, May 7 at noon - Maximizing Relief for the Restaurant Industry by GBQ (register here)

And, coming soon, we'll have information about a *FREE* Recovery Plan for Business and their Communities webinar with Quint Studer, planned for next week.
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.

  • *NEW* 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 |