More than half of the state’s restaurants and bars could be out of business soon, according to a survey by the Ohio Restaurant Association. Owners of those establishments say the restrictions put on them because of COVID-19 are hurting their businesses. And they fear it will get worse.
The Ohio Restaurant Association’s John Barker says 54% of restaurant and bar owners in the survey say they’ll likely close within the next nine months if the current business climate continues. Barker says if more than half of Ohio’s 23,000 restaurants and bars close, communities will suffer.
“That’s equivalent to 585,000 people who work within this industry in the state which makes it the second largest employer," Barker says.
Barker says they fear matters will get worse when the weather turns colder and outside patios are no longer an option. Barker says the situation worsens if college and pro sports don’t play this fall, which seems likely.