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Unemployment numbers spike as salon owner helps her employees weather two weeks away

Posted at 8:19 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 23:21:02-04

GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio — Unemployment claims in Ohio have drastically increased in the last few days as Governor Mike DeWine has advised various types of businesses to close their doors or reduce services.

Over the weekend, the governor ordered restaurants and bars to close, or offer carry-out service only to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Wednesday, he announced barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, and all but 5 Ohio BMVs would also be closed for the same reason.

As workers in those industries try to figure out what to do next, they join a growing number of Ohioans turning to unemployment benefits to bridge the gap in wages.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services told News 5 it received 29,177 claims Tuesday, and 77,817 claims over the last three days. That’s compared to 5,430 claims the entire week before.

In Garrettsville, employees at the Facet Salon and Day Spa will be joining those claims once they serve their last client late Wednesday night.

“If we don’t bring people in, we don’t make money,” said salon manger Nicole Runewicz.

That’s why Facet Salon and Day Spa started calling clients with appointments for the next few days to try to fit them in Wednesday night. Facet owner Rachelle Yarnell said she was ready to keep the shop open until midnight if necessary.

Yarnell says she’s heard she might be allowed to reopen again on April 6, but like everything else with the coronavirus so far, that’s subject to change.

But two weeks away from the salon means Runewicz and her fellow employees have no choice but to file for unemployment.

“I’m going to have to go for it,” said Runewicz. “I have two kids at home, I’m going to have to take care of them and feed them.”

To help, Yarnell met with an accountant Wednesday so she can help.

“We’re going to go through that and give all the information to my teams to make sure they can pay their bills and get help and support,” said Yarnell.

It comes at a time when Yarnell says any small business is at risk.

She says she would have been able to plan for a two-week closure for something like a remodel, but she found out Wednesday afternoon that she’d have to close up for two weeks by the end of the work day.

“When you have no idea how long that will be, how can you predict if you will make it,” said Yarnell.

So, all that’s left is to fit in as many clients as possible Wednesday night and help her employees as best she can on Thursday.

“I cried last night,” said Yarnell. “I’m a pretty strong girl, but it’s sad.”

If you need to file an unemployment claim you can do that here.

You can see FAQ’s here.

You can find unemployment-related coronavirus Q&A here.

Ohioans without computer access need to call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB).

Ohio JFS unemployment hotline operation:

  • Normal Hours: Weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Extended hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays
  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays

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