COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine won’t be holding any planned 2 p.m. news conferences from the Ohio Statehouse this weekend but he will be busy meeting with state leaders and representatives of the health and business community to come up with a plan to re-open a portion of the Ohio economy come May 1.
DeWine often uses the analogy of a light switch and while the economy may have been switched off a month ago, when it comes to restoring power to state commerce they’ll be using a dimmer, slowly and gradually restoring power.
“This is not going to be a walkout and open the door and we’re all back to where we were,” DeWine said Friday. “Because we can’t go back to where we were, we can’t go back to where we were until this monster leaves our state.”
While Ohio is partnering with six other Midwestern states, DeWine stressed the state’s plan will be one written by Ohioans for Ohioans.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton stressed the plan will offer a phased-in approach.
“I do hope that no one at home thinks it's wide open May 1, going back to life as normal,” Acton said. “It’s really hard to hear that but we are not going back to six months ago. That’s not the reality we all face.”
Governor DeWine acknowledged their are plenty of businesses that were not deemed essential but have the capacity to re-open safely and they should be given the opportunity.
This comes as Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose Friday announced 13,399 new businesses filed in March, an increase of more than 2,000 compared to February, and similar to numbers from March of 2019.
“We expected that we would see a large drop off in new business formation and actually that's not bearing out to be true,” LaRose said. “What we're seeing is that Ohio's entrepreneurs are resilient and creative and people are starting new businesses and finding creative ways to deliver services and to do business in Ohio and we're actually seeing a decent number of new business formations continue to occur.”