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Region's Businesses Say They Are Ready To Get Back To Business

Businesses of all sizes are having to make adjustments because of the coronavirus outbreak. For some that means shuttered offices and employees working remotely. 

David Kirk is the president and CEO of DNK Architects. He participated in Wednesday's Hamilton County press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kirk said some of the firm's clients are continuing projects. But many larger ones are pulling back, waiting to see what happens to the economy after the pandemic. 

"We have to-date been able to keep all employees on payroll, but we don't know how long we're going to be able to do that," Kirk said."Because of the just general financial impact that causes to the business."

Kirk, in an email to WVXU, described his business as a "mid-sized firm." He would not say how many employees he has on the payroll

The firm is seeking funds from the Small Business Administration. Kirk said the firm has filed for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan and a funding from the Paycheck Protection Program. It's waiting on answers from both.

Kirk and other businesses across the region are anxious to reopen and get back to normal operations. But it's still unclear when that will happen. 

Jill Meyer is the president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. She said a task force is working on a re-start for the local economy.

"That's a group of about 20 CEOs across the region who have come together to say, we will get beyond this, we will begin now thinking about what follows, and we will prioritize how we can tee up that work and invest in that work to make sure we come back strongly," Meyer said. "And at the same time, we recognize that we have to find ways to help businesses get through this right now."

Besides CEOs, Meyer said the effort includes government leaders and representatives from social service agencies. She said there's lots of collaboration and "everybody has to be rowing together."

"And by organizing in that way, in a proactive manner as we have, we do feel confident that the tremendous momentum that we had just a month ago, we'll come back and it will come back because we, across the community are already strategically working on what that looks like and how to enable our businesses to get back to work," Meyer said.

Meyer says there are 126,000 small businesses in the region, and about 46,000 have been directly impacted by the pandemic. She said they need $250 million to keep them going.

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