How has COVID-19 impacted the city of Dayton?

Cover photo of the city of Dayton from Wikimedia Commons.

Matt Schubert 
Contributing Writer

Around 22 million Americans, or roughly 13.5 percent of the labor force, have filed for unemployment benefits since March 14 because of the closure of many restaurants and businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

At the state level, the data for unemployment in March for Ohio shows that 5.5 percent of the labor force is unemployed. Unemployment in the state increased by 1.4 percent from February to March and reflects early effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dayton is one city that has been hit particularly hard. For example, the Dayton Daily News reported in April that 129 employees were laid off or temporarily laid off at Sugar Creek, a food products manufacturer in the city. The University of Dayton is expected to lay off or furlough staff after April 30

The city of Dayton is one of the top 10 cities where the highest percentage of individuals will receive a COVID-19 stimulus benefit from the government, said Ben Geier, a retirement and investment expert in a report from SmartAsset.

“Dayton rounds out our top five. The median individual income in Dayton is $21,835, while the median family income is $46,729. There are approximately 60,000 households in the city, and we estimate 92.76% of them would receive the full benefit of this package, with 97.35% receiving a check at all,” Geier said.

Small businesses are also being impacted. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley has responded to this by promoting Support Dayton, an organization dedicated to helping local Dayton businesses. 

Support Dayton recognizes the hardships that small businesses are going through during this crisis, especially in light of the lack of business and loss of revenue from the cancelation of the NCAA tournament, according to its website.

The organization is asking individuals to donate to local businesses in order to keep them from failing while the crisis continues.

Other measures are being taken by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at the national level.

The SBA was offering up to $2 million to affected businesses in assistance through loans. The agency also was offering an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 to eligible businesses. This loan advance was offered to offset temporary loss of revenue and will not need to be paid back. 

But these programs were in heavy demand and are no longer accepting applications because they have run out of funds. Congress is working on a new deal that will offer more assistance to small businesses, according to the Washington Post last week.

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