The Columbus Dispatch

We were tested in the past week.

The newsroom staff learned a new computer system for the third time in five years. That came a few weeks after we moved into a new email system. And then a new website.

At the same time staff members were doing hours of training for all of the new systems, they also were doing their best to keep their eyes on the ball by covering their assignments to bring you the news.

No one is complaining too loudly. Change is a fact of life in virtually every business, but even in a business as full of change as this one, it’s rare that so many changes come all at once. I commend these dedicated journalists for their diligence and dedication to working through challenges to bring you the news.

Thank you for your patience as we move quickly to master

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COLUMBUS Columbus is more dependent on municipal income taxes than any of Ohio’s six largest cities, revenue now threatened by a coronavirus-created, work-from-home movement that many experts say may reshape workplaces permanently.

Columbus leads Ohio’s “Big 6” cities — which also include Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, Dayton and Toledo — in the percentage of “own-source” revenue that comes from city income tax at 88%, according to a new study from the Greater Ohio Policy Center.

Own-source funds are those taxes cities have sole jurisdiction over to set rates for and collect, such as income taxes, and exclude state and federal grants, and fees for services.

“This is an issue that is not going to go away,” said Alison Goebel, executive director of the Greater Ohio Policy Center, a non-partisan nonprofit that advocates for the revitalization of Ohio communities, particularly struggling rust-belt cities.

An emergency law passed last spring has put on

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Ohio added 45,500 jobs in August, well below the number of jobs restored to the economy earlier in the summer.

More than 45,000 jobs were added in Ohio in August, according to a report Friday that suggests the state’s economic recovery has slowed considerably since early summer.

Despite the job gains, the state’s unemployment rate stood at 8.9% in August, nearly identical to July’s 9% rate and slightly above the U.S. rate of 8.4%, according to the monthly report from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

A separate survey found that 510,000 Ohioans remained without jobs in August the same as in July.

In August, 45,500 Ohio jobs were restored, below the 63,000 jobs added in July and well below the 213,000 workers called back in June.

Jobs were added in health care, transportation, professional services, and even in the battered leisure and hospitality industries.

But the gains

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AKRON – Ohio’s treasurer wants the state to set aside $100 million in federal pandemic relief funds to provide grants to struggling small businesses hurt by the coronavirus.

The program needs to go through the General Assembly first, get approval by the DeWine administration and then be administered.

And the clock is ticking: The money, which would come from federal aid already given to the state, must be allocated and spent by Dec. 31.

Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague came to Akron on Thursday to talk about the proposal. The Ohio Business Roundtable, Ohio Restaurant Association, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and others support its creation, he said.

Small businesses across Ohio have been impacted the most by the pandemic, Sprague said.

“As we’ve seen throughout the country, and here in Akron and throughout the state of Ohio, small businesses have been tremendously adversely impacted, whether you are talking about retail, restaurants,

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Seven months of shopping from home has led to a surge in central Ohio warehouse construction, putting the region on track for a record amount of new distribution space.

Central Ohio is on track for a record amount of new warehouse space this year, driven in part by a surge of consumers shopping from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the first half of the year, 5.8 million square feet of new industrial space opened in central Ohio and another 8.8 million square feet is under construction, according to the commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

Together, that’s the equivalent of 80 new Walmart stores or 21 new Nationwide Arenas.

Depending on how many of the warehouses open in the next few months, central Ohio is likely to see a record amount of new warehouse space for the year, said Jason Tolliver, the head of industrial research for Cushman

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Support, praise and new customers pour in for the Columbus teen who shook off the drudgery of a pandemic spring and summer with an in-home sneaker-restoration business.

Next on the to-do list for Antonio Davis, a Columbus teen who overcame his pandemic-shutdown boredom by creating a business, is learning how to ship packages.

“I gotta figure out the best way to mail stuff in and out, because now there are customers out-of-state,” Antonio said Friday.

He and his family say they have been swamped with attention and inquiries since The Dispatch wrote about the 15-year-old’s fledgling sneaker-restoration business on Monday.

“I don’t do social media, but I was being bombarded,” Misha McNeil, Antonio’s mom, said with a laugh. “People were sending me messages saying, ‘Look. This is your son, and he’s trending.’”

The East Side family heard not only from friends and would-be customers but also current and former teachers,

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On Tuesday, Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which oversees utilities such as FirstEnergy, to audit the Akron-based company.

A federal investigation alleges an energy company, believed to be FirstEnergy and its affiliates, spent nearly $61 million to secure a $1.3 billion bailout for two northern Ohio nuclear plants.

But whose money paid for the scheme?

The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, a ratepayer watchdog, wants to make sure utility customers didn’t foot the bill.

On Tuesday, Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Bruce Weston asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, which oversees utilities such as FirstEnergy, to audit the Akron-based company.

The counsel wants the PUCO to dig into several topics:

Did FirstEnergy and its affiliated companies use money collected from consumers to help pass and defend House Bill 6, the law which subsidizes nuclear energy?
Did FirstEnergy and its affiliated companies use money from a specific

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Craft beer festivals provide small brewers with a unique marketing opportunity. With most of those festivals canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, brewers now wonder how they’ll get their name out.

Zaftig Brewing Company sees a noticeable sales bump in the weeks following a beer festival, owner Jim Gokenbach said. People who discovered Zaftig at the gatherings come to the brewery’s Worthington taproom to see what else it has to offer.

Zaftig won’t see those bumps this year, as nearly every central Ohio outdoor festival, including those intended to showcase the region’s craft beer, have been canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brewers said they mostly break even at festivals but gain an invaluable marketing opportunity, especially for small operators who don’t distribute their beer widely.

Around 85% of Lineage Brewing’s business comes from its taproom, said Michael Bryne, who co-owns the Clintonville brewery.

“Without the

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The former OSU star linebacker Chris Spielman has partnered in a new CBD store in Granville.

GRANVILLE — All it took for Rick Bauer to know what he wanted to do in retirement was seeing the improvement in an aging dog with arthritis and interest from former Ohio State and NFL star Chris Spielman.

Bauer, retired after 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry, opened CBD Health Collection on Thursday in downtown Granville, at 136 North Prospect St. Joining Bauer in the retail business and online distributor of CBD-infused products are his son, Jon Bauer, and his daughter, Ashley Bauer Marienau.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an essential component of medical marijuana, derived directly from the hemp plant. By itself, it does not cause a “high” and has been credited with easing pain.

More than a year ago, Bauer saw the impact of CBD on his son’s dog, a female pit

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Downtown businesses need help to stay afloat after coronavirus and protests, according to a recent survey

More than half of Downtown businesses are worried about staying afloat, according to a new survey that illustrates the depths that the coronavirus and protests have had on the heart of Columbus.

According to the survey, 58% of Downtown business respondents that are first-floor tenants said they were worried about staying in business.

Those first-floor businesses, including restaurants, said they sustained $941,000 in damages from protests over the death of George Floyd in May, followed by $2.1 million in lost business.

In addition, Downtown hotels reported $80,000 in damages and $595,500 in lost business, while property managers reported $1.8 million in damages.

An earlier survey in June found that 250 Downtown businesses suffered some sort of damage during the May 28-30 protests, said Marc Conte, executive director of the Capital Crossroads and Discovery special

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