Ben Heal: "It's unbelievable to me how small businesses have been affected by this. We're the ones who have been protecting clients and keeping our businesses clean the entire time."
Jerry Kenney / WYSO

Ohio gyms, fitness and athletic centers have been open for a little over a month now, after being ordered closed by state officials concerned about COVID-19.

When state officials allowed gyms and fitness facilities to reopen on May 26, they issued several requirements on sanitization and social distancing.

Ben Heal, owner of Frequency Fitness in Kettering, says those in his industry have always operated under those guidelines.

“We keep things clean and we can provide you with a safe environment to work out," he says.

Summertime is prime time for amusement parks, zoos and other venues. But the months of shutdown and the limits on operations – plus safety concerns from consumers – are all having a big impact on communities that rely on tourism dollars.

Miami Valley Hospital.
Joshua Chenault / WYSO

Since the start of the pandemic, Ohio’s hospitals have seen their normal busy patient volumes evaporate. Nonessential procedures were banned, supplies were scarce, and fear of contagion was everywhere. But now health care leaders in the Miami Valley want people to start going back to the doctor. And it’s not only about keeping people healthy. WYSO’s Jason Saul reports.

Beavercreek, the morning after the tornados.
City of Beavercreek Facebook page

It was a year ago today that 19 tornadoes tore through communities across Ohio. In Beavercreek, many business owners woke up to damage from tornadoes that hit overnight, destroying offices and shops around North Fairfield Road near The Mall at Fairfield Commons.

A year later, some businesses are still fighting to survive.

Gov. Mike DeWine changed his initial mask mandate as a condition of businesses reopening, instead requiring masks for employees but not for customers. But while mask wearing has become something of a partisan symbol, DeWine said it shouldn’t be.

Kroger ended the so-called "hero pay" to workers as scheduled this weekend, but has now decided to give them a one-time bonus for working during the pandemic.

It was a big weekend for the bars and restaurants that reopened outdoor patios. Many chose not to open, and most of those that did observed social distancing. But pictures of some that didn’t were widely circulated on social media.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted on Thursday announced a slew of openings for various industries that have been closed for nearly two months during the coronavirus pandemic.

Massage businesses, tattoo parlors and body art shops will be allowed to reopen in Ohio on May 15, along with hair salons and barbershops.

Thousands of restaurant and nightlife workers are struggling amid the pandemic, and many are still waiting for state and federal financial assistance checks.
Ohio Restaurant Association

As the state prepares to reopen restaurants, some bars and retail establishments, some business owners are wondering what the future holds. Small businesses that rely on foot traffic are especially hard-hit in the coronavirus non-essential businesses shutdown.

To survive, many have experimented with new business models. Now, some Dayton entrepreneurs say they hope their customers will feel safe enough to return when their doors finally reopen.

Gov. Mike DeWine is allowing retail stores to reopen May 12.