Dispatch: Bars and restaurants have closed across Ohio during COVID pandemic, but how many?

UC economics professor Michael Jones weighs in on extent of COVID-19's business impact on Ohio

Everyone knows that the coronavirus pandemic has been disastrous for eateries and bars throughout Ohio. The questions that remains unanswered: Is the worst yet to come? 

According to a recent story in The Columbus Dispatch, "Bars and restaurants have closed across Ohio during COVID pandemic, but how many?" at least one in six restaurants have closed nationwide this year, and surveys from the Ohio Restaurant Association suggest that Ohio has lost a similar proportion — about 4,000 of its more than 23,000 restaurants. 

To gain insight into the effect of the crisis on the state's restaurant businesses, reporter Patrick Cooley turned to Michael Jones, executive director of the Kautz-Uible Economics Institute in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. 

Jones, who is also an assistant professor of economics at the University of Cincinnati, told Cooley that data points, such as job losses and consumer spending, also hint at business closures.

“We know that at the height of the crisis the restaurant industry lost about half their employees,” Jones said.