2021 Press Releases

Regional Chamber Joins “Stop the Spread” Coalition

Feb 04, 2021
The Regional Chamber is joining other Ohio businesses and trade organizations that have raised their voices in support of a grassroots effort to mobilize Ohioans in helping to stop the spread of the virus. Led by the Ohio Business Roundtable (OBRT), employers announced the Coalition to Stop the Spread, an initiative that recognizes the risk COVID-19 poses to Ohio’s economy and the gains that have been made since the initial shutdowns of businesses and schools.
As COVID-19 claims precious lives and stretches the capacity of hospitals, the Regional Chamber is joining other Ohio businesses and trade organizations that have raised their voices in support of a grassroots effort to mobilize Ohioans in helping to stop the spread of the virus. Led by the Ohio Business Roundtable (OBRT), employers announced the Coalition to Stop the Spread, an initiative that recognizes the risk COVID-19 poses to Ohio’s economy and the gains that have been made since the initial shutdowns of businesses and schools. The answer, they say, is a corps of ambassadors from among Ohio’s more than 5 million employees to lead the charge at work, at home and in their communities.

“We are protecting our own employees, and we are committed to helping our thousands of members speak to their employees about the importance of practicing safe protocols, not just at work, but in family and other social settings,” the Regional Chamber’s Guy Coviello said.

The Stop the Spread Coalition’s mission fits nicely with the Regional Chamber’s EMERGE program, launched last year to help Valley businesses emerge from the COVID crisis. Hundreds of Valley businesses have received one-on-one assistance, personal protective equipment and regular updates through the EMERGE program.

The Ohio Business Roundtable has called on CEOs, associations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, not-for-profits and education institutions to join the effort by activating employees who are willing to lead with words and by example.

“This is not a choice between our health and a strong economy; the two are strongly connected,” said OBRT President and CEO Pat Tiberi. “This virus is threatening not only lives, but also small businesses, employment opportunities and the health and safety of Ohio’s workers. An Ohioan who contracts COVID-19 cannot go to work, provide for their families or support local businesses. We ask all Ohio employers to join us in this effort.”

The economic toll has been devastating, with many businesses closing and more unemployment claims filed by Ohioans last year than in the previous four years combined. Mental health professionals have noted the stress and strain put on families and individuals as many school buildings remain closed and large numbers of people work from home.

Recognizing the threat, more than 50 statewide associations, chambers of commerce and other organizations representing many thousands of Ohio businesses have joined the coalition and committed to ask their employees to model and encourage the following safety practices:

  • Wearing masks, not just where it is mandated in public, but when gathering with any small friend or family group beyond your immediate household;
  • Avoiding social gatherings such as game-day celebrations and dinner parties;
  • Reconsidering plans for compact, indoor gatherings over holidays.