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Job losses continue to mount in Butler County: Where they’re happening

The number of layoffs amid coronavirus continues to climb with the majority of them due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus

The latest announcement came this week, when Great Lakes Specialty Finance said it was closing Butler County check cashing and payday loan business Check ‘n Go location at 6625B Dixie Highway in Fairfield.

“The decision to close these stores results from a combination of the coronavirus pandemic, a significant reduction in foot traffic to the stores, and legislative changes affecting the company’s business,” the company said in the letter to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Dislocated Worker Unit. “The unforeseeable business circumstances and the coronavirus natural disaster contributed to these rapid business decisions.”

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The result of the closure will be the loss of two customer service support positions, according to the notice, which was received May 1. The company said it informed employees of the layoffs on April 21. Affected employees will continue employment until June 5.

Ohio follows federal requirements under the Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires employers to provide written notice to the ODJFS at least 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and mass layoffs.

The largest layoff to occur in the past month-and-a-half since COVID-19 restrictions started in Ohio was in April at Deceuninck North America in Monroe, which furloughed 233 employees due to the pandemic. Officials from the Monroe business told Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that 125 of the layoffs will be only temporary “as we expect them to return when normal business resumes,” while 108 will be permanent.

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Other layoffs were announced via WARN notices were at Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern in Liberty Twp. (not specified), Prestige Maintenance/JC Penney in Fairfield Twp. (not specified), Driven Brands Shared Services in Liberty Twp. (4), Scholastic Book Fairs in West Chester Twp. (142), Bonefish Grill in West Chester (44).

Layoffs not announced by WARN notice amounted to 273 and included TSC in West Chester (48), MB Manufacturing Corp. in Fairfield (123), M. Bohlke Veneer in Fairfield (85), MB Transport in Fairfield (2) and Martin Brower in Fairfield (15).

WARN notices paint only part of the picture for Butler County job losses.

“If you just look at the past two months — February and March — the increase in unemployment claims rose over 2,808%,” said Melissa O’Brien, business services manager at OhioMeansJobs-Butler County. “Most of those claims were temporary or furloughed employees. If you compare that to 2019 there was just a 2.84% decrease in unemployment claims during that same time.”

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