Betty Smith recently held an interview with Ed Newsome over video chat to discuss the plans that he and his associates have to respond to the guidelines that were recently stated by Governor Mike DeWine. Ed Newsome is the owner of Rapid Fired Pizza in Portsmouth, two Hothead Burrito locations, and also the owner of two Subways. Newsome’s restaurants are located in both Scioto and Pike County.
Newsome stated that his locations employ between fifty to sixty people, and all of them have been affected by the changes made by Governor DeWine. He is attempting to keep as many of those employees working as possible, with as many hours as he can give them.
The locations Newsome owns within Portsmouth deliver through DoorDash, but the rest of the County is not supported by DoorDash or any other delivery service, so there is currently no way for Newsome’s restaurants to deliver to those areas.
Newsome went on to explain that DoorDash itself has faced problems in the face of the Coronavirus, experiencing a lack of “dashers”, or delivery-people. In addition to employee shortages, DoorDash has also had some technical difficulties recently, which he said might be related to the increased demand for the service. Because of these challenges, the DoorDash deliveries have been lower than Newsome expected.
Newsome is also involved in the construction of the new hotel in Portsmouth, the Sleep Inn, and when asked if the Coronavirus had affected the construction schedule, he stated that the hotel was still on schedule. The plan is to open the hotel in the fall, and Newsome’s claim is that the construction is still on track to meet that goal.
In addition to his other projects, Ed Newsome also owns Newsome Auto Sales in Minford and was asked how the Coronavirus had affected his ability to sell cars. Under the directives given by Governor DeWine, the car sales will be shut down, but the car parts section will remain open, as it is considered an essential business.
Newsome was asked his opinion on the way that local officials had handled the Coronavirus pandemic up to this point. He seemed very supportive of the local, state, and federal government’s handling of the situation, especially the County Commissioners who he said had done very well handling the situation.
Mr. Newsome is the President of the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, and so the interview shifted to discuss the Chamber of Commerce. Newsome said that starting on Tuesday, March 24th, the employees of the Chamber of Commerce would be working from home, under the Governor’s directive.
One of the ways that the Chamber of Commerce is trying to help lessen the strain on small businesses in Portsmouth is by hosting weekly teleconferences in order to share information with their members. They will also be posting daily on their Facebook page with updates on the situation.
Ed Newsome’s interview helped to shed light on the various difficulties being placed on business owners in the wake of the Coronavirus, as well as the ways in which the Chamber of Commerce is attempting to lessen that pressure.