To the editor:
The Creative Industries are a critical economic driver in Ohio, having supported 329,000 jobs and contributed $55 billion in pre-pandemic economic output. However, this essential sector has been disproportionately impacted compared to other major industries. Between 2019 and 2020, creative industry employment declined by over 41,000 (-12.63%), while total creative industry economic output fell by over $8.6 billion (-15.74%). These decreases in employment and economic output were four times larger than the overall Ohio economy.
The pandemic caused a change in audience habits. Whether individuals are out of the routine of going out, dealing with cases of COVID, or struggling to afford event tickets, audience levels have not returned. This drag on revenue, coupled with rising production and labor costs, makes the creative sector’s road to recovery slower than most industries. While everyone is tired of talking about the pandemic two years later – the creative workforce never got the chance to return fully.
The longer it takes for Ohio’s creative industry to receive help, the longer it will take for them to recover, impacting Ohioans who reap the benefits of strong and healthy communities.
The remainder of 2022 is critical for the thousands who make up Ohio’s creative workforce. With audience hesitancy, production costs at an all-time high, labor constraints, and one-time funding relief in the rearview, FY ‘23 will leave many if not most creative businesses in a state proposed budget shortfalls. Ask anyone in this industry, and they will tell you that 2023 will be more challenging than 2022.
Please help Ohio creatives survive recovery by supporting much-needed relief funding.
On behalf of the thousands of Ohioans who depend on the creative industry for their livelihood, thank you!