Hillsdale Arts & Crafts Show

COLUMBUS -- Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA) partnered with eight regions across Ohio and the Center for Regional Development (CRD) at Bowling Green State University to uncover the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the creative sector.

Utilizing the regional economic, workforce, and community development expertise the CRD is renowned for, OCA announces the preliminary results and analysis of their "Creative Industries Economic Contribution Report."

Ohio's Creative Industry suffers from the highest unemployment rate among all state sectors. This report will help quantify, in comparison to 2019 - a year of growth for the industry, the exact toll that the pandemic has inflicted upon Ohio's artists, organizations, and anchor institutions.

Secondly, this information will serve as the platform from which the creative sector can advocate, presenting stark facts and figures that support the need for more robust relief funding and investment in a typically overlooked industry.

"This report confirms our members' assertions over the past 24 months. Ohio's creative businesses were hardest hit with forced closures, as our sector was closed longer than any other industry and will be the last industry in Ohio to recover fully," said Angela Meleca, Executive Director of OCA.

Key findings from the study show:

• Creative Industries are a critical economic driver in the State of Ohio. In 2019, creative industries supported over 329,000 jobs, $18 billion in payroll, and $55 billion in economic output.

• The COVID-19 pandemic had a severe negative impact on creative industries in Ohio. 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%).

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• The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected creative industries in Ohio. Specifically, decreases (as a percentage) in employment and economic output were four times as large compared to the overall Ohio economy.

• The decline in creative industry payroll was over seven times as large compared to the overall Ohio economy, suggesting programs such as the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) did not provide adequate support to employees in creative industries.

The CRD used the new multi-industry contribution analysis through IMPLAN to estimate the contribution of the creative industries in Ohio. This method provides the most accurate estimates of an industry's contribution by eliminating double counting between sectors of interest. Data in this analysis included: Employment, Labor Income (Payroll), Value Added (GDP), Economic Output, and Taxes at the city/municipal, county, special district, and state levels.

“Our findings suggest creative industries remain a critical driver of the state and regional economies of Ohio. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has a disproportionate impact on creative industries compared to all industries in Ohio due to the largely in-person nature of these industries” said Russell Mills, Ph.D., Senior Director of the Center of Regional Development at BGSU.

• In Employment, creative industries in Ohio saw a decline of -12.63%, compared to - 4.23% for all industries in Ohio.

• In Payroll, creative industries in Ohio saw a decline of -7.28%, compared to -0.16% for all industries in Ohio.

• In Value Added (GDP), creative industries in Ohio declined by - 13.62%, compared to -2.60% for all industries in Ohio.

• In Economic Output for creative industries in Ohio, there was a decline of -15.74%, compared to -4.34% for all industries in Ohio.

The above demonstrates the significant trend across the State. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the creative sector. It requires funding and investment from the State to begin its recovery and become the critical economic driver that it was before.

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