Dayton businesses look for stability in a time of unrest

An aerial shot of downtown Dayton and Fifth Third Field looking west from 2005. TY GREENLEES/STAFF

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An aerial shot of downtown Dayton and Fifth Third Field looking west from 2005. TY GREENLEES/STAFF

Businesses traditionally search for stability, and local business leaders said Thursday they need that more than ever after a violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol and in the midst of a global pandemic.

Business leaders are accustomed to vitriol in Washington D.C., but what happened Wednesday was different, said Natalie Dunlevey, president of National Processing Solutions, an Oakwood-based company that processes credit card transactions for a variety of local customers.

“Yesterday just sort of cracked the ceiling,” she said. “I don’t care what your opinion is of anybody. We cannot run a country like this. We cannot be at each other’s throats, period. We have to figure out a way to come together.”

She added: “There will be some things that I don’t like, there will be some things that you don’t like. But we’ve got to figure it out.”

Jeff Hoagland, president and chief executive of the Dayton Development Coalition was shocked and saddened by Wednesday’s violence.

“We need national leadership to continue guiding our country through this pandemic, and the peaceful transition of power ensures stability for those efforts,” said Hoagland, a former Air Force officer. “As an American, I know our nation is stronger when we work together, and I pray this dark day in our history renews our desire to unite as one nation. I often describe Dayton as resilient, but so is our country. I know our strength and perseverance will carry us into a brighter future.”

The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is focused on getting the region’s economy fully reopened, people back to work and continued relief for small business that have been devastated by Covid-19,” said Chris Kershner, president of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Dayton-area businesses are focused on operating their business, maintaining flexible business models and taking care of their employees,” Kershner said. “We need continued collaborative leadership in Washington D.C. around these common objectives.”

A statement from the National Association of Manufacturers arrived like a thunderclap Wednesday evening as the traditionally conservative organization called on Vice President Mike Pence to consider invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

“The outgoing president incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy,” said the statement from Jay Timmons, chief executive and president of NAM. “Anyone indulging conspiracy theories to raise campaign dollars is complicit. Vice President Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”

The 25th amendment created a constitutional path for naming a head of the federal administrative branch when the president is disabled or dead. It also formalized the traditional practice of having the vice president take over if the president dies or resigns.

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A spokesman for NAM declined Thursday to make Timmons available for an interview or to offer details on the statement.

Steve Staub, owner of Staub Manufacturing Solutions in Harrison Twp., had developed a positive relationship with the Trump administration over the years, hosting at least one local visit from the president when he was first running for office in 2016 and receiving an invitation to a state of the union address.

Staub on Thursday had a one-sentence reaction to NAM’s statement: “I do not support the statement released by the National Association of Manufacturers.”

A spokesman for the Ohio Manufacturers Association referred questions to a colleague who could not be reached.

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Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, visited Dayton in September 2016 when he attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Steve Staub, president of Staub Manufacturing Solutions and his sister, Sandy Keplinger, vice president of the company. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, visited Dayton in September 2016 when he attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Steve Staub, president of Staub Manufacturing Solutions and his sister, Sandy Keplinger, vice president of the company. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

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Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, visited Dayton in September 2016 when he attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Steve Staub, president of Staub Manufacturing Solutions and his sister, Sandy Keplinger, vice president of the company. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The Ohio Business Roundtable called for politicians to “put aside partisan alliances.”

“America is deeply divided, and yesterday’s events were a low point in our nation’s history,” the organization said in a statement Thursday. “We call on our leaders in government today to help our nation by beginning to work together to heal our country, and to represent their institutions in a manner worthy of this country and her people.”

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