Member, Tim Opsitnick, Appointed to CyberOhio Advisory Board

Last year, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the launch of CyberOhio – a collection of cybersecurity initiatives aimed at helping Ohio’s businesses fight back against cyber-attacks.

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    COSE/GCP member, Tim Opsitnick, officially joined CyberOhio’s Advisory Board this week, a group composed of state industry experts and business leaders. The expert panel will provide guidance for Attorney General’s Office initiatives on cybersecurity.

    Mr. Opsitnick founded JURINNOV in 2000 and is at the forefront of practitioners addressing issues involved in the security and discovery of electronically stored information. The practice focuses on cybersecurity, data privacy, electronic discovery, and computer forensics.

    COSE Energy Program

    “I’m honored to be appointed to such a crucial initiative,” said Opsitnick. “Fighting back against this very real, constantly changing threat is critical and I’d like to thank Attorney General DeWine for allowing me to share my experience to help foster a stronger business environment here in Ohio.”

    CyberOhio’s mission is to provide the best legal, technical, and collaborative cybersecurity environment possible to help Ohio’s businesses thrive.

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    Next up: Michael Stanek appointed as the employer representative on medical marijuana advisory committee

    Michael Stanek appointed as the employer representative on medical marijuana advisory committee

    Governor John Kasich appointed Michael Stanek, vice president/CFO of Hunt Imaging in Berea and owner of Cleveland Cycle Tours, to a new panel that is being formed, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.  The role of the assignment is to represent employers’ views as regulatory proceedings on medical marijuana take place in Ohio.  Stanek also serves as a GCP board member and as COSE board chair.

    Governor John Kasich appointed Michael Stanek, vice president/CFO of Hunt Imaging in Berea and owner of Cleveland Cycle Tours, to a new panel that is being formed, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.  The role of the assignment is to represent employers’ views as regulatory proceedings on medical marijuana take place in Ohio.  Stanek also serves as a GCP board member and as COSE board chair.

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    Several months ago, Ohio elected officials pre-empted a campaign to place the legalization of medicinal marijuana on the ballot by approving legislation.  The legalization effort that was working to put their separate initiative – which was broader in scope – on the ballot discontinued operations.  The state legislation that passed technically made medical marijuana legal in Ohio on September 8, 2016.  However, the regulatory process that will set many of the rules still needs to be completed within two years; and, the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee may develop and submit recommendations to agencies related to the Medical Marijuana Control Program

    “I’m appreciative of the Governor’s trust in making this appointment,” said Stanek.  “Given the magnitude of the potential implications for business owners, their employees, and all Ohioans, I’m honored to serve employers in this role; I understand the importance and do not take this duty lightly.”

    COSE Energy Program

    GCP/COSE did not take a formal position on the medical marijuana legislation that is now Ohio law.  Our members instead sought to enhance employer rights and GCP/COSE worked to secure protections included in the legislation.  Those protections, for example, state employers can still establish and enforce drug testing, drug-free workplace, and zero-tolerance drug policies.

    In addition to this sole employer role, Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee membership will include members who represent:  pharmacists, physicians, local law enforcement. labor, mental health treatment; nurses, caregivers, patients, agriculture; the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction, and academic research.

    How should your business prepare for medical marijuana in Ohio?  Read more here.

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    Next up: Microbusiness definition included in Ohio Senate’s substitute budget bill

    Microbusiness definition included in Ohio Senate’s substitute budget bill

    There are a host of public policy issues that continue to be debated at the Ohio Statehouse leading up to a new two-year state budget deal that will need to be in place by the end of June including, but not limited to topics related to Medicaid funding, the opioid epidemic, and school funding.  As the Senate prepares to vote on a budget bill soon, Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) members have been vocal and supportive of the state’s current small business tax deduction on the first $250,000 of business income and additional legislation that could help provide the business community with the needed capital to grow via intrastate crowdfunding.

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    In addition, GCP formally supported House Bill 5, language that would ultimately land in the current state budget bill.  The language would create a statutory definition of microbusiness in Ohio.  The proposal defines microbusiness as an independently owned and operated for-profit business entity, including any affiliates, located in Ohio and has fewer than 20 full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees.

    The larger, long-term goal of encouraging and strengthening the smallest of small businesses and providing them with opportunities to prosper going forward is commendable.  While this Ohio initiative simply provides formal recognition of microbusinesses at this time, the GCP also recognizes this act is a first step.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss additional steps that can be reviewed and taken to address specific challenges for microbusinesses. 

    COSE Energy Program

    For a copy of our letter to leadership in the Ohio General Assembly on microbusinesses click here. 

    The Senate’s budget bill is scheduled to be on the Senate floor for a vote on June 21.  After that vote, a conference committee will be named and it will have until the end of the month to work through the differences between the House and Senate budget bills.


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    Next up: Mobile Technology: Trends and Business Opportunities

    Mobile Technology: Trends and Business Opportunities

    Mobile devices have changed the world in the last few years. Hardware like smart phones and tablets continue to show growing sales and applications for various platforms are exploding too. Hundreds of thousands of apps are on the market and more markets are opening aside from iTunes and Android. Enterprise adoption of these platforms continues to grow as well, along with related enterprise apps. 

    Mobile devices have changed the world in the last few years. Hardware like smart phones and tablets continue to show growing sales and applications for various platforms are exploding too. Hundreds of thousands of apps are on the market and more markets are opening aside from iTunes and Android. Enterprise adoption of these platforms continues to grow as well, along with related enterprise apps. 

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    But where is this market heading? What are current trends and where do they lead? And most importantly, how can your company capitalize? 

    Listen now.


    COSE Energy Program
    Next up: More on Small Business Tax Reforms in the State Budget

    More on Small Business Tax Reforms in the State Budget

    Small business owners may have been surprised to read an article in The Plain Dealer Tuesday morning titled “Many small businesses face one-year tax increase under Ohio budget bill”. While we believe the PD piece is factually correct, what may have been easy to miss is that the increase seems to be the result of a drafting error and it does not appear to be the intent of the legislature to raise taxes.  

    More on small business tax reforms in the state budget

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    Small business owners may have been surprised to read an article in The Plain Dealer Tuesday morning titled “Many small businesses face one-year tax increase under Ohio budget bill”. While we believe the PD piece is factually correct, what may have been easy to miss is that the increase seems to be the result of a drafting error and it does not appear to be the intent of the legislature to raise taxes. 

    COSE Energy Program

    The state budget that was signed by Governor Kasich on the evening of June 30th called for a flat 3% tax rate on business income above $250,000 – beginning in 2016. The problem is that for 2015, while there is a 75% business income deduction, the budget language applied a 3% flat tax to the remaining taxable income. Therefore, the 3% rate is currently in effect for all taxable business income not exempted.

    We believe this was an oversight in the drafting process of an almost 3,000 page state budget document. We do not believe the legislature or the Governor intended to raise taxes on small businesses this year. And, we are already expressing concern with leadership – on behalf of those that could be impacted – should the legislature choose not to address what many simply believe to have been an error. 

    The good news is that the legislature and Governor have through the end of the year to fix any errors because they can apply changes retroactively.

    Tax code is complicated. COSE acknowledges that “anomalies” can take place when changes are made. We urge the Ohio General Assembly and Governor Kasich to approve language that clarifies this issue so that small business owners don’t face an unexpected tax bill before they’re fully and permanently exempt from paying business income on their first $250,000 in 2016.


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    Next up: Most Anticipated Northeast Ohio Projects

    Most Anticipated Northeast Ohio Projects

    In light of all of the development happening in Northeast Ohio, Mind Your Business recently sat down with several COSE members and asked them to discuss what projects they have on their own personal wish lists and what development gaps might still exist.

    In light of all of the development happening in Northeast Ohio, Mind Your Business recently sat down with several COSE members and asked them to discuss what projects they have on their own personal wish lists and what development gaps might still exist.

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    As part of this discussion, we also asked our expert panel to list what their most anticipated projects are that are actually in the pipeline for the region. Their answers are below.

    Lakefront Development Project 

    COSE Energy Program

    Cost: $280 million

    Scope: Vibrant mixed-use neighborhood

    Includes: Apartments, office and retail space, parks and water access space

    University Circle City Center District Project

    Cost: $280 million

    Scope: Mixed-use neighborhood project

    Includes: Residential and housing units, street-level retail space, loft office space, and garage parking

    Opportunity Corridor 

    Cost: $331 million

    Scope: Three-mile boulevard connecting University Circle to East 55th Street, creating a 21st-century employment zone

    Includes: Mobility enhancements, economic resurgence, community re-investment

     

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