2020-2021 State Operating Budget Bill Introduced

The bill text of Governor DeWine’s Executive budget is now available, as State budget talks are ongoing. On March 25, the Ohio House of Representatives introduced House Bill 166 (HB166), which creates a State operating budget for FY 2020-2021. The proposed budget appropriates total spending of $69.56 billion in FY 2020, an increase of 4.1% from the current budget, and $71.29 billion in FY 2021, or a 2.5% increase.

GCP’s Government Advocacy team has spent the last several weeks doing a deeper dive on the key provisions in the Governor’s budget that relate to our Public Policy Agenda.

Read a comparative summary of the Executive Budget and GCP’s public policy priorities. 

HB 166 contains several provisions that align with GCP’s priorities, including

  • Additional funding for scholarships that target under-represented student populations in STEM disciplines and education

  • A new financial assistance program to support students in short-term programs for which industry-recognized credentials—or micro-degrees—are earned

  • Support for InnovateOhio, which leads state technology projects and uses data to improve state agency operations and efficiencies

House committee hearings with state agencies began last week as legislators work to pass a budget that must be signed into law by June 30th. GCP is continuing to engage with state legislators and the Administration to advocate for provisions that positively impact our members and align with our public policy priorities.

Click here to read the bill analysis of HB 166.

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  • Next up: 3 Lessons in Business Growth from the Stars of Cleveland Hustles

    3 Lessons in Business Growth from the Stars of Cleveland Hustles

    The stars of the hit Lebron James reality business show “Cleveland Hustles” talked at COSE’s Annual Meeting about the three lessons they’ve learned in growing their respective businesses.

    The stars behind Lebron James’ “Cleveland Hustles” reality TV show came out for last week’s COSE Annual Meeting to discuss what life on the show—which featured local businesses competing for financing—was like and the challenges they’ve faced in growing their respective businesses.

    Speaking during a panel discussion moderated by Steve Millard, executive director of the Council of Smaller Enterprises, were: Mike Gulley, founder of Old City Sodas; Geoff Hardman, co-founder of Cleveland Bagel Co.; and Jackie Wachter, co-founder and creative director of leather goods store Fount.

    Following are three lessons learned from the panel discussion.

    1. Take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.

    Wachter said the show impacted the businesses of each of the companies represented on the panel. For instance, Cleveland Hustles changed the trajectory of Fount. The company is now planning on opening at least one retail location per year.

    And at least one of the panelists indicated he remains open to continuing to pursue opportunities. In response to an audience member’s question, Old City Soda’s Gulley indicated a willingness to go on another well-known reality program. “I’d love to be on Shark Tank,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite shows!”

    2. Stay true to your original business plan.

    Adding on to Wachter’s point, Hardman agreed that being on Cleveland Hustles led to a business boost but he told the crowd one thing he learned from being on the show is that it is important to not lose sight of your original goals. Don’t let the growth distract you from what you originally set out to do.

    Relatedly, he said it’s important to not let rapid growth lead you too far afield from your original aspirations. Cleveland Bagels’ goal is to make the “Cleveland Bagel” as much of a household name as, for example, the “Montreal Bagel.” He said the promotional push from Cleveland Hustles notwithstanding, Cleveland Bagel remains committed to its original goal of continuing to focus on making the best “Cleveland Bagels” that they can.

    3. Be comfortable with your financial partners.

    While the premise of Cleveland Hustles is to partner with investors, the panelists were in agreement it’s crucial that the entrepreneur is comfortable with who they are partnering with. Getting back to the previous point about staying true to the company’s business plan, the panelists said it’s important both sides are on the same page regarding objectives and where they see the business going.

    Learn about other upcoming Greater Cleveland Partnership events by clicking here.

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  • Next up: 3 Questions to Ask When Creating Your Video Strategy

    3 Questions to Ask When Creating Your Video Strategy

    Video is a hot marketing tool, whether posted on social media, displayed on websites or featured in e-newsletters. But where do you begin when it comes to connecting with people via video? Check out these three questions to consider as you navigate thru the video-creating process.

    People buy from people they trust. When we think about trust, we think about being able to look someone in the eye, see them in person. Video provides us with a variety of opportunities to do just that. And it isn’t just the video, it’s what you do with it. Let’s explore.

    There are a lot of opportunities to use video in today’s marketing landscape. From Facebook Live to webinars to formal video like those on Biz TVShows Online. Many people can even use video on LinkedIn now.

    With all of these options, what should you do? First, decide what you want to accomplish with video. Videos should be short and informative, without being salesy. Creating a strategy ahead of time will work wonders for success.

    Consider these questions:

    Question No. 1: Who do you want to reach?

    Question No. 2: What do you want to share with them?

    Question No. 3: How would you like them to connect with you after they watch your video?

    Let’s dig down a little further into these questions.

    Who do you want to reach?

    It’s important to know who you are talking to. It can be easy to believe that everyone needs to hear your message. However, if you try to speak to everyone you’ll connect with no one.

    Pick a target audience and explore where they receive their information. You can use video in blogs, on social, and in e-newsletters. You can put the video on your home page welcoming people to your site.

    Just make sure you know who they are so you can decide where you should be putting your videos.

    What do you want to share with them?

    Now decide what information they should have. Most videos will be really short—1.5 to 2 minutes in length. Here, you will share a tip, an idea. You can also, however, use video as a tutorial platform. If you have something you really want to teach people to do, use video to show them step by step.

    If you are working on a project or event, take some video of the process or planning. When you share that information you are showing excitement for your work. That excitement will be contagious.

    How do you want them to connect with you after they watch your video?

    You should always have some sort of call to action. Do you want them to watch the next video in a series? How about having them sign up for your e-newsletter? Would you like them to reach out to you about possibly working with you? Or maybe they have a question you can answer.

    You could ask them to connect with you online as well, or subscribe to your blog. Whatever it is, think about it and add it onto the end of the video.

    Video is continuing to be a major content marketing vehicle. With the variety of places you can put your videos, as well as ways you can create them, there is really no better way to connect with your prospects and clients. Create your own strategy and build that community around your brand. When people can see, and hear you, they realize you know what you are talking about. And they get to decide if they want to keep you in their world. Provide meaningful content, be yourself, and share your videos where your audience can find them. You’ll see how much more you connect with your audience.

    Diane Helbig is owner of Seize This Day Coaching.
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  • Next up: 3 Reasons to Consider the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

    3 Reasons to Consider the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

    We sat down with three recent graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program to find out how it helped them improve their businesses.

    We sat down with three recent graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program to find out how it helped them improve their businesses.

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  • Next up: 3 Reasons to Register for the COSE WebEd Series: Ship Smart and Save

    3 Reasons to Register for the COSE WebEd Series: Ship Smart and Save

    The start to the COSE WebEd Series—Ship Smart & Save Money—is less than a month away.

    Why should you register to attend this webinar series? You're extremely busy, but are you too busy to save time and money?

    To help you become your company's next shipping expert, you're invited to attend the three-part COSE WebEd Series coming up on Sept. 27, Oct. 18 and Nov. 15 (all at 11 a.m.).

    RELATED: Register for the WebEd Series Webinar “Ship Smart & Save Money” today

    Here are the top three reasons why you should register:

    1. Save Time, Money and Resources

    • Do you know how carriers calculate rates for your shipments?

    • Are you aware of common freight classification errors?

    • Could the packaging of your freight be costing you extra money?

    • Do you know the basic import/export process so when you receive the first international business opportunity you can proceed with confidence?

    If you hesitated answering any of these questions, you should register to attend!

    2. It's Free to Attend

    Speaking of registering, the webinar series is completely free to COSE members! Why not take advantage of a free educational opportunity? Don't handle shipping for your company? Forward this to who does and let them save your team time and money!

    3. Connect with an Expert for Future Questions and Help

    You never know how much you need an expert until your customer has questions you just simply don't know the answers to. If nothing else, get to know our shipping experts and have a lifeline next time you need professional guidance. Don't let business opportunities that are outside of your comfort zone or geographical region hold you back!

    Don't wait! Register for the September webinar today.

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  • Next up: 3 Things to Know: How to Make the Most of Small Business Saturday

    3 Things to Know: How to Make the Most of Small Business Saturday

    Will you be involved in this year’s Small Business Saturday? We are here to help your small business cash in on the Shop Small movement.

    The Saturday after Thanksgiving is no longer a day to be lazy. Increasing numbers of consumers everywhere are shaking off the turkey coma and eagerly supporting their locally owned businesses. In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates that 59% (or nearly three in five) consumers are launching their holiday shopping in November. Small Business Saturday, which this year takes place on Nov. 24, is a big part of the holiday shopping rush. Last year, 58% of the people who shopped on the day reported shopping or eating at more than one independently owned business.

    With that in mind, it’s important for small business owners to understand why and how to take advantage of the Shop Small movement. Here are three things you need to know to take full advantage of this impactful day for small business.

    The first thing you need to know: You can’t afford to skip out on Small Business Saturday. During last year’s Small Business Saturday (SBS), it was estimated that 108 million people shopped or dined at their local independently-owned businesses. This increased action for small businesses generated nearly $13 billion. And that’s not all. Consumers report that they have a positive outlook on SBS businesses and that the Shop Small movement has helped create more vibrant communities. Check out these four reasons why you should encourage everyone to take part in Small Business Saturday.

    The second thing you need to know: It’s not too late to be part of Small Business Saturday. And not only is it not too late to participate, there’s still time to ensure your SBS profile is as successful as possible. From showcasing merchandise that will make great gifts to offering door-buster deals, here are six ways to go about participating in the Shop Small movement effectively.

    The third thing you need to know: Small Business Saturday can be free and easy. Promoting your business and the Shop Small movement itself doesn’t have to cost you money and it’s probably easier to do than you might think. In fact, a lot of the legwork has already been done for you. Click here to find downloadable posters, email templates and social media posts. When it comes to free publicity for your small business on SBS, here are three ways to drum up excitement on social media.

    We want to help you get the word out about your own Small Business Saturday deals. Let us know what special promotions your business plans to feature this year and we’ll promote them on the COSE Twitter account.

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