Apply for the 2020 Safety Innovation Awards

 

Has your company addressed a workplace safety or health risk in an innovative way? You could win a cash award for submitting your unique process or practice to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) 2020 Safety Innovation Awards.

BWC established the Safety Innovation Awards to encourage and recognize innovative and creative solutions that reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses. Showcasing the most successful innovations inspires other Ohio employers to develop innovative solutions of their own.

BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene subject matter experts will select finalists at the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo on March 12, 2020. Cash awards range from $1,500 - $10,000.

Apply here by September 30, 2019 and click here to learn more.

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  • Next up: Bill to Prohibit Bag Bans Clears House Committee

    Bill to Prohibit Bag Bans Clears House Committee


    On Wednesday, the Ohio House State & Local Government Committee approved Ohio House Bill 242 (HB 242), a bill to prohibit taxes, fees, or bans on auxiliary containers like plastic grocery bags.

    When Cuyahoga County introduced and later passed an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags countywide, GCP supported an amendment to delay the implementation of the ban pending further examination.  GCP recognizes plastic bags are harmful to the environment but bans like these have the potential to drive up use of paper bags, which are economically and environmentally costlier to produce. In the case of the Cuyahoga County ban, GCP was also concerned about the potential impact on retailers that make up our membership.  For example, Heinen’s, a Cleveland-based, family-owned grocery store, could see costs for bags increase by $2 million per year because of the switch to paper.

    The GCP submitted written testimony supporting HB 242 earlier in June, urging lawmakers to further study how to reduce the use of plastic bags while preserving the economic vitality of Ohio’s small businesses and retailers.  You can read more about GCP’s advocacy work regarding this issue here.


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  • Next up: GCP Board Member, Cheryl Perez, and Joe Roman Call on Ohio to Fix Unemployment System

    GCP Board Member, Cheryl Perez, and Joe Roman Call on Ohio to Fix Unemployment System

     

    GCP Board Member and Founder and President of BIG-HR Cheryl Perez co-authored an opinion piece with GCP CEO and President Joe Roman about the need for reform of Ohio’s unemployment system. The pair remind readers that while Ohio’s economy has been relatively strong as of late, it is important to remember the lessons of the last economic recession.

    That recession—in which the state’s unemployment rate rose to 11%--illustrated just how ill-prepared Ohio was to cover the costs of the unemployment system. When the federal government stepped in to provide a loan to Ohio to continue covering unemployment benefits, employers were left with paying for the bulk of the balance from that debt.

    Perez and Roman call out the need for long-term solutions that lead the unemployment fund toward solvency, writing, “Now is a good time to learn from our past and fix Ohio’s unemployment system.”

    You can read the full opinion article here. To learn more about GCP’s commitment to reforming our state’s unemployment system, view our Public Policy Agenda.

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  • Next up: Congratulations to GCP Member Sharon Toerek as Outgoing Chair of NSBA

    Congratulations to GCP Member Sharon Toerek as Outgoing Chair of NSBA

     

    Last week, National Small Business Association (NSBA) leadership gathered for its quarterly Board of Trustees meeting and then convened its Annual Member Meeting, where the 2019 Chair, Greater Cleveland Parntership (GCP) member Sharon Toerek, passed the gavel to incoming 2020 Chair Mark Amato of Rhode Island. Sharon, a principal attorney at Toerek Law, previously served as Chair of the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), and will serve as Immediate Past Chair of the NSBA Board in 2020.

    Several GCP members serve on the NSBA Board, including Michael Canty of Alloy Bellow & Precision Welding, Kevin Johnson of NexGen Interactiveand Mike Stanek of Hunt Imaging. In 2020, Mike Stanek will serve as Treasurer of the Board and Michael Canty will serve as Vice Chair of Communications.

    The NSBA is a non-partisan organization that advocates on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs with membership from every state and every industry in the country. Our partners at NSBA offer GCP/COSE small business members an additional access point to meet with members of Congress and their staff and drive federal public policy issues that are of most importance to the small business community. 

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  • Next up: Congressman Dave Joyce Joins GCP Members for a Morning Conversation

    Congressman Dave Joyce Joins GCP Members for a Morning Conversation

     

    Last Friday, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined GCP members for a Morning Conversation—a series generously supported by PNC Bank. As a lifelong Ohioan, Congressman Joyce represents the 14th District of Ohio, which includes eastern Cuyahoga County and all of Ashtabula, Lake, and Geauga Counties. Prior to being elected to Congress, he served as the Geauga County Prosecutor and assisted in numerous counties throughout Ohio as a special prosecutor.

    Now, as a Congressman in his fourth term in office, he serves on the House Committee on Appropriations and as Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment. Congressman Joyce has long been an advocate for bipartisan efforts to preserve and protect and Great Lakes, and most recently introduced the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 in the House. In his conversation with GCP members, the Congressman covered everything from the Great Lakes to trade to workforce development.

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  • Next up: Connecting With Holiday Shoppers: 10 Takeaways

    Connecting With Holiday Shoppers: 10 Takeaways

    If your business doesn’t have a plan in place to take advantage of eager holiday shoppers, don’t waste one more second—read this workshop recap now and learn how to connect with holiday shoppers.

     

    ‘Tis the season for holiday shopping. Is your small business positioned to receive its share of the $1 trillion predicted for 2019 holiday spending? Cleveland’s Hispanic Business Center’s Cole Worley presented a workshop on how to do just that at COSE’s Small Business Resource Fair in October.

    Here are 10 takeaways from the presentation to get your holiday sales soaring.

    1. There’s still time. While ideally you’d start putting together your holiday strategic plan in September, 51% of holiday shopping occurs in November and December so there is still plenty of opportunity to be had.
    2. Black Friday isn’t everything. Buyers are looking for deals all season long so be sure to give thought to the discounts, sales and other opportunities you can offer over the next several weeks.
    3. Last-minute sales are key. Come up with a plan to draw in those procrastinators as the holidays near. Make sure to offer the option to purchase gift cards online—especially from their mobile devices. Convenience is important here.
    4. Free shipping is a must. Research shows that 80% of all online orders include free shipping. Consider free upgrades to faster shipping options toward the end of the season.
    5. Spark a sense of urgency. With Thanksgiving being at the end of the month, there is one less week for holiday shopping this year. Tell your audience this and encourage them to act now.
    6. Focus on list building. As a small business, one of the only things you have control over is your website and your contact list. Emails and retargeting advertisements are cheap ways to connect with your audience. They have to know you, like you and trust you before they buy something—it takes time and effort to build their trust but it’s worth it.
    7. Make the holidays a special time. Create holiday gift guides and new holiday pages to boost search engine optimization. Use holiday keywords and phrases such as “holiday buying guides.”
    8. Leverage social. Create exclusive offers for your social followers to make them feel special. They’ll appreciate the extra value they receive just by keeping up with you on social platforms.
    9. Plan for increased customer service. Expectations are high during this time of year; make sure you can engage and respond to customer service needs quickly on your website, via text and on social.
    10. Ensure optimal performance. Speaking of higher expectations, you have two seconds or less to make an impression on your web and social sites. Load times need to be fast or potential customers will move on quickly.

    Don’t forget to support Small Business Saturday on November 30. Stay tuned for more information on opportunities from COSE on how you can show your support. And if you are a small business owner with a special offer for Small Business Saturday, please contact Allison Halco. You could be featured in our social media posts or in an upcoming issue of Mind Your Business.


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