COSE Day at the Capitol 2017

COSE/GCP members had an opportunity to discuss and learn more about public policy issues that impact them – ranging from topics on workforce development to tax reform – during this year’s COSE Day at the Capitol event in Columbus on April 5.

Approximately 50 COSE/GCP members and staff made the trek down to Columbus on April 5 to take part in the annual COSE Day at the Capitol event. The day gave small business owners and entrepreneurs an exclusive opportunity to connect with elected leaders and key decision-makers on topics that are of primary importance to the business community in Northeast Ohio. The timing of this year’s event allowed our membership to share their experiences and meet directly with fourteen members of the legislature and their policy advisors during a key time in the legislative process. Each moment allowed attendees to influence Ohio’s biennial budget deliberations and public policy issues – ranging from tax reform to workforce development – that will continue to be among the many initiatives in the limelight through the summer. Featured speakers this year included:

• Attorney General Mike DeWine

• Representative Kirk Schuring

• Senate President Larry Obhof

• House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn

• Greg Moody, Director, Governor’s Office of Health Transformation

Small Business Advocate of the Year Award Winners

Sen. Obhof and Rep. Schuring were also honored during the day as winners of 2016 COSE/GCP Small Business Advocate of the Year Awards.

Current Senate President Obhof played an important role in ensuring legislation – which was signed into law and prevents political subdivisions from establishing minimum wage rates different from the rate required by the state – was brought to the floor of the Ohio Senate for a vote during a “lame duck” session on Dec. 7, 2016.

Rep. Schuring co-chaired a joint committee in the summer and fall of 2016 that focused on the state’s unemployment compensation system. The committee’s work, under the leadership of Rep. Schuring, led to an initiative that allowed the state to pay federal debt a year ahead of schedule, saving Ohio job creators millions of dollars.

Want to know more? Learn how our advocacy activity makes a difference throughout legislative and regulatory proceedings for the benefit of our business members:

http://www.cose.org/Advocacy.aspx

https://www.gcpartnership.com/en/See-What-We-Do/Advocacy

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  • Next up: COSE, GCP Unveil New BizConCLE Convention

    COSE, GCP Unveil New BizConCLE Convention

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership and COSE are proud to debut BizConCLE, a convention created specifically for small- and middle- market businesses.

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership and COSE are proud to debut BizConCLE, a convention created specifically for small- and middle- market businesses.

    The one-and-a-half-day convention, which will take place at Cleveland Public Auditorium & Conference Center on October 13-14, represents the coming together of two successful events with two unique audiences—the COSE Small Business Convention and the GCP Middle Market Forum—into one event that more strongly connects the business community in Northeast Ohio.

    Nearly 1,000 business professionals from across the region are expected to attend the show, which will include nationally-recognized keynote speakers, plenary sessions led by regional business and community leaders and hands-on workshops in areas such as: Talent; People and HR; Marketing; Customers and Branding; Business Growth, Sales & Financials; and Owner, Leader and Team Development.

    A full exhibit hall, post-convention dinners hosted throughout downtown Cleveland and multiple opportunities to connect through industry-focused roundtables and networking receptions will also be part of the event.

    The three keynote speakers who will headline the convention are:

    •    Casey Gerald—Co-founder and CEO of MBAs Across America, a national movement of MBAs and entrepreneurs working together to revitalize America.
    •    Mel Robins—Best known for delivering one of the most popular TEDxTalk’s in the world: “How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over,” Robins has launched and sold two companies and currently owns and operates a multi-million-¬dollar publishing and speaking business.
    •    Gary Schoeniger—Founder and CEO of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, Schoeniger is an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of entrepreneurship education and training.

    Register for the event here.

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  • Next up: COSE/GCP Weigh-in on Workers' Comp Subrogation Bill

    COSE/GCP Weigh-in on Workers' Comp Subrogation Bill

    If you’ve ever had an employee travel on company business that is involved in a motor vehicle accident and another driver is at fault, you know the hardships an incident like this can bring forward for all parties – especially for a small business owner.  For example, it’s not uncommon for an attorney for the injured employee to file a workers’ compensation claim before filing against a private insurance carrier because workers’ compensation is likely to pay indemnity or medical faster.

    If you’ve ever had an employee travel on company business that is involved in a motor vehicle accident and another driver is at fault, you know the hardships an incident like this can bring forward for all parties – especially for a small business owner.  For example, it’s not uncommon for an attorney for the injured employee to file a workers’ compensation claim before filing against a private insurance carrier because workers’ compensation is likely to pay indemnity or medical faster. 

    Currently when a workers’ compensation subrogation case like this occurs, the experience on an employer’s record can negatively impact a small business’ bottom line and their ability to join group rating or continue their discounted group rating status.  And, today, if that employer was to have even another small claim, the employer may not be eligible for the state’s One Claim Program (OCP) and their rates can be affected adversely. 

    Proposed legislation, HB 207, would allow a state fund employer to have a workers' compensation claim (when based on a motor vehicle accident involving a third party) to be paid from the surplus fund account in the state insurance fund rather than charged to the employer's experience.  In short, COSE/GCP support HB 207 because it would add language to Ohio Revised Code that states the criteria for a workers’ compensation claim to be charged to the surplus fund and not impact the employer’s experience. 

    On April 5, our small business members’ views were expressed on the bill in the form of written testimony before the Ohio Senate Insurance Committee.  The goal?  To create a balance between the numerous interests involved in these types of accidents, maintain the integrity of the state fund by limiting this process to instances where there is clear fault and an entity to subrogate against, and not impact the treatment or compensation that injured workers receive. 

    We will continue to recommend support for HB 207 in an effort to strengthen Ohio by providing for a positive economic development environment that creates opportunity for all and we appreciate the attention being paid to this issue.

    Click here to read COSE/GCP written testimony in support of HB 207.

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  • Next up: COSE Small Business Owners Hit "The Hill"

    COSE Small Business Owners Hit "The Hill"

    COSE members recently sent a powerful, unified message to leaders in Washington, D.C. at the National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) Washington Presentation: sound, predictable federal policy is crucial to small business success. In early June, NSBA held its annual lobbying days in Washington, D.C., where small business owners from across the country met with their lawmakers, attended a high-level White House briefing, and heard from a host of policymakers regarding center-stage initiatives. 

    COSE members recently sent a powerful, unified message to leaders in Washington, D.C. at the National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) Washington Presentation: sound, predictable federal policy is crucial to small business success. In early June, NSBA held its annual lobbying days in Washington, D.C., where small business owners from across the country met with their lawmakers, attended a high-level White House briefing, and heard from a host of policymakers regarding center-stage initiatives. 

    The trip was an opportunity to sit down and meet with members of the Ohio Congressional delegation on Capitol Hill and COSE small business owners shared their expertise on sometimes complex issues ranging from patent reform to health care. The legislative meetings afforded attendees the chance to share their own personal experiences and how government directly impacts the stability of their small businesses.

    Take the small business owners, for example, that rely heavily on annual business tax credits or deductions. They long for tax certainty and deserve assurances that small business owners don’t shoulder a greater tax burden than larger corporations. And, they encouraged Congress to address small business tax relief for pass-through entities on any legislation that aims to tackle corporate tax reform. 

    Or, what about the small business exporter that relies on the Export-Import Bank to secure financial assistance at zero cost to the American taxpayer? The Bank’s offerings help level the playing field for that exporter and assist them in competing in the international marketplace. Participants used the NSBA Washington Presentation to urge Congress to stay committed to enacting a long-term renewal of the Bank in order to provide for greater opportunity for small businesses involved in Export-Import Bank supported transactions or those that would like to in the future.

    NSBA’s Washington Presentation or COSE Day at the Capitol in Columbus are significant in that they provide a venue for small business owners to offer ideas and solutions to common small business challenges with those that are elected to represent us. These pursuits give businesses a chance to strengthen ties with policymakers and key stakeholders that are in a position to help.  Days like these remind us that the connections made and the relationships built with our elected officials really and truly do matter, especially if we expect elected officials to understand and respond to the issues that are important to the small business community.

    Interested in learning more about NSBA’s top 10 priorities for the 114th Congress? Click here.


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  • Next up: COSE Submits Testimony on Governor's Tax Proposals

    COSE Submits Testimony on Governor's Tax Proposals

    COSE President and Executive Director Steve Millard submitted written testimony earlier in the week to the Ohio Ways & Means Committee concerning the Governor's budget.

    COSE President and Executive Director Steve Millard submitted written testimony earlier in the week to the Ohio Ways & Means Committee concerning the Governor's budget.

    In addition, COSE released a statement today that many small businesses would benefit from Governor Kasich’s proposed income tax exemption and personal income tax deductions, but also has concerns about the impact other proposed tax changes could have on large and small employers in Ohio. 

    “It is clear that the Governor considers small business to be a priority and his proposed budget puts a specific emphasis on supporting sole proprietors and small businesses of less than $2 million,” Millard said. “While the proposed income tax exemption and tax cut would clearly benefit these small businesses, we have concerns with the current construct, and believe shifting tax burdens from one set of businesses to another through an increase in the commercial activity tax (CAT) rate and expansion of the sales tax to more business to business transactions is not the right path.”

    Good tax policy considers all the potential ramifications associated with any reforms that are made and we will continue working with the Ohio General Assembly and the Governor to provide small businesses with tax relief.

    The Ohio House of Representatives will consider the budget bill first through mid-April while the Ohio Senate is expected to complete its work in June. The Governor must sign a new budget into law by June 30, 2015. 

    COSE provides a strong voice for small businesses at the local, state and federal levels of government. Learn how you can get involved in our efforts by emailing advocacy@cose.org


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  • Next up: COSE supports Cuyahoga County arts and culture institutions

    COSE supports Cuyahoga County arts and culture institutions

    Ever had friends or family members in from out of town and enjoyed an afternoon at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Or, maybe you have a child that took a field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History? Then you know how fortunate we are to have tremendous resources and attractions like these so close to home. Perhaps you even entertain business associates or clients at Playhouse Square or tune-in to ideastream public radio or television programming? Then you also know how important these fixtures are to our identity and the growth of our region.  

    Ever had friends or family members in from out of town and enjoyed an afternoon at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Or, maybe you have a child that took a field trip to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History? Then you know how fortunate we are to have tremendous resources and attractions like these so close to home. Perhaps you even entertain business associates or clients at Playhouse Square or tune-in to ideastream public radio or television programming? Then you also know how important these fixtures are to our identity and the growth of our region. 

    Cuyahoga County Council voted unanimously to place an issue on the ballot this fall that would continue to support institutions like these. And, the arts and culture levy campaign kicked off this week at the Western Reserve Historical Society with enthusiastic support from local leaders. 

    The issue voters will decide on November 3rd is a renewal of an initiative – a 10-year, 30-cents-a-pack tax on cigarettes – that invests in organizations that ensure we have access to world-class arts and cultural opportunities in our own backyard.  Renewal of the arts and culture levy would mean no increase for taxpayers, but a continuation of the current 1 and a ½ cent tax per cigarette.

    Small business members of the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) recognized the importance of this issue and supported it in the past. More recently the COSE Board of Directors, armed with feedback provided by members of the COSE Advocacy Committee, decided to formally support the arts and culture ballot question this election cycle due to the benefits Northeast Ohioans would continue to reap from this important public investment. 

    Many believed our region’s iconic arts and cultural assets were at risk. That is, until residents voted to provide so many of them with significant public funding almost a decade ago.  Recent reports have revealed that Cuyahoga County arts and cultural organizations have generally recovered from the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009. A specific report from Culture Pulse, however, does not prognosticate what would happen to the county's cultural organizations if revenues from the cigarette tax continue to drop – as they are predicted to – or if this levy is not renewed.

    The public authority that administers this funding has awarded more than 1,200 grants, worth more than $125 million, to more than 300 organizations countywide. In fact, programming was offered this past year in more than 2,500 unique locations all over Cuyahoga County – including schools, libraries, senior centers, theaters, parks, hospitals and neighborhood streets. 

    You don’t need to be an art connoisseur or a film critic to see the benefits of this initiative because there’s a very good chance you’ve accessed these resources one way or another. Support for these institutions, big and small, help make our home such a unique place to live, work, and play. If you want to learn more about how you can get involved in the effort visit www.ACAC2015.org and make sure you are registered to vote today. 

      


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