GCP Hosts Panel to Promote Diversity in Commercial Real Estate

 

Over 40 people interested in commercial real estate attended What’s Happening in Cleveland: A Conversation on Diversity & Inclusion in Commercial Real Estate on October 24. Hosted at GCP and presented by the Real Estate Associate Program (Project REAP), attendees enjoyed refreshments while Ken McIntyre, the project’s executive director, spoke. He noted that the program serves as a bridge between talented minority professionals and commercial real estate companies looking for talent, through educating those professionals on the business side of the industry. Angele Robinson-Gaylord, President of North American Real Estate at IKEA, was the Keynote speaker. Graduating Project REAP in 2009, Robinson-Gaylord detailed her experience transitioning from practicing law to working in commercial real estate. As a woman of color, she noted how graduating Project REAP gave her the tools to succeed in an industry historically under-represented by people that look like her.

Robinson-Gaylord then sat on a panel to discuss the current state of Greater Cleveland’s commercial real estate industry. Joining her was Michael Elliot (Program Manager of Capital Access Fund, National Development Council), Christopher Nance (Director of Construction Diversity & Inclusion Program, GCP), and Shonna White (Real Estate Manager, CBRE). After answering questions from moderator David Browning (Managing Director, CBRE), the panel opened to questions from the floor.  Questions pertained to the potential impact our local colleges and universities can have on minority participation in the industry, and how we as a region can make young minorities feel like real estate is a profession that they can and want to pursue. The evening ended with networking, as attendees had the chance to speak personally with the panel members.

For information about an upcoming REAP Academy being planned for 2020 in Cleveland, please contact Vince Adamus at 216-592-2258 or vadamus@gcpartnership.com. Learn additional information regarding the nationwide REAP program.

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  • Next up: GCP Members Participate in Statewide Roundtable on Women and Minority Businesses

    GCP Members Participate in Statewide Roundtable on Women and Minority Businesses

     

    Last week, GCP women and minority-owned business members participated in a roundtable discussion event hosted by state Senator Nickie Antonio. The discussion focused on the unique concerns of women and minority-owned businesses. It also served as a starting point to help strategize potential legislative solutions.

    Women and minority business owners from across the state of Ohio convened for the meeting, providing valuable feedback to Ohio’s lawmakers in order to support the growth of female and minority businesses. GCP has remained committed to advancing business growth among a diversity of stakeholders. In its latest public policy agenda, GCP called for the review of administrative rules for various state programs that support growing minority and diverse ownership of small businesses.

    Conversations with members who experience obstacles to growth first-hand are a critical part of engaging the state legislature to pass comprehensive solutions.

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  • Next up: GCP Raises the Bar for Support of Levy Increases

    GCP Raises the Bar for Support of Levy Increases

     

    When GCP’s strategic plan called for a better understanding of the impact of our region’s tax climate, our members mobilized to support a deep-dive analysis. The result was an in-depth report that shows our region’s residents face a disproportionate tax burden when compared to peer cities.

    In light of the report and other ongoing research, this week GCP’s Board of Directors endorsed a resolution stating the organization’s intent to oppose future levy millage increases that fail to demonstrate a unique and compelling contribution to our economy. The decision was made by GCP member leaders in anticipation of additional levy requests in 2020, on top of other potential increases that will appear before the end of 2019.

    To read the full press release and the resolution, click here. You can read Cleveland.com’s coverage on the announcement here.

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  • Next up: GCP Urging Trade Stabilization and Modernization

    GCP Urging Trade Stabilization and Modernization

     

    The Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition is a collective of chambers of commerce across the region that jointly advocate on core policy issues, including water quality, immigration reform, trade, and transportation and infrastructure. The National Small Business Association (NSBA) is a non-partisan organization with 65,000 members in every state and every industry in the country.

    And, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) is intimately involved with both organizations continuing to call for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    The USMCA modernizes NAFTA to be more compatible with today’s economic environment. In fact, and for the first time in a U.S. free trade agreement, the USMCA includes a stand-alone chapter on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This chapter of the USMCA aims to improve information-sharing, create a committee on SME issues, and develop a framework for ongoing stakeholder input.

    GCP calls on the small business community to urge federal policymakers to support passage of the USMCA. For the small business community, predictability on tariffs is key and any instability in this key policy area can impact a small business’ ability to plan for the future.  

    Click here to contact your lawmakers.

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  • Next up: GCP Visits Peer Cities to Learn More About Government Structural Reform

    GCP Visits Peer Cities to Learn More About Government Structural Reform

     

    When GCP’s strategic plan, ForwardCLE, called for a better understanding of the region’s collective tax climate, GCP commissioned a study that analyzed our tax environment’s impact on growth and competitiveness. The study—released in late April—found a stark difference in Cleveland’s tax levels compared to other peer cities. In short, the local tax burden in our region is significantly higher than in similar benchmark cities—nearly forty percent higher than the average per capita tax collections.

    A ballot-by-ballot approach to tax levies isn’t enough to create a positive environment for economic growth and inclusion—and our members are interested in exploring systemic solutions. As a result, the Advocacy team is examining potential paths forward for improvement, including structural reform or specific solutions that lay the foundation for future economic success and high-quality public services.

    So far, the team has engaged over 40 community stakeholders and visited several cities that have experience in this space. In the last several weeks, members of the GCP Advocacy team met with leaders in Louisville, Indianapolis, Nashville, and St. Louis—each of which consolidated or attempted to consolidate portions of city and county government services to create environments ripe for strategic advancements while improving services for residents. With lessons learned from those visits in hand, GCP will continue to engage Northeast Ohioans even more broadly about shaping the future of our region through possible structural change.

    To read past coverage about the tax study and potential reform, click here.

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  • Next up: GCP Hires Consultant to Perform GCRTA Financial Analysis and Presents to GCRTA Leadership

    GCP Hires Consultant to Perform GCRTA Financial Analysis and Presents to GCRTA Leadership


    Earlier this month the GCP Advocacy team provided an update to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) Board regarding its ongoing efforts to complete a fiscal analysis and economic forecast for the transit agency. Last fall, GCP assembled a taskforce of GCP member companies to guide this work. At a recent GCRTA board committee meeting, GCP’s Vice President of Government Advocacy, Alesha Washington, shared that GCP has hired a consulting group to complete this work. The team combines national expertise in transit finance and operations with a strong local understanding of GCRTA and its fiscal constraints.

    Since this work began in June 2018, GCP has actively worked with GCRTA leadership to develop an approach to studying the current system that will eventually allow GCP to make recommendations about its future, including the structure of a potential levy request. The first step of this effort was to secure a consultant—and now that a team is onboard, GCP will continue to work closely with GCRTA to produce a comprehensive and rigorous analysis. The GCP Advocacy team hopes to wrap up this work—which will culminate in a final report—in fall 2019.


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