Get Your In-Store Small Business Saturday Resources Here

Small Business Saturday will be here before you know it. Make sure your business is prepared.

American Express’ Small Business Saturday is right around the corner, taking place this year on Nov. 25. As you might imagine, this day is kind of a big deal for small businesses not only in Northeast Ohio, but across the country, as well.

How big of a deal is it? Consider the following stats from Small Business Saturday 2016:

  • A total of 112 million people shopped on last year’s Small Business Saturday, a 13% increase from the year before.
  • Spending last year totaled $15.4 billion.
  • Of those who shopped a year ago, 81% encouraged friends and family to shop or eat at independently owned restaurants and stores that day, as well.
  • More than seven out of 10 (72%) of consumers said they are aware of Small Business Saturday.

Projecting 2017

Another big year is forecast for this year’s Small Business Saturday, too, as evidenced by the following:

  • Consumers will spend an average of $743 between Black Friday (Nov. 24) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 27), according to RetailMeNot.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that shoppers will spend an average of $467 in brick-and-mortar stores this year.
  • Online shoppers will spend an average of $793 this holiday season.
  • The National Retail Federation expects November and December sales to grow by at least 4% to $682 billion.

Prepare your business for Small Business Saturday

Is your business ready to get its share of the Small Business Saturday shoppers who will be out and about in your area? One good way to prepare is to visit the official American Express Small Business Saturday site by clicking here. On this site, you’ll find links to download digital materials for your website and social accounts as well as posters to decorate your store for the big day.

In addition, the Greater Cleveland Partnership has a limited supply of Small Business Saturday goodies we can send over to your shop, including magnets, tote bags, buttons and other swag that would make perfect giveaways for your customers. If you’re interested, drop me a line at sturner@gcpartnership.com.

Happy shopping!

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  • Next up: Getting Out of Your Office Can Help Your Business

    Getting Out of Your Office Can Help Your Business

    In our View from the Top section in the March/April 2016 Mind Your Business, we mentioned that staying behind your desk too much can hurt your business. Attending COSE’s events is a great way to not only stay connected with fellow business owners, but learn a thing or two as well.

    In our View from the Top section in the March/April 2016 Mind Your Business, we mentioned that staying behind your desk too much can hurt your business. Attending COSE’s events is a great way to not only stay connected with fellow business owners, but learn a thing or two as well.

    Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself at some of the content that has come from COSE events:

    Convinced? Great! Visit our events page to learn more about the content COSE provides through events. 

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  • Next up: The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program changes lives and businesses. Are you up for the challenge?

    The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program changes lives and businesses. Are you up for the challenge?

    Apply for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and take the first step to a new future for your business. If you’re like most small business owners, you spend the majority of your time working in your business. Managing the day to day. Making sales calls. Putting out fires. Serving clients and customers. All of these activities are critical to the success of your business, but they keep you focused on what is happening today – leaving very little time for you to think about the future.

    Apply for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and take the first step to a new future for your business.

    If you’re like most small business owners, you spend the majority of your time working in your business. Managing the day to day. Making sales calls. Putting out fires. Serving clients and customers. All of these activities are critical to the success of your business, but they keep you focused on what is happening today – leaving very little time for you to think about the future.

    • Where is your business headed?
    • What are your biggest assets, opportunities or threats?
    • Are you ready for capital?
    • Do you have the right people on your team?
    • Do you really know who your customers are and what they need?

    We know. It’s tough to carve out time to think about these areas of your business with all the demands on you as a business owner. But if you never set aside time to think about the path to success, how will you know you’re on it?

    The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program is uniquely designed for business owners like you. It’s an 11-week program run by the highly acclaimed Babson College that will give you the time, insights, and guidance you need to take you business to the next level.

    The program is free but don’t let that discount the value. If you speak to any of the hundreds of alumni they won’t be shy to tell you that enrolling was one of the best business decisions they’ve ever made. And, at COSE, we know strong small business programming, and this is certainly one of the best out there.

    The next class begins in September and the deadline for application is June 8, 2015. If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit, learn more here. Completing the application doesn’t lock you into participating, but it does make sure that you have the option.


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  • Next up: Governor proposes biennium budget

    Governor proposes biennium budget

    The state budget process begins every two years with a spending proposal from the Governor of Ohio.  Governor Kasich unveiled his proposal earlier today in Columbus.

    The state budget process begins every two years with a spending proposal from the Governor of Ohio.  Governor Kasich unveiled his proposal earlier today in Columbus.

    The Ohio House Finance Committee is scheduled to begin hearings on the two-year plan on Wednesday. Lawmakers in the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate will spend the next several months listening to testimony and amending the plan proposed by the Governor. 

    A final budget is expected to be approved by the legislature and sent back to the Governor’s desk for enactment before the start of the new state fiscal year on July 1.

    Click for details of the Governor’s proposed budget for the next two fiscal years. 

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership will engage members in discussions on this proposal in the coming weeks. 

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  • Next up: Governor Signs Cyber Legislation

    Governor Signs Cyber Legislation

    Senate Bill 220 – legislation that would provide a legal safe harbor opportunity for covered entities that willingly implement a specified cybersecurity program – was signed into law by the Governor on Friday, August 3. GCP was in strong support of the legislation because it provides an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity. The initiative is not a mandate. 

    Over the course of the last year, GCP and our members have had encouraging dialogue, resulting in the introduction of this legislation. 

    Language was also included in the bill that generally states: 

    • "A record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be … an electronic record.”

    • “A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be … an electronic signature.”

    “We have increasingly identified cybersecurity as a critical issue and significant challenge,” said Tim Opsitnick, VP & General Counsel at Technology Concepts & Design, Inc. “We applaud this legislation because it is a voluntary action that recognizes the difficulty businesses have in protecting their ventures, their workforce, and those with whom they do business. In addition, provisions in the bill clearly begin to signal Ohio is “open for business” with blockchain technologies.” 

    Tim Opsitnick serves as Vice Chair of the Greater Cleveland Partnership Government Affairs Council and Chair of the COSE Small Business Caucus.

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  • Next up: Governor's Budget Proposal Places Priority on Small Business Income Tax Relief

    Governor's Budget Proposal Places Priority on Small Business Income Tax Relief

    Governor John Kasich unveiled the priorities of his biennial budget proposal, “Blueprint for a New Ohio”, on Monday and more detailed language is coming in the days ahead.  While the pillars of the Governor’s plan looks to address many important issues – K-12 education, college affordability, health care, job placement, and job retention to name a few – his proposal to eliminate tax on income from all small businesses with annual gross receipts under $2 million has to be considered the headlining issue for many small business owners.  

    Governor John Kasich unveiled the priorities of his biennial budget proposal, “Blueprint for a New Ohio”, on Monday and more detailed language is coming in the days ahead.  While the pillars of the Governor’s plan looks to address many important issues – K-12 education, college affordability, health care, job placement, and job retention to name a few – his proposal to eliminate tax on income from all small businesses with annual gross receipts under $2 million has to be considered the headlining issue for many small business owners.  

    According to the Governor’s Office, elimination of state income taxes on Ohio’s 971,000 owners of small businesses (defined as those with gross annual receipts less than $2 million) retroactive to the beginning of 2015, would save those filing as pass-through entities an estimated $696 million over two years.  For those businesses larger than $2 million, the governor's budget would maintain Ohio's 50 percent tax deduction on the owner's first $250,000 of net business income.

    “At a minimum, the Governor’s budget is a strong signal that he views small business vitality as a priority and that he believes that creating an environment in which we can continue to grow Ohio’s current small businesses is key to Ohio’s future,” said COSE President and Executive Director Steve Millard. “Like the focus on reducing outdated and ineffective small business regulation through the Common Sense Initiative in his first term, we appreciate the fact that the Governor is leading the discussion to double down and recognize the economic potential of our state’s smallest companies.” 

    “The Governor’s proposal would result in almost a million small businesses in Ohio that will have additional resources to invest in the growth of their companies and employment of Ohio’s residents,” said Millard.  In addition, the Governor is calling for personal income tax rates to be cut for all Ohio taxpayers by an additional 23 percent over two years and tax cuts for low- and middle-income Ohioans by increasing the state income tax personal exemption.  

    “Beyond the specific cuts to small business income tax, the governor’s budget is aimed at moving Ohio to a tax system based on consumption instead of income,” said Millard.  “COSE has been a supporter of similar approaches to taxation, like the Fair Tax, that encourage savings and tax purchases beyond necessities based on consumption.”

    So, how does the Governor propose the income tax cuts be paid for?

    Ohio's cigarette tax would go from $1.25 to $2.25 per pack; the tax on other tobacco products would rise to a level equivalent to the cigarette tax. The link between wellness and smoking cessation is clear and this change would continue to push our state in the right direction.

    • Ohio's current severance tax is 20 cents on a barrel of oil and 3 cents on an MCF (thousand cubic foot) unit of natural gas.  The Governor proposes fixed rates for crude oil and natural gas of 6.5 percent when sold at the wellhead, and a lower rate of 4.5 percent for natural gas and natural gas liquids when sold downstream.
    • The commercial activity tax (CAT) exemption level would remain the same under the Governor’s proposal as it is today, but the CAT rate would increase from 0.26 to 0.32 percent.  It’s also worth noting that the annual minimum fee would decrease from $800 to $150 for those small businesses with gross receipts of $2 million or less, effectively mitigating the costs those small businesses would be subjected to by a CAT rate increase. The CAT increase proposal on businesses over $2 million per year is noted as the key funding vehicle for small business tax relief.
    • The sales tax “hold back” of 0.75% to cover administrative and reporting costs is also being capped for companies at $1,000 per month.  This is equivalent to what a company would hold back for those costs at $2 million of sales per month.  Above that, the Governor’s budget states that technology tools make additional reimbursement unnecessary.
    • A sales tax adjustment from 5.75 percent to 6.25 percent.  This means consumers would pay an additional 50 cents on a $100 purchase (while maintaining tax exemptions for groceries, prescriptions and other necessities).  The budget proposal also seeks to broaden Ohio's sales tax base to include additional services such as cable TV subscriptions, parking, lobbying, public relations, market research/opinion polling, management consulting, travel packages and tours, and debt collection services.

    “While we know the Governor’s proposal is merely the beginning of Ohio’s budget process, COSE will work to ensure the entirety of any tax package proposal does not lead to unintended consequences incurred on small business,” stated Millard.  “Good tax policy considers all the potential ramifications associated with any reforms that are made and we look forward to discussing the importance of a strong small business community in this state with our elected officials in Columbus.  The strong statement of support for the smallest businesses in our state reflected in this budget proposal is consistent with an emerging realization that growth for our state or any community is tied more strongly to the continued opportunity and growth of its current companies.”  

    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 the new budget into law by June 30, 2015. 


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