State Legislators Receive Small Business Advocate of the Year Awards

Members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and its small business division, the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), officially named several state legislators recipients of the 2018 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award today.

State Senator Matt Huffman and State Senator Vernon Sykes played instrumental roles in an initiative that creates a more bi-partisan, public process for drawing U.S. Congressional districts.  The effort was overwhelmingly approved by Ohio voters as a constitutional amendment.  

State Senator Matt Dolan was responsible for updating existing Ohio law dealing with electronic transactions to also include blockchain-based transactions; the bill – the Data Protection Act – is now law and it was supported by GCP members because it encourages more businesses to properly protect their business ventures, their workforce, and those with whom they do business. 

State Senator Rob McColley, a former State Representative, introduced two separate pieces of legislation backed by GCP and now law:  1.) requires the legislature to review occupational licensing boards 2.) responds to the issue of individuals filing predatory claims against businesses for technical violations.   

GCP/COSE member and advocacy leader Tim Opsitnick of Technology Concepts & Design, Inc. (TCDI) commended their actions on behalf of the small business community.

“We are greatly appreciative of the leadership displayed by these elected leaders last year,” said Opsitnick.  “GCP is a non-partisan, member-driven organization and the decisions to honor each official was based on the merits of positive public policy, not political ideologies or rhetoric.”

The awards were presented today in Columbus during COSE Day at the Capitol, an annual event that connects the Northeast Ohio small business community with state policymakers.


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  • Next up: Strengthening Tomorrows Workforce: Vote YES on Issue 4 and Issue 6 this November

    Strengthening Tomorrows Workforce: Vote YES on Issue 4 and Issue 6 this November

    Can you believe Election Day is right around the corner? The election season is already in full swing.  Yard signs are popping up across lawns all over town, campaign commercials are streaming across our airwaves and social media and heated debates between candidates are fueling news programs. 

    Can you believe Election Day is right around the corner? The election season is already in full swing.  Yard signs are popping up across lawns all over town, campaign commercials are streaming across our airwaves and social media and heated debates between candidates are fueling news programs. The small business community will undoubtedly turn their attention to the candidates this fall and help decide their ultimate fate, but small businesses will also have their eye on two local ballot initiatives: 1.) The Cleveland Metropolitan School District capital levy (Issue 4) and 2.)  The Cuyahoga Community College operating levy (Issue 6). Given the importance of preparing students for success in the classroom and beyond, COSE supports both of these measures in order to shrink the workforce skills gap that currently exists for so many small businesses in the region.

    Issue 4: Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD)

    Cleveland schools play a critical role in the development of students’ skills and help build strong and vibrant communities. Since 2011, CMSD graduation rates have showed marked improvement, and Issue 4, a levy renewal, looks to build on that momentum by enhancing the district’s facilities and ensuring students receive a quality education in a quality environment.

    Approval of this ballot measure will ensure the continuation of a 68% match from the State of Ohio, generating an additional $256.8 million in revenue for Cleveland’s schools. The November election is the last opportunity for the community to consider a CMSD capital levy renewal, instead of a tax increase and the initiative would provide resources for the construction of approximately 22 new, modern schools and the refurbishment of about 20 schools. Although new school construction or the refurbishment of our current public schools cannot be directly tied to performance or achievement, a safe and positive learning environment for our children and the community at-large clearly matters.

    Issue 6: Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)

    As an affordable entry point to higher education, Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) supports Greater Cleveland’s small business community by keeping college education and job training or retraining programs affordable, enhancing the region’s workforce competitiveness and readiness.  

    Tri-C is asking voters to support its levy, in part to address a reduction in state and local funding that has occurred over the years.  For every $1 invested into Tri-C, the College provides a return of $10 in positive economic benefit to Cuyahoga County.

    COSE values Tri-C’s commitment and contribution to Northeast Ohio’s workforce and partners with the institution in several ways, including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative and a program funded by the Department of Labor that provides training to dislocated workers in the area of information technology.

    Interested in getting involved?

    If you are interested in learning more or volunteering your time with one (or both) of the campaigns, please email jburns@cose.org.

    To stay up-to-date on the latest levy campaign communications and information via social media please see below.

    CMSD:

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/QualitySchoolsForOurKids.

    Twitter: @CLEMetroSchools #CMSD

    Tri-C:

    Facebook: www.facebook.com/VoteFORTriC

    Twitter: @votefortric #VoteTriC


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