How Was Your Small Business Represented in 2014?

COSE advocacy decisions are guided by our small business members. You determine the public policy initiatives and the issues we work on in areas that we can have the greatest impact. Our activity relies on your experience and expertise and with your help COSE provided our more than 10,000 members and our local Chamber of Commerce partners with direct access to elected officials through small business site visits and tours, COSE Day at the Capitol in Columbus, and the National Small Business Association’s Washington Presentation in D.C. 

COSE advocacy decisions are guided by our small business members. You determine the public policy initiatives and the issues we work on in areas that we can have the greatest impact. Our activity relies on your experience and expertise and with your help COSE provided our more than 10,000 members and our local Chamber of Commerce partners with direct access to elected officials through small business site visits and toursCOSE Day at the Capitol in Columbus, and the National Small Business Association’s Washington Presentation in D.C. 

If you were unable to participate in any of the opportunities available to you last year, the COSE advocacy team met face-to-face with hundreds of elected officials, policymakers, and key stakeholders on your behalf. Whether we used the stories you provided us to submit formal testimony before the 130th Ohio General Assembly or shared your feedback on the “politics of small business” with the media, your voice was heard. If you’re interested in learning more about ways to get involved in the future, please contact the COSE advocacy team today. In the meantime, the following is a snapshot of some of the successes the small business community shared on local and state matters affecting the small business community in 2014. 

A look back
At the local level, COSE supported and campaigned for the passage of three important local levies that gained voter approval: Alcohol & Tobacco Tax Extension; Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD); and the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C).

In addition, COSE (through COSE Advocacy Committee members) formally supported various pieces of state legislation that were signed into law:

Senate Bill 3: Regulatory Reform
In support of SB 3, COSE provided both written and oral testimony before the respective committees this legislation was assigned to. SB 3 ensures small businesses are a part of the rule-making process and have the ability and opportunity to react and better affect necessary changes before a potentially burdensome rule is implemented.

House Bill 218:Entrepreneur-in-Residence Pilot Program
COSE provided testimony in support of HB 218 in the spring encouraging the Ohio House and Senate to pass legislation that provides for enhanced communication and understanding between state agencies and small business employers through a pilot program that can help address the need to provide small business owners with necessary resources and support offered by an agency.

House Bill 493: Workers’ Compensation Law Proposals
HB 493 provides the BWC with flexibility to deliver services in a more efficient manner for small businesses by requiring, rather than permitting, the Administrator of Workers' Compensation to calculate workers' compensation premiums for most employers on a prospective, rather than retrospective, basis.

SB 263: Tax Overpayments
SB 263 requires the Ohio Department of Taxation to either apply a tax overpayment to future tax liabilities or issue a refund, and to make an appropriation.

HB 5: Municipal Tax Reform 
HB 5 simplifies Ohio’s complicated municipal income tax structure making it easier for businesses and taxpayers to comply. Governor Kasich signed HB 5 into law on December 19. For more information on the organizations COSE partnered with on this initiative, please view the Ohio Municipal Tax Reform Coalition website.

HB 483: Small Business Tax Credit
HB 483 implements the full 10% income tax cut which will be applied to tax year 2014. This equals an immediate $400 million tax cut. HB 483 also extends and increases the Small Business Tax Credit from the previous 50% deduction small businesses were allowed to deduct from their first $250,000 of business income to 75%. 

HB 511 (HB 201): Harmonization of Ohio Health Insurance Laws, Affordable Care Act

HB 511 (HB 201) further aligns Ohio’s health care laws with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at the federal level.  For example, Ohio will now use a uniform age of 26 for unmarried dependent children to be allowed on their parents insurance.

Thank you and a look ahead

COSE would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to every member and partner that participated in the various advocacy opportunities and events offered throughout 2014.  Your efforts and experiences drive our small business advocacy endeavors.  Last year is in the rearview mirror and we look forward to serving small business in the new year.  The governor will unveil his budget proposal for the 2016 and 2017 budget years in the near future and we look forward to using the COSE 2015 – 2016 Public Policy Agenda, that was fueled by your feedback, to drive our work in the days ahead.  We certainly appreciate your continued support and if you have not participated in COSE advocacy functions in the past, we encourage you to learn more about the many ways you can get involved.


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  • Next up: COSE Celebrates National Small Business Week

    COSE Celebrates National Small Business Week

    To entrepreneurs everywhere who are following their dreams, we wish you a happy National Small Business Week.


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  • Next up: COSE Commends Legislature for Clarifying Budget Language

    COSE Commends Legislature for Clarifying Budget Language

    The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) applauded the Ohio General Assembly today for clarifying language included in the state biennium budget which passed this summer that ensures small business owners will receive the full tax relief intended. Senate Bill 208, which passed the state legislature overwhelmingly, makes technical changes to state income tax law that makes certain not even a few small business owners will face an unprecedented tax bill this year before they're fully and permanently exempt from paying business income on their first $250,000 in 2016. 

    COSE commends legislature for clarifying budget language that ensures small business owners receive intended tax relief

    The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) applauded the Ohio General Assembly today for clarifying language included in the state biennium budget which passed this summer that ensures small business owners will receive the full tax relief intended. Senate Bill 208, which passed the state legislature overwhelmingly, makes technical changes to state income tax law that makes certain not even a few small business owners will face an unprecedented tax bill this year before they're fully and permanently exempt from paying business income on their first $250,000 in 2016. 

    Senate Bill 208 clarifies for tax year 2015 that the small business exemption will be:

    • 75% of a business’ first $250,000 in income
    • The remaining 25% will be taxed using the current graduated rates (reduced by 6.3% across the board income tax reduction in the budget bill)
    • A 3% flat rate on any income above $250,000

    Senate Bill 208 did not make changes to tax year 2016 in that the small business exemption will be:

    • 100% of a business’ first $250,000 in income
    • A 3% flat rate on any income above $250,000

    “We never believed it was the intent of the legislature or Governor to raise taxes on some small businesses this year - which was essentially an error in the drafting process – and COSE appreciates leadership for making this needed correction,” said COSE President and Executive Director Steve Millard. “The tax deductions now in place send a strong signal that our elected officials view small business as a priority.”

    The budget bill that passed this summer called for a flat 3% tax rate on business income above $250,000 – beginning in 2016. What the budget did not account for, is to provide for differing tax rates (as state tax code previously did) for taxable business income below $250,000 in 2015. Therefore, the 3% rate that would have gone in to effect for all taxable business income after the 75% small business tax deduction on the first $250,000 of income this year could have caused taxes to increase for some small business owners. Senate Bill 208 is expected to be signed by the Governor in the near future, effectively closing this tax loophole.

    “These tax relief measures are consistent with our views on providing predictable support for small business that encourages economic flexibility, stability, and growth,” added Millard. “COSE has and will continue to support sound tax policies that allow business owners to re-invest back into their companies, workforce, and communities.”

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  • Next up: A Fine Day at the State Capitol

    A Fine Day at the State Capitol

    On May 12, COSE small business owners assembled in Columbus to meet and connect with leaders in state government to further advance public policy initiatives that aim to enhance the small business climate in Ohio.

    On May 12, COSE small business owners assembled in Columbus to meet and connect with leaders in state government to further advance public policy initiatives that aim to enhance the small business climate in Ohio. 

    This year’s COSE Day at the Capitol event offered attendees the opportunity to attend a reception with numerous policymakers and their staff, personally visit with more than 20 legislators, and engage in a conversation with speakers Todd McCracken (President, National Small Business Association), Henry Gomez (Chief Political Reporter, Northeast Ohio Media Group), and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni. 

    Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Speaker of the Ohio House Cliff Rosenberger, Sen. Bill Beagle, and Sen. Frank LaRose also addressed a captive audience as they were recognized with COSE Small Business Advocate Awards. Award winners are chosen by COSE small business owners and they recognize elected officials who perform acts that promote small business success. 

    Speaker Rosenberger (pictured here with Steve Millard, Rion Safier, and Kevin Johnson) was honored for co-introducing entrepreneur-in-residence pilot program legislation last year, which places small business owners inside state agencies to help impact the way in which government officials understand and meet small business owner needs.

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  • Next up: COSE Day at the Capitol 2015

    COSE Day at the Capitol 2015

    Did you miss COSE Day at the Capitol 2015? Want to learn more about getting involved in COSE Advocacy? Check out our latest video!


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  • Next up: COSE Day at the Capitol 2017

    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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