GCP Applauds Reestablishment of Business Court

GCP supports the recent action by the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to reconstitute the commercial docket. This specialized docket was created as a pilot program in the late 2000s to resolve typical business disputes in a more efficient and consistent manner. The docket was discontinued in 2015 as the local judges sought changes to the Ohio Supreme Court procedures governing its operation. Recent changes to the Ohio Supreme Court rules provided an opening for reconsideration.

A streamlined commercial court docket makes it easier to do business in our community. This makes Cuyahoga County a more attractive location for businesses looking to expand or relocate. GCP greatly appreciates the judges and stakeholders for their efforts to revive this court.

Learn more about how the COSE/GCP Advocacy Team is working to represent the priorities of Northeast Ohio businesses.

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  • Next up: GCP continues push for long-term unemployment compensation reform

    GCP continues push for long-term unemployment compensation reform

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership urges the Ohio General Assembly to enact unemployment compensation reform that will achieve long-term solvency of the unemployment fund by reforming the system in a way that efficiently and effectively balances the interests of both employers and employees.

    To read our recent letter to the legislature on this important matter click here.

    Last year, GCP supported a short-term solution, which resulted in saving Ohio’s businesses millions of dollars and increased the state’s economic competitiveness.

    Long-term, however, Ohio’s current unemployment system must be re-structured for it to be viable in future generations. 

    On behalf of our members, GCP continues to seek improvements that will afford unemployed Ohioans the necessary support to re-enter the workforce and provide employers the predictability needed to operate a successful business.

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  • Next up: GCP Continues to Urge State Lawmakers to Reform the Unemployment Compensation System

    GCP Continues to Urge State Lawmakers to Reform the Unemployment Compensation System

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership and more than 20 chambers of commerce statewide continue to strongly advocate for passing a comprehensive unemployment compensation reform package before lawmakers adjourn in December that would allow the unemployment fund to achieve long-term solvency. 

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership and more than 20 chambers of commerce statewide continue to strongly advocate for passing a comprehensive unemployment compensation reform package before lawmakers adjourn in December that would allow the unemployment fund to achieve long-term solvency.

    Several years ago, the nation’s unemployment rate was on the rise and the unemployment fund was ill-prepared to cover the costs. Ohio paid the price and the burden was placed squarely on Ohio employers who were forced to pay a loan off from the federal government (resulting in annual increases in costs for employers) to continue paying jobless benefits. Under recently passed legislation that GCP supported and helped secure, the state paid off the federal debt a year ahead of schedule, saving Ohio job creators millions of dollars in 2017.

    GCP has a keen interest in making sure that any unemployment compensation reforms to be implemented in the future are done in a fashion that protects businesses operating in the state and provides a safety net for the employees of those businesses. GCP was the first to testify on the issue before a newly-appointed legislative panel that convened over the summer and we are committed to ensuring history does not repeat itself due to a future downturn in the economy. 

    We support a common-sense approach and ask that the General Assembly consider our members’ views as legislation is being crafted and debated in the coming days:
       
    •    Ohio should strive to achieve a balance in the unemployment fund that meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Labor’s suggested solvency level. 

    •    We also recognize that changes to the number of weeks that claimants can collect unemployment benefits could have a negative impact on specific industries like construction—for both employers and employees—and we look forward to working towards a solution on that issue.  

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  • Next up: GCP/COSE advocate for additional opportunities to more easily solve small claims disputes

    GCP/COSE advocate for additional opportunities to more easily solve small claims disputes

    On Wednesday, May 11, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Council of Smaller Enterprises submitted testimony before the Ohio Senate Civil Justice Committee in support of small claims courts legislation, House Bill 387 (HB 387).

    On Wednesday, May 11, the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Council of Smaller Enterprises submitted testimony before the Ohio Senate Civil Justice Committee in support of small claims courts legislation, House Bill 387 (HB 387). 

    The small claims division was established by the Ohio General Assembly in 1967 and under current law each county and municipal court is required to establish a small claims division.  A small claims division has jurisdiction in civil actions for the recovery of taxes and money only, for amounts not exceeding $3,000, not including interest and cost.  And, our members are encouraged by efforts to increase the maximum dollar amount to $6,000 for all sizes of business through HB 387.

    Adjusting the maximum level small claims courts have jurisdiction over will allow for additional business owners to participate in a process that was not available to them in years past.  In addition, it would provide the business community with another useful tool at their disposal to recover losses and debts when it does not make good economic sense to go through a higher court due to the costs of attorneys’ fees, etc.  Our business owners decided to support HB 387 because it will help them: contain legal costs, save time and effort that could be better spent managing their businesses, and utilize a more informal, expeditious, and inexpensive means to pursue claims for smaller sums of money through the small claims division. 

    While this issue may not individually command headline news, it makes a larger statement about Ohio’s desire to find ways to continue to eliminate barriers for businesses in our state.  HB 387 is a step in the right direction to foster a strong, vibrant business community in Ohio.

    Read our testimony in support of HB 387.

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  • Next up: GCP, COSE Reiterate Employers' Perspectives on State Tax Policies

    GCP, COSE Reiterate Employers' Perspectives on State Tax Policies

    The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) and the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) recently submitted written testimony to the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission to reiterate the perspective of small, mid and large employers as it relates to tax policy in Ohio. The testimony from GCP’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Marty McGann, highlights several key points made by GCP and COSE during the state operating budget process

    The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) and the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) recently submitted written testimony to the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission to reiterate the perspective of small, mid and large employers as it relates to tax policy in Ohio. The testimony from GCP’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Marty McGann, highlights several key points made by GCP and COSE during the state operating budget process:

    • Seek greater efficiencies in state government to allow for personal income tax reductions versus shifting the tax burden from one group of businesses to another
    • Permanently preserve the 100% tax exemption on the first $250,000 in business income
    • Maintain or lower the current commercial activity tax (CAT) rate and maintain or increase the current CAT exemption level 
    • Be thoughtful about the implications of expanding the sales tax base and/or increasing the rate

    “We continue to share the vision of our state leaders to strengthen Ohio by providing for a positive economic development environment that creates opportunity for all,” said McGann.  “Small business tax relief and greater government efficiency versus shifting taxes are smart approaches to get us there.”  

    The Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission was created in the recently passed state budget, HB 64. The commission is a bi-partisan group of state legislators charged with examining Ohio’s tax structure to determine any reforms that might be necessary in the next state budget cycle that will strengthen Ohio’s economic competitiveness.

    Click here to read the full testimony.

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  • Next up: GCP/COSE says "No" to a Cleveland-Only Wage Hike

    GCP/COSE says "No" to a Cleveland-Only Wage Hike

    Several weeks ago, members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and its small business division, the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), announced firm opposition to the proposal for a Cleveland-only $15 minimum wage.  Collectively, we represent the most comprehensive small, middle market, and large business organization in the state.  And, if this misguided proposal – the most aggressive wage hike in the country – were enacted it would lead to the loss of businesses within Cleveland’s borders and send a strong signal to investors and employers who are considering expansions.  

    Several weeks ago, members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and its small business division, the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), announced firm opposition to the proposal for a Cleveland-only $15 minimum wage.  Collectively, we represent the most comprehensive small, middle market, and large business organization in the state.  And, if this misguided proposal – the most aggressive wage hike in the country – were enacted it would lead to the loss of businesses within Cleveland’s borders and send a strong signal to investors and employers who are considering expansions.  

    So, who’s really behind Cleveland’s proposed minimum wage increase and what are they proposing?

    A group called “Raise Up Cleveland” – formed and supported by the multi-state union Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 WV/KY/OH – submitted petitions to Cleveland City Council to raise Cleveland’s minimum wage to $15 an hour beginning in January 2017.  Ohio's current minimum wage increases with inflation and is more than the federal wage standard of $7.25.  If passed, the $15 wage proposal would give Cleveland the highest generally applied minimum wage in the nation – while the rest of the state would continue to operate at $8.10.

    How would such a drastic Cleveland-only increase impact our community?

    All types of businesses – restaurants, manufacturers, construction firms, retailers – would feel the burden and the changes they would be forced to make to survive would leave many Clevelanders jobless and many city communities without the resources they rely on.  Companies would relocate out of the city of Cleveland and businesses that do operate in Cleveland would face a deep competitive disadvantage when compared with their neighbors.

    What can I do to assist GCP/COSE in preventing, beating, and invalidating this potential ballot initiative?

    If you would like to be an active participant in our efforts on this issue by writing a letter to the editor, participating in grassroots activities, or making a financial contribution to the cause please send us a message at advocacy@cose.org.

    Urge fellow Clevelanders to consider the unintended consequences of such a drastic and targeted increase to our minimum wage.  Say no to a Cleveland-only wage hike.

      

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