GCP Joins COVID Coalition, Governor Urges Determination

 

Last week the GCP Board of Directors officially approved of the organization’s inclusion and participation in the Coalition to Stop the Spread.  GCP is among hundreds of Ohio organizations that are coming together as part of the Coalition to Stop the Spread

We all have committed to mobilize our workforces, our customers, our vendors and our friends in advocating for steps we know are effective in fighting back against COVID-19. 

Check out a message directly from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine thanking GCP members for their resilience.  

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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 Offers Support of Intrastate Crowdfunding Bill

    GCP Offers Support of Intrastate Crowdfunding Bill

     

    GCP offered proponent testimony for Ohio House Bill 312, which permits intrastate equity crowdfunding under certain circumstances. Securing traditional sources of capital for the small business community can still serve as a challenge. New funding opportunities that make access to capital easier can help businesses achieve greater stability and predictability, particularly in challenging economic circumstances.

    The ability for businesses to leverage diverse funding streams will help bolster our state economy and make Ohio a more attractive place for entrepreneurs. The goal of HB 312 is a step in the right direction to ensure Ohio continues to make strides in maintaining an economic environment conducive to startup entrepreneurship. For startups and small businesses that do not qualify for traditional lending or need to diversify their capital streams, HB 312 will help to ensure that is possible. 

    The bill, sponsored by Representative Jena Powell, has its second hearing by the Senate Finance Committee last week. It was passed unanimously by the House in late 2019. To read GCP’s full testimony, click here.

     
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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 Reiterates Support for the Ohio Fairness Act

    GCP Reiterates Support for the Ohio Fairness Act

     

    House Bill 369 – a bill to enact the Ohio Fairness Act – received a hearing in the Ohio House of Representatives recently. The bill would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. 

    Many of our members – and GCP – have company policies in place that provide protections for LGBTQ workers. The House legislation is currently pending in the House Civil Justice Committee and GCP offered proponent testimony. Similar legislation exists in the Ohio Senate, Senate Bill 11, that GCP has also weighed-in on.

    Support for the Ohio Fairness Act followed GCP’s endorsement of Ohio Business Competes, a coalition of more than 300 companies that supports statewide non-discrimination policies for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

    Contact your legislator today and ask them to support the Ohio Fairness Act.

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  • Next up: GCP Supports HHS Levy; Officials to Further Examine Structural & Levy Reforms

    GCP Supports HHS Levy; Officials to Further Examine Structural & Levy Reforms

     

    GCP Supports Health and Human Services Levy

    GCP and County Leaders to Examine Future Structural, Levy Reform Possibilities

     CLEVELAND, January 28, 2020 – The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) announced the chamber of commerce’s support for a 4.7 mill eight-year Cuyahoga County health and human services (HHS) levy today.  In addition, the organization of more than 12,000 members vowed to convene with County officials to further examine HHS levy-related finances and agreed-upon measurements and metrics to help gauge progress going forward.  In order to help avoid a future HHS levy ballot increase beyond the March 2020 measure, the County plans to develop and publish HHS levy savings that are achieved.

    The HHS ballot measure will appear before voters in March.  The position aligns with GCP members’ support of the last two County health and human services levies.  GCP endorsed the 2016 renewal of a 4.8 mill HHS levy and the 2018 HHS renewal of a 3.9 mill levy.  In its 2018 endorsement, GCP member leaders vowed to closely and actively engage with the County on future levy proceedings. 

    “Cuyahoga County elected officials are to be commended for taking the business community’s concerns seriously in an ongoing effort to review possible taxpayer savings and improved services that can be achieved,” said Joe Roman, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.  “GCP believes support for the HHS levy increase is necessary because the effort demonstrates a severe and urgent societal need in which progress must be made to ensure economic vitality and those in need are protected sufficiently.  We think this can be achieved in concert with additional feedback and expertise from key stakeholders, partners, and the business community.”      

    In addition, GCP and County leaders agreed to establish a task force.  Among the purposes of the task force, will be to create an initial working group to explore and drive potential structural reforms.   Officials are committed to evaluating and pursuing reforms that may improve the overall efficiency of our local tax system to offer improved services and remain competitive with peer cities.

    “The business community’s support and expertise on health and human services issues over the years has been crucial,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.  “We’re fortunate to live in a compassionate region that understands the necessity of this HHS levy increase – an increase we have not proposed in my time as County Executive.  Like GCP, I also recognize the need to coordinate future tax levies in our region and continue to look for improvements we can make surrounding structural reforms and I am committed, and welcome others, to engage in those discussions going forward.  Finally, we are committed to working to ensure a health and human services tax increase is avoidable in 2024.”

    “Approving the HHS levy request this March is essential in order to protect those in our community who are most in need,” said Cuyahoga County Council President Dan Brady.  “We thank GCP for their support and we look forward to working with its members to identify additional cost savings and transparent metrics that can be identified to improve upon the significant progress we are making as community for our children and seniors.”

    GCP’s strategic plan, ForwardCLE, called for a better understanding of the impact of our collective tax climate.  The proposed health and human services levy represents the second major local tax increase proposal since data was released from the GCP tax analysis.  Additional local tax levy increases are also expected in 2020.  GCP has continually reiterated that the purpose of these important exercises and raising the bar for support for future tax levy increases is to seek areas for improvement, not to single out any one tax or entity.  This position is consistent with GCP’s stated resolve to address the unsustainable trajectory of tax growth and meets our stated basis for exception and creates a path and shared commitment to needed reform.

    “As stated previously, it is our sincere hope the public, private, philanthropic sectors, and others can come together to better understand and examine a more cost-effective means of providing vital government services in our region to benefit the communities they serve,” said Scott Chaikin, who serves as GCP Board Chair and Executive Chairman of Dix & Eaton.  “Our members are proud to offer support for the latest health and human services proposal.  We cannot afford to become complacent as a region, however, and working with public officials and our communities is a key ingredient to achieving the success and improvement we all desire.”

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