GCP Testifies in Support of Key Provisions in House Bill 110, Two-Year State Budget Bill

 

Last week, the Greater Cleveland Partnership offered proponent testimony for Ohio House Bill 110, the two-year state budget bill. “GCP greatly appreciates that House Bill 110 currently presents a balanced budget approach without any readily apparent tax increases,” the testimony states. “Predictability and stability are key factors to consider as the business community continues to navigate an uncertain environment.”

There are several key provisions that GCP supports, many of which align with our 2021 – 2022 Public Policy Agenda, including:

  • Preserve Ohio’s small business tax deduction on the first $250K in business income.
  • Sustain Ohio’s current commercial activity tax (CAT) rate.
  • Support the $460M grant proposals that would aid small businesses, new businesses, bars and restaurants, lodging facilities, and indoor entertainment venues.
  • Approve the proposed funding for broadband affordability issues in urban areas.
  • Advance the $200M proposal to provide up to $2.5 million grants for infrastructure projects.
  • Authorize $100M to expand the Cleveland Innovation District.
  • Fund the H2Ohio program fully with $240M.
  • Support technology-focused credentials through the TechCred Program, including the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program.
  • Approve $15M to support targeted workforce investments in economically distressed rural and urban communities.
  • Devote $16M toward the goal of helping high school students earn 70,000 workforce credentials each year; support the additional $25M proposal to aid schools in offering new and high-demand credentials to students.
  • Support the expansion of Ohio to Work to help Ohioans facing job loss connect with a career coach, supportive services, and rapid re-training to become employed in an in-demand job.
  • Fund the Industry Sector Partnership Grant to support partnerships among business, schools, training providers, and community leaders, strengthening the local workforce; these partnerships develop and enhance career pathways for workers in specific industries.
  • Support and expand programs like the Export Internship, Diversity & Inclusion Internship, and Choose Ohio First.
  • Guarantee every student in Ohio has access to computer science education.

The Ohio House of Representatives will continue hearing budget testimony from proponents, opponents, and interested parties via various subcommittees. Once complete, the House Finance Committee will formulate a new version of the bills on recommendations from subcommittees. GCP will remain active throughout this process, providing the perspectives of the Northeast Ohio business community and advocating for provisions that will strengthen our regional economic outlook.

Following an affirmative vote by the House of Representatives, the bill will be considered and amended by the Senate, and ultimately be considered by a conference committee of both House and Senate Finance committee members. The agreed-upon version of the budget must be signed by the governor by June 30 for the appropriations to take effect on July 1, 2021.

You can read the GCP’s full testimony here.

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  • Next up: GCP Testifies in Support of State Bill to Provide Grant Support to Impacted Businesses

    GCP Testifies in Support of State Bill to Provide Grant Support to Impacted Businesses

     

    Earlier this week, GCP testified in support of Senate Bill 109 (SB 109), legislation that would provide grants to businesses, local fairs, childcare providers, and veterans homes. The bill allocates $20 million for grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 to indoor entertainment venues impacted by COVID-19. It also allocates $10 million for $10,000 relief grants to new businesses opened after January 1, 2020. Finally, the bill allocates $150 million for the Ohio small business grant relief program to provide $10,000 grants to applicants who applied before December 12, 2020, but whose requests were not funded.

    In 2020, GCP was extremely supportive of the Ohio small business grant relief program, which offered crucial relief during the pandemic. SB 109 is a welcome addition to that program. Cuyahoga County yielded the highest number of program applications and awards when the program closed in December 2020. Across the county, over 1,800 small businesses were awarded a grant.

    In written testimony, Marty McGann, Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Strategy at GCP, advocated for strong economic development tools to bolster support for Ohio-based companies and create the conditions for recovery. The proposed bill, he stated, “will help foster a strong, vibrant business community in Ohio.”

    You can read GCP’s full testimony here.

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  • Next up: GCP Testifies in Support of State Bills to Provide Grant Support to Impacted Businesses

    GCP Testifies in Support of State Bills to Provide Grant Support to Impacted Businesses

     

    Last week, GCP offered testimony supporting Ohio House Bills 168 and 169, which would appropriate $150 million to the state small business grant program and $125 million to the Development Services Agency (DSA) to provide grants to bars, restaurants, and lodging businesses, respectively.

    In 2020, GCP was extremely supportive of the Ohio small business grant program, which offered crucial relief during the pandemic. HB 168 is a welcome addition to that program and will include $10 million in funding support solely for businesses that were not eligible for the previous round of grants. The bill would also allocate $20 million to support Ohio’s theaters and entertainment venues.

    In written testimony, Marty McGann, Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Strategy at GCP, advocated for strong economic development tools to bolster support for Ohio-based companies and create the conditions for recovery. The proposed bills, he stated, “will help foster a strong, vibrant business community in Ohio.”

    You can read GCP’s full testimony here and here.

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  • Next up: How to improv my elevator speech

    How to improv my elevator speech

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  • Next up: FAQs With Phil: How Can I Improve My Elevator Pitch?

    FAQs With Phil: How Can I Improve My Elevator Pitch?

    In this new series, COSE's own Phil Stella advises creating an effective elevator pitch using the (soon-to-be-famous) SSCBH approach—impressing people you connect with and improving networking results.

     

    In this new Mind Your Business series, FAQs With Phil, COSE’s own Phil Stella answers some of the most frequently asked questions small business owners have regarding how to communicate effectively*. 

    This is a good question and I get it a lot. Before I dive into the answer, let me first explain why I prefer “elevator speech” to “elevator pitch.” Using the word “pitch” sounds like you are trying to sell something. No one likes to be sold to or to feel like you are only interested in talking with them to make a sale. Calling it a “speech” sounds like you want to share some information. Even though the difference in connotation is subtle, it can impact the mindset of the person doing it.

    That said, the purpose of an elevator speech is to answer a stranger's question “What do you do?" in an effective, efficient, and engaging manner. It begins a short, focused dialog. It is important to remember that this is not an invitation for a monologue. The purpose of the dialog is to begin to answer two important networking objectives questions:

    1. Is this person someone I or someone I know can help? Or,
    2. Can this person or someone he or she knows help me? 

    They're separate concepts and connected with an “or,” not an “and.” Thinking about it with an “and” implies that you can't have one without the other. This is simply not true for best-in-class network pros.

    RELATED: The 10 worst networking practices and how to avoid them

    Let’s take a look at an example of an effective elevator speech: 

    Imagine I get in the elevator on my way down from a conference in Key Tower. A fellow conference-goer hops in the elevator with me. She turns to me, takes a look at my conference name tag, and says…

    “What do you do, Phil?” 

    “I empower business leaders to reduce their pain when communicating with colleagues or customers by phone, in person, in writing or through presentations... The pain they experience and, often, the pain they cause others.”

    Why is it effective? This is a compelling elevator speech because it uses the famous SSCBH approach. OK, we just made this up, but it works. The SSCBH approach calls on you as the deliverer to ensure your pitch is Short and Simple, includes Clear language, has a Benefits-related focus, and includes a clever Hook at the end.

    RELATED: Read more by Phil Stella

    This speech does just that. But I’m not going to only talk about myself. I am going to ask her in return about her profession, and look for a connection between what we both do and how we might be able to help each other. By the time we get down to the lobby, we will exchange goodbyes and business cards. And, chances are good that that elevator encounter won’t be the last time we are in contact with each other. 

    So, stop pitching in the elevator and start engaging in dialogues. The people you talk with will appreciate the difference and your results will improve.

    Phil Stella runs Effective Training & Communication, www.communicate-confidently.com, 440 449-0356, and empowers business leaders to reduce the pain with workplace communication. A popular trainer and executive coach on writing, communication styles and sales presentations, he is also on the Cleveland faculty of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

    *If you have a question for Phil, please send him an email at Phil@communicate-confidently.com

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  • Next up: Key American Rescue Plan Provisions Will Help Advance GCP Priorities

    Key American Rescue Plan Provisions Will Help Advance GCP Priorities

     

    Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act - a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill. Here are some key provisions that will help advance our priorities:

     

    - Public Transit: Provides $30 billion for transit agencies who have been deeply impacted by the pandemic and forced to cut service and jobs in 2020.

     

    Our 2021-2022 Public Policy Agenda calls for revitalizing development around our existing transit hubs and funding multimodal transit that better connects residents to jobs, goods, and services. 

     

    - Broadband: Invests $7 billion in broadband so millions of public school students will receive the internet services they need for their education.

     

    We are a strong advocate for affordable, high-quality broadband in digitally divided communities, understanding that Cleveland’s unaffordable and unreliable internet service options prevent economic progress. Our long-term success hinges on a strong partnership with local governments, the state of Ohio, federal partners and the private sector. 

     

    - Small Business Support: Provides $15 billion in additional relief for the nation’s small businesses and hard-hit industries through increased funding for Targeted EIDL grants; $25 billion in funding for a new dedicated grant relief program for restaurants; $7 billion for expanded PPP assistance for nonprofits and digital news services; and $1 billion in Save Our Stages grants for independent live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.

     

    Our agenda lays out our federal priorities to build wealth for minority entrepreneurs and small businesses but doing so will mean addressing disparities in lending. 

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