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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  • Next up: Month in Review: April 2021

    Month in Review: April 2021

     

    If you can’t believe the month of April is already in your rearview mirror, you’re not alone. But before we totally say goodbye, let’s take a look at some of our favorite articles on the blog from last month.

    Branding on a Budget: 4 Tips for Your Small Business

    When it comes to branding you may not be able to out-spend your competition, but you can always out-think them. Consider these four ways to brand your small business even with a small budget.

    Spoiler Alert: One way COSE members can market their business for free is by contributing to the Mind Your Business blog. Contact us to learn more.

    Recognizing and Handling Cyberbullying in the Workplace

    Cyberbullying should never be tolerated, but it may be hard to recognize—especially in the workplace. Learn how to identify the signs of cyberbullying and how to handle it once it is detected.

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

    In this new series with COSE's own Phil Stella, we take a look at some frequently asked questions from small business owners regarding how to communicate effectively and confidently.

    We kick off the series with an explanation of how to create an effective elevator pitch using the (soon-to-be-famous) SSCBH approach. So, whether it's during a zoom networking event, or in an actual elevator when life resumes in-person opportunities, learn more about improving your elevator pitch.

    Hint: It starts with changing the word "pitch" to the word "speech."

    If you have a question for Phil, email him at phil@communicate-confidently.com

    8 Highly Effective SEO Trends For Your Small Business in 2021

    It's no longer enough to just have a website—your small business needs to have an effective online presence to land in the top search results.

    From artificial intelligence and video content to image optimization and keywords and phrases... keep up with these eight search engine optimization trends that will get your business noticed in 2021.

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  • Next up: Month in Review: March 2021

    Month in Review: March 2021

     

    With winter behind us, and warmer weather and vaccines on the horizon, we are excited to spring into April (see what we did there?). But before we do, let’s look back at some of our favorite posts on the blog from March. These articles follow the theme of the times—virtual working and recruitment—and are full of tips you can implement with your small business.

    Is it Time to Bring Back Your Workforce?
     
    Are you considering bringing your team back into the office? What will a post-COVID workplace look like? From determining who should return and how you will mitigate illness in your office, check out these guidelines for planning your return.

    3 Things to Know: One Year Into COVID
     
    It's been a full year since phrases like social distancing, "You're on mute," and Zoom happy hours have entered your daily language. Here are three things we think you should know now that we are one year into COVID and remote working.

    Maintaining Culture and Connection in a Virtual World
     
    We may be living in a virtual world, but that doesn't mean we can't still feel connected to our colleagues. Here are four tips you can implement today to maintain your company culture and connection with your team, even from a distance.

    Cleveland Internship Summit: 5 Takeaways from Virtual Recruitment Best Practices
     
    A roundtable discussion at GCP's recent Cleveland Internship Summit focused on virtual internship programs and recruitment. Participants shared tips and ideas for a successful program that you can implement in your own business. Check out these five takeaways from the session.

    What was your favorite article from March? Let us know on Twitter.

     
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