Most Anticipated Northeast Ohio Projects

In light of all of the development happening in Northeast Ohio, Mind Your Business recently sat down with several COSE members and asked them to discuss what projects they have on their own personal wish lists and what development gaps might still exist.

In light of all of the development happening in Northeast Ohio, Mind Your Business recently sat down with several COSE members and asked them to discuss what projects they have on their own personal wish lists and what development gaps might still exist.

As part of this discussion, we also asked our expert panel to list what their most anticipated projects are that are actually in the pipeline for the region. Their answers are below.

Lakefront Development Project 

Cost: $280 million

Scope: Vibrant mixed-use neighborhood

Includes: Apartments, office and retail space, parks and water access space

University Circle City Center District Project

Cost: $280 million

Scope: Mixed-use neighborhood project

Includes: Residential and housing units, street-level retail space, loft office space, and garage parking

Opportunity Corridor 

Cost: $331 million

Scope: Three-mile boulevard connecting University Circle to East 55th Street, creating a 21st-century employment zone

Includes: Mobility enhancements, economic resurgence, community re-investment

 

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  • Next up: Municipal Income Tax Webcast: What you need to know about state law changes

    Municipal Income Tax Webcast: What you need to know about state law changes

    As teams begin to hit the field in preparation for the upcoming football season, we want to ensure you are also gearing up for the game-changing effective date of House Bill 5's municipal income tax laws. Municipalities are currently amending their existing income tax ordinances to incorporate the new law’s provisions, and your business should be prepping now too in order to be ready by the end of the year. To take a deeper dive into the new law and help you plan now for changes that will impact you, your business or your clients, please join us as former Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino hosts a webcast on September 28th at 9:30 a.m.  Register here today!

    As teams begin to hit the field in preparation for the upcoming football season, we want to ensure you are also gearing up for the game-changing effective date of House Bill 5's municipal income tax laws. Municipalities are currently amending their existing income tax ordinances to incorporate the new law’s provisions, and your business should be prepping now too in order to be ready by the end of the year.

    To take a deeper dive into the new law and help you plan now for changes that will impact you, your business or your clients, please join us as former Ohio Tax Commissioner Tom Zaino hosts a webcast on September 28th at 9:30 a.m.  Register here today!

    In the meantime, summarized below are just some of the benefits coming your way starting in 2016:

    Pass-through entities

    If your business is organized as a pass-through entity (“PTE”), the municipal net profits tax will now be imposed at the entity level (unless your municipality is one of a handful that previously voted to tax resident S corporation owners at the shareholder level), with the owner needing to file only in their city of residence. Also, gains and losses that are generated by resident taxpayers’ different pass-through entities and their own net profit may offset each other during the year in which such gains and losses were generated to arrive at the total amount of tax due. 

    NOL carryforward

    If your business does not have a profitable year, some relief is coming: starting in 2017 all municipalities must allow businesses to deduct any new net operating losses (NOL) and allow a five-year carryforward of those losses. Profits and losses are measured on a 12-month basis simply as an accounting tool used to facilitate the collection of tax revenues. However, businesses are established with the goal of making a profit over the long haul, not simply in any particular 12-month period. When you have a loss, an NOL carryforward is treated as an asset on your balance sheet to help offset future gains. Therefore, the NOL carryforward becomes an economic development tool by allowing businesses to deduct losses and continue to operate, helping you with job retention in down years.

    Occasional entry rule

    A significant improvement to the “casual entrant” exemption increases the number of days (from 12 to 20 per year) that individuals may work in a non-principal place of business municipality before incurring income tax liability there. Should your employee be there 21 or more days, you will need to withhold in that “other” city from day 21 forward until the end of the calendar year. The new law also defines a day to allocate tax liability to the city where an employee spent the majority of time working that day (you must withhold only to one municipality per calendar day), and provides that the casual entrant rule applies to all compensation. Businesses and cities may continue to work out other agreements as well if both parties agree.

    Another major change eliminates the requirement for employers with gross receipts of less than $500,000 a year to track where their employees are working; instead, these small businesses will simply withhold to the jurisdiction where the principle place of business is located. These businesses must still file net profits returns in every city where they do business, but will owe no tax if the amount due is $10 or under.

    Other common sense changes

    If you’ve done work in a municipality in the past but no longer work there, many cities require you to continue filing tax returns anyway for up to three years. The new law allows you to certify to a municipal tax administrator that you are no longer a taxpayer there. Upon certifying, you are no longer required to file with that municipality during future taxable years, unless the tax administrator possesses conflicting information or you start working there again.

    Taxpayer Bill of Rights

    The new law includes the full version of the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights at the local level, and requires municipalities to publish a summary of the taxpayers’ bill of rights and responsibilities online, as well as publish its municipal tax ordinances and regulations. It also aligns municipal return filing dates with state filing dates, and makes consistent with federal, state and current municipal tax law the tax return due date for entities with a fiscal year-end other than a calendar year-end.

    Residency changes

    The new law prescribes an income tax employer withholding schedule for all municipalities on a monthly vs. quarterly basis depending on your recent withholding amounts. Finally, municipalities are allowed to treat an individual as a resident for income tax purposes only if the individual is domiciled there, and it adopts 25 generally recognized common law factors for determining an individual’s domicile.

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  • Next up: My Biggest Priority in 2019 Is ...

    My Biggest Priority in 2019 Is ...

    With 2018 coming to an end and 2019 already in sight, it’s time to start thinking about the lessons learned this year and how to make the new year even more successful. Here’s how COSE Board member Alex Gertsburg, CEO of the Gertsburg Law Firm and CoverMySix, is thinking through his firm’s strategy for next year.

    As we enter the final month of 2018, it’s easy to start looking ahead to the new year and how to make 2019 an even more successful year for your business. It’s a question that the staff at the Gertsburg Law Firm Co. LPA, which helps clients navigate a range of topics including business litigation and transactions, compliance audits, estate and probate, and real estate issues, have been pondering as well.

    We sat down recently with Alex Gertsburg, the CEO of the firm that has offices in Chagrin Falls and Cleveland, to ask them how they’ve been thinking through their planning for 2019. Here’s what he had to say:

    MYB: What is your firm’s biggest priority in 2019?

    Gertsburg: Our priority next year is to focus on the fastest growing part of our firm, Cover My Six, and to give it an even bigger boost than we had this year. Cover My Six is a legal audit of the six areas where a business is most likely to get sued. We had 40% growth in our firm this year; next year we want to have exponentially higher growth and Cover My Six is how we’re doing it. I want it to be the biggest disruptor to hit the legal business since Legal Zoom.

    MYB: What strategies have you used to grow this part of your business?

    Gertsburg: We’ve had a lot of good testimonials and messaging. I have this product that every business needs to know about, but how do I show them that? I have other people show them. The best way I know how to do it is to have other people tell my story, so we’ve used testimonials and a social media campaign to do it.

    MYB: How do you judge whether this marketing campaign for Cover My Six is a success or not?

    Gertsburg: We’re benchmarking it in terms of revenue, the total number of orders placed and the total number of simultaneous audits taking place.

    MYB: What’s the biggest challenge you’re trying to solve for 2019?

    Gertsburg: Our biggest challenge in 2018 was capacity. We had so much business coming in the door that our attorneys would often get bogged down. We solved that problem by becoming more efficient.

    MYB: What have you done to become more efficient?

    Gertsburg: Every single time we do a Cover My Six audit, we get better at it. After each order, we ask ourselves, how could we have been more efficient? And the process gets faster. We squeeze out waste each time we do an order. It’s a never-ending cycle of improvement.

    MYB: And now for a shameless plug on our part, how has COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped you achieve your business goals?

    Gertsburg: It’s really simple: The organization has surrounded me with other business owners. And these business owners are going through the same buckets of issues and problems we are. I benefit by networking with them or attending board meetings and being surrounded by these owners who deal with cash flow issues and culture issues and other problems small and mid-sized businesses all have. By hearing what they are going through, I get better at resolving my own challenges and I am able to help them, too, which makes me feel good. A rising tide lifts all ships. And by solving problems, we strengthen our relationship and that’s the biggest way COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership have helped me.

    Alex and the attorneys of The Gertsburg Law Firm now offer Cover My Six, a one-stop legal audit for your business, led by award-winning litigators and in-house counsel. CM6 minimizes your exposure to lawsuits, investigations, disgruntled employees and customers, and all the damage that comes with them. Visit www.covermysix.com to learn more about how to protect your business from lawsuits with this brand-new service.

    Learn more about the benefits of being a COSE Member by clicking here. Or, contact our Membership Team directly via email at memberservices@cose.org or by phone at 216-592-2355.


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  • Next up: NASA isn't only about rockets; it can help companies "visualize" their businesses in new ways

    NASA isn't only about rockets; it can help companies "visualize" their businesses in new ways

    When folks think of NASA, they think rockets and the moon. For the most part, you’re right. NASA Glenn specializes in many of those fields of engineering. But this year’s winners of the 2016 Tech Team of the Year award specialize in helping you visualize things in a way you’d never thought could help your business grow. I had the chance to learn more about how this team operates and they also took me on a 3-D test ride in a lab that can help organizations like General Motors and Ford make vehicles last longer and run better. Hope you enjoy this podcast as much I did hanging out!

    When folks think of NASA, they think rockets and the moon. For the most part, you’re right. NASA Glenn specializes in many of those fields of engineering. But this year’s winners of the 2016 Tech Team of the Year award specialize in helping you visualize things in a way you’d never thought could help your business grow. I had the chance to learn more about how this team operates and they also took me on a 3-D test ride in a lab that can help organizations like General Motors and Ford make vehicles last longer and run better. Hope you enjoy this podcast as much I did hanging out!

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  • Next up: National Regulatory Budget Act Introduced in Both U.S. Senate and House

    National Regulatory Budget Act Introduced in Both U.S. Senate and House

    Rules and regulations can be challenging for small business owners to understand and comply with, and they are not always top of mind for employers until they are directly impacted by them.  Thankfully, there are some institutions and processes in place that can help, and there’s federal legislation that aims to address this common small business pain point even further.  

    Rules and regulations can be challenging for small business owners to understand and comply with, and they are not always top of mind for employers until they are directly impacted by them.  Thankfully, there are some institutions and processes in place that can help, and there’s federal legislation that aims to address this common small business pain point even further.  

    U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill, the National Regulatory Budget Act (S. 2153), in March 2014 that has been referred to U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs.  Our friends at the National Small Business Association (NSBA) played a vital role in crafting this legislation. If enacted, it would provide the following:

    • Strict, enforceable constraints on the ability of the federal government to impose regulatory costs on the public by requiring regulators to assign a cost to all regulations as well as staying within a Congressionally determined “regulatory budget”
    • It would create an independent agency, “The Office of Regulatory Analysis” (ORA), that would provide an annual regulatory analysis of federal rules and their economic costs for the upcoming years in dollars.
    • The ORA director would be nominated by the President for a four-year term, subject to the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.

    On July 24, U.S. Representatives Steve Scalise (R-La) and Doug Collins (R-Ga) cast their support for this concept by introducing a companion bill, H.R. 5184, on the House side.  COSE and NSBA appreciate both representatives for their leadership roles in introducing this language.

    COSE has been highly active at the state level promoting regulatory reform and fairness. As long time supporters of Senate Bill 3 (legislation that further ensures small businesses are included in the rule-making process), which was signed into law this past June, COSE has worked in conjunction with the Lieutenant Governor’s office and the work of Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) as it aims to ensure that all current and future state rules and regulations are fair and equitable, and don’t cause undue burdens for small businesses. In fact, CSI is led by a Small Business Advisory Council in which two Northeast Ohio COSE members are part of.   The panel is made up of nine small business representatives that are committed to providing direction and expertise throughout small business reviews of state rules and regulations to help achieve a more positive regulatory environment in Ohio.

    In addition to COSE’s support of CSI, we recently hosted National Ombudsman Brian Castro, who works on behalf of small businesses across the U.S., ensuring regulatory fairness. COSE provided members with the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with him regarding the challenges and needs of small businesses in Ohio relating to federal rules and regulations. The National Ombudsman works with 10 small business Regulatory Fairness Boards comprised of five small business owners, and COSE is also proud that one of our own sits on our Region 5 Regulatory Fairness Board.

    COSE can help you navigate through the regulatory process, catering to your specific needs. For more information or questions, please email jburns@cose.org. We also encourage you to tweet at us: @COSEsmallbiz #COSEadvocacy 

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  • Next up: National Small Business Association Comes to Cleveland

    National Small Business Association Comes to Cleveland

    As part of a recent National Small Business Association (NSBA) quarterly Board of Trustees meeting, small business owners from across the nation visited Northeast Ohio, some for the first time. I’m proud to say they experienced for the first time what we Clevelanders already know – our region is second to none to visit, work, and play. The group visited Playhouse Square, our unique neighborhoods, and took in beautiful views of our Great Lake. Not a soul could have left on an empty stomach; that is, after our small business food truck scene was quickly discovered.  And, the weather even cooperated which we know is no small feat.

    As part of a recent National Small Business Association (NSBA) quarterly Board of Trustees meeting, small business owners from across the nation visited Northeast Ohio, some for the first time. I’m proud to say they experienced for the first time what we Clevelanders already know – our region is second to none to visit, work, and play. The group visited Playhouse Square, our unique neighborhoods, and took in beautiful views of our Great Lake. Not a soul could have left on an empty stomach; that is, after our small business food truck scene was quickly discovered.  And, the weather even cooperated which we know is no small feat.

    But, the main focus of the gathering was to provide a backdrop and venue to share ideas and offer solutions to common small business challenges, especially those related to public policy.  

    COSE’s national partner, NSBA, is the first and oldest national small business advocacy organization in the country and COSE members continue to play a key role in the shape and scope of NSBA’s work. NSBA is an advocate, on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs, and a staunchly non-partisan organization that reaches more than 150,000 small businesses across the country. 

    While NSBA’s efforts are focused on federal advocacy, the association is continually providing a snapshot of what’s on the mind of America’s small business community.  And, Tim Reynolds (Owner, Tribute, Inc. / Chair, NSBA Board of Trustees) and Todd McCracken (President, National Small Business Association) had an opportunity to do just that when they joined The Sounds of Ideas radio program to discuss “Navigating the Challenges of Starting and Running a Small Business”.  To listen to audio from that interview, click here

    For so many small-business owners, one of the ways to alleviate the everyday burdens of doing business is to get elected officials to respond to the issues that are important to the small business community. There is no shortage of pressing small business issues facing our leaders in Washington this fall.  Organizations such as COSE and NSBA provide a platform for small-business owners to become engaged, have some fun seeing old friends and making new ones, while representing the voice of small business in front of key government decision-makers. We are doing our part to represent your interests daily, but thanks to leadership provided by small business owners just like you we can bring your issues to the forefront and effectively enact positive change that impacts the way your business operates.

    Whether you’re in the early stages of your work and in search of access to capital, you own a small firm that has thrived for years and have questions about health care or taxes, or fall somewhere in between—take some time today to learn more about the ways in which we can help you achieve your idea of success.

    For more information on how you can join the National Small Business Association call 800-345-6728 or e-mail info@nsba.biz.

    For more information on the benefits of your COSE membership contact us at 216-592-2355 or memberservices@cose.org.

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