State Rep Mike Dovilla tours Hunt Imaging

When asked how small businesses can better assist their elected officials on learning about small business needs, State Representative Mike Dovilla responded saying, “I urge small businesses to connect with their elected officials. That’s the only way to surface concerns that will lead to resolutions”.

When asked how small businesses can better assist their elected officials on learning about small business needs, State Representative Mike Dovilla responded saying, “I urge small businesses to connect with their elected officials. That’s the only way to surface concerns that will lead to resolutions”.

COSE has been helping small businesses throughout the state of Ohio do just that. Just last week, Mike Stanek, Chairman of the COSE Advocacy Committee and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Hunt Imaging, LLC, hosted State Rep. Mike Dovilla and Berea City Council President Mary Brown to tour Hunt Imaging and sit down with his fellow colleagues to discuss the company’s history, concerns, and challenges. 

From left to right: Mark Matthews (VP of operations, Hunt Imaging), Jack Fix (Product Manager, Hunt Imaging), State Rep. Mike Dovilla, Mike Stanek (CFO, Hunt Imaging), Mary Brown (Berea, City Council President)

Founded in Brooklyn, New York in 1909, Hunt Imaging was originally named the Phillip A. Hunt Chemical company. Focusing primarily in the trade industry, Hunt Chemical traded in raw photographic chemicals for the motion picture industry. Some of Hunt Chemical’s first innovations included the first liquid concentrate developers to process x-ray films and later graphic arts films and papers. In 1974 Hunt Chemical moved to its current location in Berea, Ohio off of Sheldon Road and occupies a 100,000 square foot facility. They also have a manufacturing facility in Temse, Belgium.

Today, Hunt Imaging is known for developing new advanced toners and carriers for high-speed printing applications. Hunt Imaging has about 30 employees at their Berea location and Mike Stanek shared with the group that they are looking to hire a few additional employees in the future.

Following a tour of the facility, Rep. Dovilla sat down with Hunt Imaging employees, Council President Brown, and COSE to learn more about small business priorities. Along with high energy costs being a concern for Hunt Imaging, Mike Stanek said a main workforce challenge can be finding future employees that are prepared to hit the ground running. “We have had folks who would only get 3 out of 10 questions correct when asked basic math questions,” he stated. Although there may not always be clear cut answers to eliminating skills gaps, it is an issue that many employers have across all of Ohio as Rep. Dovilla said he is quite familiar with this challenge along with employers having a hard time hiring employees who are reliable and drug-free.

COSE would like to thank the employees of Hunt Imaging for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their stories. We echo Rep. Dovilla’s request - spend some time reaching out to those that represent you.  The connections you make and the relationships you build with your elected officials truly matter.

Interested in hosting your elected official at your small business?  Call 216-592-2404 or email advocacy@cose.org.


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  • Next up: State Rep. Sarah LaTourette checks-in with COSE member Geothermal Professionals

    State Rep. Sarah LaTourette checks-in with COSE member Geothermal Professionals

    On April 9, several members of Geothermal Professionals, in Newbury, Ohio, were on hand to greet State Rep. Sarah LaTourette, provide her with some background on the company, and to show her around their facility.

    When Dan Fant started his business years ago he was like so many new small business owners that are apprehensive about unknown challenges to be faced along the way. Dan’s company, Geothermal Professionals in Newbury, Ohio, has grown over time to 14 employees and they complete more than 70 minimally invasive, low impact instillations of an energy product annually. On April 9, several members of Dan’s team were on hand to greet State Rep. Sarah LaTourette, provide her with some background on the company, and to show her around their facility.

    Geothermal units use the earth’s natural heat to warm and cool homes for sustainable, environmentally friendly comfort.  And, during the Representative’s visit, attendees learned that Geothermal Professionals are the only fully integrated geothermal provider in Ohio, handling every aspect of the project from start to finish for an easy and smooth experience for Dan’s customers.

    “Representative LaTourette left a very positive impression on our company. We found her to be very sincere and attentive to a complicated subject,” said Fant of the visit. “Her interest in our company, how we performed our jobs, and green energy itself was genuine.”

    The percentage of savings varies from homeowner to homeowner – the actual savings depends on the heating source options. According to Geothermal Professionals, the real driving factors for each homeowner includes: comfort, technological sophistication, quietness, eco-friendliness, re-sale value, and ROI. The ROI is a moving target that is contingent upon the size and design of the house, the indoor temperature settings, the severity of the winter, and (as mentioned above) the competing options available for the heating source – electric, propane, oil, wood, natural gas.  

    A geothermal system offers a viable HVAC solution for any homeowner seeking the greatest level of comfort and efficiency available on the market today.  As a bonus, it happens to be earth-friendly and safe,” Fant explained.    

    I appreciate the great work that COSE and Geothermal Professionals are doing in Northeast Ohio,” said State Rep. LaTourette of her visit to Geothermal. “The entire team at Geothermal is so proud of the service they provide to the area and I enjoyed learning about their field during the tour.”

    Interested in having an elected official tour your small business? Contact us at advocacy@cose.org.

    Want to learn more about how Geothermal Professionals might be the right fit for your home’s heating and cooling needs? Contact them today!

    And, don’t forget, COSE members have access to several programs designed to ensure you are maximizing your energy savings. Contact COSE energy services at 216-592-2205 or energy@cose.org to learn more about how we can help you.


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  • Next up: State Sen. Gayle Manning on Tax, Energy Initiatives

    State Sen. Gayle Manning on Tax, Energy Initiatives

    State Sen. Gayle Manning represents Huron and Lorain counties and she recently spent some valuable time with our small business members discussing various state policy issues. In this GCP Insight video, Senator Manning discusses her leadership role in the Ohio Senate as well as tax and energy initiatives.



     

    The “GCP Insight” video series focuses on topics of interest to the Greater Cleveland business community.


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  • Next up: Senator Dolan Visits Member Company Chagrin Valley Soap

    Senator Dolan Visits Member Company Chagrin Valley Soap

    Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve is dedicated to crafting high quality, healthy, effective skin and hair care products and the company, like so many other small businesses in our region, has a unique story to tell.

    As members of the Ohio General Assembly spend more time in their districts throughout the summer, State Senator Matt Dolan recently took time to tour and learn more about the family-owned and operated company located in Solon. 

    Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve believes their offerings are only as good as the ingredients used to make their products. And, it was back in 2003 when Ida Friedman really began to lay the groundwork for the family’s vision (perhaps, not knowing what it would grow in to today) through an interesting hobby. By summer, 2005, the result of Ida’s hard work and "hobby" was an in-demand and a full-fledged business. Two years later, Ida’s son, Sam, returned from Spain and joined the business together with his then girlfriend, and now wife, Lindsey. Then came Christine and Ben. Ida’s husband, Howard, is still there to help, build, repair and most importantly, to continue his encouragement and support (he also makes all the soap decks). And, finally, Ida’s 99-year-old mother, Sophie, even pitched-in with product labeling.

    "Sam and his mom, Ida, are the purest form of being entrepreneurs," said Senator Dolan. "From an idea at home to a global business all achieved because they believed in themselves. I am so impressed with their product, unique business plan and passion for service. A true gem in Northeast Ohio."

    Chagrin Valley Soap is truly a "family business." Its 13 employees all contribute in various ways to make, package and ship its products—which now has expanded into a full line of natural and organic skin and hair care products—to every state in the US and, at last count, to more than 215 countries, worldwide. 

    “Not only does having State Senator Dolan come here show that he has his ear to the ground of local business, but it showcases his and GCP’s and COSE's desire and ability together, to help give local small businesses a voice,” said Sam Friedman. “It also allowed me to do something I love, which is to showcase how proud we are of what we do! We don't often have the ability to do that with our elected officials, so this was a rewarding experience for all of us."

    All Chagrin Valley’s recipes are invented, created and manufactured in their facility in Solon.  Nothing is outsourced and their ingredients are USDA certified organic and sustainably produced.

    Click here to learn more about Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve and their products. 

    Interested in better connecting your business with your elected officials?  Contact us at:  advocacy@gcpartnership.com.   

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  • Next up: State Senator Larry Obhof Addresses COSE Small Business Owners

    State Senator Larry Obhof Addresses COSE Small Business Owners

    The COSE Advocacy Committee provides a forum for small business owners to discuss, research and share the specific values, principles and public policy issues that are most important to our members.  COSE often invites elected officials to address the Advocacy Committee to provide background on the work they have done or set out to accomplish on behalf of the small business community moving forward.

    The COSE Advocacy Committee provides a forum for small business owners to discuss, research and share the specific values, principles and public policy issues that are most important to our members.  COSE often invites elected officials to address the Advocacy Committee to provide background on the work they have done or set out to accomplish on behalf of the small business community moving forward.

    On Oct. 10, State Senator Larry Obhof paid COSE a visit to discuss his position as Ohio Senate Majority Whip – a position responsible for monitoring and securing votes for legislation on the Ohio Senate floor – and the key legislative items he believes the Senate may take up after election season. Sen. Obhof represents the people of the 22nd district, which includes Medina, Ashland, Richland and portions of Holmes County.  

    In case you missed the meeting, Steve Millard recently had an opportunity to sit down with Sen. Obhof.  View the following video to hear the Senator's thoughts on municipal tax reform legislation (House Bill 5) that COSE supports or ways in which the Senator believes small businesses can better connect with their elected officials. 


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  • Next up: State Budget Hearings Continue with Latest Senate Proposal

    State Budget Hearings Continue with Latest Senate Proposal

    Last week, the Ohio Senate unveiled its budget revisions to House Bill 166 (HB 166), the proposed biennial state operating budget. The revisions include a proposal to largely restore the business income deduction for small businesses; maintaining the $250,000 threshold and delaying the repeal of the 3% rate until 2020. Thanks in part to the testimony and advocacy efforts of GCP members, the Senate’s proposal to restore the deduction is a step in the right direction for the Ohio Business community.

    In education, the Senate’s substitute bill maintains Governor Mike DeWine’s proposal for $550 million in wraparound services funding for schools but diverts an additional $125 million the House provided for those programs to assist fast-growing districts and expand school vouchers. The bill also restores the TechCred job training grant program, which supports training for in-demand jobs through Industry Sector Partnerships. The program, which is geared toward incumbent workforce, would receive an additional $25 million in funding.

    The Senate version also restores the $40 million motion picture tax credit to its current form and adds program reforms like an extension to live theater. Funding for the Federal Research Network, which aims to stimulate the state’s innovation economy, is increased by $500,000 each fiscal year. In addition, the Senate proposal includes an allocation of $300,000 per fiscal year for the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission in support of Camp James A. Fairfield Joint Military Training Center—one of three sites still being considered for a new East coast missile defense location.

    GCP will continue to monitor and engage the Ohio General Assembly as budget talks continue. A final biennial budget must be signed into law by June 30.


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