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Every Monday -- News from GCP

Protecting the Great Lakes: An urgent priority

Greater Cleveland Partnership Advocacy Senior Vice President Carol Caruso discusses the danger posed by Asian carp, a large and invasive species, to the Great Lakes, in general, and Lake Erie in particular, in our new "GCP Insight" video.

In an interview with Steve Luttner, vice president, Lesic and Camper Communications, she points out the urgent need to address the problem, which threatens both fishing and recreation industries.

She also discusses a report, recently issued by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, which presents alternatives to combat the problem but does not include specific recommendations about how to do it.

See the next story below for more information about the report.

Click here to watch the video.

New report offers options to combat invasive species
in the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Report prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), presents the results of a multi-year study regarding the range of options and technologies available to prevent movement of aquatic nuisance species (ANS), such as Asian carp, between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through aquatic connections.

The report contains eight alternatives, each with concept-level design and cost information, and evaluates the potential of these alternatives to control the transfer of a variety of ANS.

Through a structured study process, the USACE identified 13 ANS of Concern established in one basin that posed a high or medium risk of adverse impacts by transfer and establishment in the opposite basin.

Click here to view or download the report.

Only a few slots remain! RSVP today to celebrate Cleveland’s
global marketing success

On behalf of United's Hemispheres magazine, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland Plus and the City of Cleveland, we are pleased to invite GCP members to a reception to unveil the Hemispheres’ Dossier Cleveland supplement.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to RSVP for this one-of-a-kind event on Thursday, January 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Global Center for Health Innovation, 1 St. Clair Avenue, where we’ll celebrate the most extensive, positive feature ever written about our community.

This is also the opportunity to visit for the first time (or see again) one of downtown Cleveland’s newest assets where medical innovation, education and commerce meet.

The Hemispheres’ 56-page supplement, the largest of its kind to date, will be featured in the magazine’s February issue on each of United’s 5,300 daily global flights serving an estimated 11.6 million passengers each month.

Don’t miss this opportunity to share the excitement as we launch this special section that will enlighten readers around the world about the many reasons to live, work and invest in the Cleveland Plus region!

Click on this link to RSVP.

Plain Dealer editorial supports renewal of tax to maintain
pro sports facilities

The Plain Dealer recently published an editorial supporting the sports facilities issue renewal to pay for maintenance of Cleveland’s publicly owned professional sports venues, a measure that the Greater Cleveland Partnership also supports.The editorial urges Cuyahoga County Council to "put the matter to a countywide referendum this May."

The editorial notes that “Continuing a tax that equates to 1.5 cents per bottle of beer and 4.5 cents per pack of cigarettes seems the most reasonable way to continue to raise the money.

“As an excise tax, and not a percentage tax, the cost per drink or cigarette has remained unchanged since the sin tax took effect in 1991, and is now a much smaller percentage of the overall product cost than it was originally.

“More crucially, if the sin tax isn't extended, the city and county, per the team leases, will still have to come up with at least a share of the money for major capital repairs like new roofs or reinforcing the structures -- and that could wind up being far more expensive, if they have to borrow the funds.”

Click here to read more.

Mid-market companies continue to drive U.S. economy

Middle-market companies—those with annual revenues between $10MM and $1B—continued to outperform the broader market by a wide margin, underscoring the middle market's stability and role as driver of the U.S. economy, according to the National Center for the Middle Market’s Q4 2013 Middle Market Indicator (MMI) report.

According to the MMI, a survey of 1,000 mid-market C-suite executives released on January 22, more than half of the respondents reported improved company performance. There was a slight decline in the number of mid-market companies reporting improved performance at 56 percent, down from 62 percent in the last two quarters of 2012.

In the fourth quarter, revenue grew at 5.0 percent, down from 7.0 percent when companies were rebounding from the recession.

By comparison, the report notes that “Analysts anticipate a meager 1.0 percent increase in revenue for the S&P 500 in the fourth-quarter (flat to the 0.9 percent estimated at the beginning of the period and a fraction of the growth expected from the middle market).”

Employment growth stabilizes

In Q4 2013, 39 percent of middle market companies said they added workers, consistent with results over the previous four quarters. Companies reported mean job growth of 2.5 percent, down from 2.7 percent last year, but up from 2.2 percent during the first quarter of 2013.

Looking ahead, the middle market expects 2.2 percent job growth in 2014.

Healthcare costs remain largest concern

Researchers found that the impact of healthcare legislation continues to be the largest concern, with 88 percent of respondents saying that healthcare costs are at least somewhat challenging, and more than half saying they are highly challenging.

Click on this link for more information and access to the report.

Learn more: Join the 4Q 2013 MMI webinar

Academic Director Dr. Anil Makhija of the National Center for the Middle Market will discuss how the middle market has changed over the last two years in a webinar from 2 to 3 p.m., Thursday, January 30. His comments will include the most recent (Q4 2013) Middle-Market Indicator results. Highlights include:

  • How have revenue growth predictions fared against industry averages?
  • How are these firms currently performing in terms of revenue growth and job creation? Are they planning to hire? What is their future outlook? Challenges?
  • How are firms handling capital investment?
  • What is the economic outlook for the middle market?

Click here to register.

Benchmarking tool provides metrics for national, local comparisons


The National Center for the Middle Market has developed a Middle Market Company Performance Benchmarking Tool, a quick and effective way for mid-market businesses to compare themselves to peer companies on the local and national level across five key metrics:

  • Revenue growth/decline
  • Employee growth/decline
  • Productivity
  • Investment strategy
  • Confidence

Click here to get started.