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GCP releases new Public Policy Agenda; outlines government advocacy focus for next two years

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) today released its new Public Policy Agenda that outlines areas where it will focus its attention on current and developing issues at the local, state and federal levels during the next two years.

The GCP drafts a new Public Policy Agenda at the beginning of each new congressional and state General Assembly cycle. The document, which has been months in the making, details a diverse list of objectives and areas of focus that share the common goal of growing Greater Cleveland’s economy.

“The Public Policy Agenda highlights the goals and objectives our members deem to be most vital to pursue during the next two years,” said GCP President and CEO Joe Roman. “This is a carefully drafted document that had the benefit of an extraordinary amount of input from many very bright people who want to see Cleveland continue to move forward.”

The new Public Policy Agenda outlines a basic GCP belief that more than half of all job growth comes from business expansion and retention.

“Clearly, attracting new businesses to the region is of critical importance, and at the same time the GCP will focus upon existing, well-established Greater Cleveland companies with strong growth trajectories while providing support for the small, quickly growing companies of tomorrow,” said Tom Zenty, CEO of University Hospitals who chairs the GCP’s Government Affairs Council. “We will also continue our focus on the importance of developing a highly educated, innovative and diverse workforce to meet our current and future needs.”

GCP business retention and expansion efforts help spur investment, job growth in the region

The Greater Cleveland Partnership's Business Development staff continued its outreach efforts in 2014, helping to spur investment and job creation in Northeast Ohio.

Our team conducted 220 unique visits to businesses in the region with a focus on retaining and expanding existing area businesses.

GCP Business Development staff helped facilitate 26 projects, which collectively led to the creation of 1,498 jobs and the retention of 1,814 existing jobs.

Several projects featured large investments, leading to a combined $671 million in investment across the region. To support this and future efforts, we engaged in property searches for 72 real estate leads coming from the state, regional partners or businesses that we served.

Staff also performed outreach by speaking to regional groups about current and planned development activity, and organized numerous forums that improved business opportunities and access to resources.

Above photo: Business Development staff engage real estate professionals at an event organized by the First Suburbs Development Consortium.

Your business, our focus

With more than 30 projects currently in the pipeline, the GCP Business Development staff is gearing up for supporting continued development in 2015.

If your business has an opportunity to expand or needs assistance with issues that may impact your ability to thrive in Northeast Ohio, please contact our Business Development staff at 216.592.2208, or

A new member benefit from GCP: Save on what you need to do business

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is offering a new member benefit that can help you save significantly on frequently purchased office items and services. Discounts include:
  • Up to 45 percent on 500+ items including exclusive savings on national brand ink and toner;

  • Up to 10 percent off almost everything Office Depot stocks in stores and the Business Solutions Division annual catalog;

  • Savings on copy & print services: 2.5-cent black & white, 24-cent color copies and 40 percent off finishing services.
Start saving today!

Click this link to get started. Then, click on the blue “Register to Shop Online button and create a log-in.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Michelle Vedova, major account manager, at 216.832.6088 or

Middle-market insights: Reap the benefits of going global

With more companies going global, middle-market companies can’t ignore opportunities outside the United States.

North American customers currently account for about 18 percent of the global consumer market, but that is expected to drop to just 6 percent in less than 40 years.

National Center for the Middle Market contributor Brandt Handley writes that by going global, middle-market companies can reap huge benefits including:
  • Strengthening core competencies: Middle Market companies with a global footprint expose their employees to a broader array of experience and best practices, which can be applied at home, increasing domestic competitiveness.
  • Improve competitiveness: The USA is still the most attractive market in the world. Global competitors want a presence here, and if they’re going after your business, the best strategic response is to go after theirs. Thomas A. Stewart, Executive Director for the National Center for the Middle Market, says: “You have to play good offense. If you only play defense, you lose.”
  • More strategic opportunities: When you have contacts in other countries, you’re more likely to hear about potential joint ventures, partnerships, overseas sourcing or acquisitions, to name a few.
  • Diversification: Economic fluctuations don’t usually hit everywhere at once; exporting gives middle-market firms a buffer against tough economies.
Click to read more.

The National Center for the Middle Market, a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital, is a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership's Middle-Market Initiative.

Workforce development organization receives Community Service Award

Greater Cleveland Partnership Investor member The Cleveland Orchestra, in cooperation with the City of Cleveland and the GCP, through the Commission on Economic Inclusion, presented the 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards on January 18 at Severance Hall.

The recipients: Business/Organization (two honorees): El Barrio Center for Workforce Development and E.F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.; Adult: Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., pastor emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church; and Youth: Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word.

The nomination for the El Barrio Center noted that “for more than 20 years, El Barrio has committed to providing Greater Cleveland’s disenfranchised populations with culturally sensitive supportive services and employment training to ensure a smooth transition into the workforce.”

The E.F. Boyd & Funeral Home’s nomination commented that “in addition to providing significant opportunity for professional advancement to many...African-American people in our community, E.F. Boyd & Son became a strong advocate for, and tangible resource within, the black community of Cleveland for supporting young people in pursuit of an every-expanding professional opportunity.

Examples of the impact of Rev. Moss on the City of Cleveland included his “abilities and leadership in the ongoing work of social justice, civil rights and civic leadership. (He) is a tireless, articulate, faith-centered voice for justice, inclusion and opportunity for excellence for all people.”

The Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word, is a literacy and character-development program comprised of African American youth ages 8-18 from the City of Cleveland. Through classic and original material, they perform works that examine both the “harsh realities of poverty and urban life” as well as “the unique bond and brotherhood they have created with each other.”

The recipients were honored at the Orchestra’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert sponsored by KeyBank, a Cleveland Orchestra Partner in Excellence.

The awards criteria include: promotion of diversity and inclusion; leadership in community-building; advocacy for educational excellence; promotion of social justice; and involvement with music and the arts to promote greater understanding and acceptance.