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Every Monday -- News from GCP

$200M+ EB-5 investments supporting Northeast Ohio job-creating projects

In this week’s “GCP Insight” interview, Steve Strnisha, chief executive officer of the Cleveland International Fund (CiF), discusses the EB-5 program with Nick Gattozzi, vice president of advocacy for the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Launched in 1990, EB-5 is an employer-based immigration program that allows overseas investors/applicants to invest in job-creating projects. In turn, investors and their families receive conditional residency in the U.S. and, ultimately, permanent residency.

CiF is a regional center that invests EB5 dollars. More than $200M has been raised for Northeast Ohio projects including Phases 1 and 2 of Flats East Bank, Westin Convention Center Hotel, Crocker Park expansion, and University Hospitals’ Seidman Cancer Center and Ahuja Medical Center.

Click to watch and learn more.

CDA update highlights game-changing investments

Over the past 12 months, our city and our region have achieved numerous rewarding accomplishments and generated unparalleled momentum with exciting times still ahead.

Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), the real estate and business development finance affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, experienced one of its most successful years in 2014.

Click to read about CDA investments in its 2015 Investor Update, “Reaching New Heights.”

CDA invests privately funded capital and New Markets Tax Credit allocations into catalytic projects designed to advance economic and community development projects throughout Cleveland.

For more information about CDA's projects, results, and services, visit the CDA website.

Welcome, new GCP members

We’re pleased to welcome these companies and organizations that recently joined the ranks of Greater Cleveland Partnership Investors. Click the links below to learn more about them.

Define your company values in five steps

When a middle-market company has strong values that everyone understands, practices and demonstrates outwardly, they can attract and retain employees, customers and other stakeholders.

Since they're the basis of a company’s culture, Chuck Leddy, a National Center for the Middle Market contributor and a freelance reporter, recommends having a formal written document that defines core principles.

Here are five steps Leddy suggests to define and communicate company values:

  • Get your leadership on board. Begin by asking your executives to write down four to five business values that are important to them individually. Be sure to identify how these values impact your customers, suppliers, employees and the overall community.
  • Seek employee input and feedback. Once leadership has initiated the process, ask the rest of your company to engage in the same survey. Have employees individually develop values and stories, then engage in group discussions.
  • Revise and refine. Next, your whole company needs to pinpoint the four or five core values that define your overall culture. If any disagreements arise, don't be afraid to revise so that the important ideas are covered.
  • Formalize your core values and reinforce them. Include them on the website and in the company newsletter and discuss them once per quarter in a big meeting.
  • Be committed to your values. Use them as you conduct business, especially when it comes to hiring people, firing people and evaluating performance.

Click to learn 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.

See the full scope of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

In his latest blog, JumpStart CEO Ray Leach provides a preview of the organization’s annual community event: Startup Scaleup 2015, which will take place in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District on Wednesday, June 17.

Bringing together the region’s investors, business leaders, marketing professionals and up-and-coming entrepreneurs, the event will include two separate pitch competitions and JumpStart-planned sessions on mentoring, marketing, talent acquisition and more.

Click to read the blog.

Port investing $7.9M in infrastructure improvements to support global trade

The Port of Cleveland is making $7.9 million in strategic infrastructure investments on its docks to position them to handle a major increase in the amount of cargo shipped through its facilities.

Since launching its intercontinental liner service, the Cleveland Europe Express (CEE), with Dutch ship owner Spliethoff Group, the Port has been enjoying volume at levels not seen in decades.

Anticipated to be ready for use by the start of the 2016 shipping season, two new mobile harbor cranes will be loading and unloading shipping containers and break-bulk cargo from the CEE and other ships.

“These cranes will prove critical to maintaining our strategic advantages in speed and efficiency as compared to large coastal ports,” said Dave Gutheil, Port vice president of maritime & logistics. “Our current cranes date to the 1970s, and the new models will be faster and more energy efficient.”

In addition to new cranes, the Port will soon begin building a new warehouse on Dock 22 to increase capacity and handle continued growth in tonnage passing through the Port. The new warehouse will provide an additional 50,000 square feet for cargo, and the Port expects to complete construction by the end of 2015.

These improvements are fully funded through a combination of grants and forgivable loans, including a $4.9 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant awarded through NOACA for federal funds flowing through the Ohio Department of Transportation and a forgivable $3 million State of Ohio Logistics and Distribution Stimulus Loan.

“We’re continuing to make strategic investments in the Port of Cleveland to better serve our customers and handle more cargo more efficiently,” said Will Friedman, Port president and CEO. “We are grateful to our partners at the NOACA and the State of Ohio for their support.”