Stay Informed on News and Policy

Every Monday -- News from GCP

Advocacy updates: Ohio Senate releases its state operating budget

The Ohio Senate today unveiled its version of the state operating budget. The Greater Cleveland Partnership has closely monitored several key issues including tax reform, education, and health care.

Major highlights include a net income tax cut of $1.7 billion over the biennium without raising or expanding the sales tax or increasing the Commercial Activities Tax rate. The budget also eliminates income taxes on all small businesses up to $250,000 and increases the cigarette tax per pack by 40 cents.

Click to read the budget overview and GCP's priorities.

GCP opposes legislation that jeopardizes local hiring requirements

The Greater Cleveland Partnership joined with the City of Cleveland to oppose legislation in the Ohio House and Senate that would prohibit local governments from requiring a contractor to employ a certain number of residents within a geographic area for a construction project or improvement. If passed, this legislation would hamper the impact of Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) in the city.

CBAs are an important tool to ensure that major construction projects in the region truly benefit a local workforce and serve as a catalyst for diversity and inclusion. The GCP was successful in blocking a local hiring amendment during the Senate transportation budget process. Stand-alone legislation was introduced recently to revisit this issue.

“GCP and its members have had a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion strategies in our region,” GCP President and CEO Joe Roman wrote in a letter to leadership in the General Assembly. “An inclusive workforce is critical to our bottom line.

“We work very closely with the City of Cleveland and other key stakeholders – including contractors and developers – to create CBAs and other workforce development initiatives that yield a high return on investment for our community but also create opportunities for a skilled and diverse workforce to have better access to economic opportunity.”

You can read GCP’s letter here.

HB 180 is currently being heard in the House and Labor Commerce Committee. SB 152 will have its first hearing this week in the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee. The GCP will stay engaged on this issue as debate continues.

Team NEO names new CEO

Team NEO, a private-sector Northeast Ohio economic development organization, has named banking executive William “Bill” R. Koehler as its chief executive officer effective June 15.

“Bill’s vast leadership experience and business acumen make him perfectly suited to take on this critical leadership role at Team NEO,” said the organization’s chairman, James R. Clay. “His history of collaboration and track record of tackling business opportunities to achieve results will benefit all of Northeast Ohio.”

Speaking on behalf of the CEO Search Committee, Team NEO board member and former Greater Cleveland Partnership Board Chair William Christopher stated: “We are delighted that our extensive national search led us to someone from our community who is highly qualified to lead this organization into the future. The board looks forward to working with Bill in his new role.”

Koehler, a senior executive with over two decades of experience in corporate banking, has served in various leadership positions at financial institutions in Northeast Ohio. Most recently, he led KeyBank’s Community Bank as president. He has also held positions with J.P. Morgan & Co. and Oxford Venture Corporation.

Click to read more.

Team NEO, which markets Northeast Ohio to the world, is part of the regional economic development system that the GCP helped to create and continues to support. The organization collaborates with its partners and others to attract new businesses, help those that are here grow, and accelerate the pace and impact of innovation throughout the region.

“Pass the Plus:” Good news from the region

Keep up with the positive news from around the Cleveland Plus region by reading the “Pass the Plus” monthly e-newsletter.

In this month’s issue, read about a five-year $100-million expansion project announced by GCP Board company The Lubrizol Corporation at its Painesville Township facility. The expansion, which is expected to be completed by 2020, will increase capacity and improve site infrastructure.

Click to read more.

"Pass the Plus" is a Cleveland Plus/Team NEO free monthly e-newsletter that provides informative news and information related to the many positive developments shaping Northeast Ohio. Like Team NEO, Cleveland Plus is part of the economic development system that the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped to create and continues to support.

Click to subscribe.

2016 RNC: Sign up if you want to volunteer

Ensuring involvement by Cleveland and Northeast Ohio companies, businesses and residents is an extremely important part of hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention.

While detailed volunteer opportunities are still being developed, you can indicate your interest on the 2016 RNC volunteer website by clicking the "SIGN UP NOW" button to receive ongoing information on convention planning.

Once the official volunteer registration opens, you will be contacted before the volunteer opportunities become available to the general public.

Important note: Signing up to receive information about volunteer opportunities does not guarantee you are registered as a volunteer. Interested participants must complete the official volunteer registration form once it opens.

Click to learn more.

Middle-market perspectives: Gain the competitive edge
in the talent war

The National Center for the Middle Market, in partnership with Novo Group, interviewed over 400+ middle-market companies and 600+ potential executive hires to learn how the best middle-market companies attract, reward and retain top talent.

Research found that middle-market companies with compelling employer brands and employee value propositions are significantly more likely to report strong company performance and growth than their counterparts.

They have greater confidence in their firms’ reputations. And they believe they have an edge over their competitors when it comes to closing the deal with top talent candidates.

Click to read more.

Port of Cleveland’s Foreign Trade Zone offers companies
another advantage in global trade

The Port of Cleveland’s portfolio of services to Northeast Ohio businesses is diverse, including maritime operations and global connections, development financing and bonding capacity, and tax credit facilitation. But another valuable asset that may have escaped notice by some of Greater Cleveland’s hundreds of international businesses is the Port’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) status.

Created by the U.S. Congress in 1934, the FTZ program facilitates international trade and increases the competitiveness of U.S.-based companies by reducing or completely eliminating many costs that don’t exist in foreign locations. FTZ services are especially attractive to companies that:

  • Export and/or import high-value products
  • Import goods in high volume
  • Need expedited delivery
  • Receive multiple shipments in a week
  • Have products subject to quotas, or
  • Currently apply for duty drawbacks.

FTZ program participants also can generally expect improved cash flow, increased flexibility, and reduced paperwork. Specific benefits of the program can include deferral, reduction, or the complete elimination of duties; direct delivery of products and materials to avoid congested ports; combing shipments on weekly entries to reduce processing fees; and avoiding import quotas on inventory.

The Port partners with the Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium (NEOTEC) to administrator its FTZ grant, which covers Cuyahoga County and parts of adjacent counties over 14 individual sites. NEOTEC and the Port will co-host a Foreign-Trade Zone Seminar Wednesday, June 17 at 1:30 p.m. at Progressive Field. Those attending the seminar can also opt stay to stay for dinner and enjoy club seats for the Indians vs. Chicago Cubs game that evening.

Those interested in attending the seminar can find more details here. Those interested in learning more about or applying for FTZ status through the Port should contact David Gutheil, VP of Maritime & Logistics at or 216.377.1363.

Commuter Choice Awards recognize employers offering environmentally friendly commuter options

Supporting environmentally friendly transportation choices for commuters is a win-win-win.

Employers benefit by maintaining a happier, healthier, and less-stressed workforce. Employees benefit by saving money and enjoying a healthier commute to work. And Northeast Ohio benefits by reduced vehicle traffic and congestion, and improved air quality.

Employers who promote and provide incentives for employees to use alternative modes of transportation can be honored for their efforts by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency’s (NOACA) Commuter Choice Awards.

NOACA, Northeast Ohio’s transportation and environmental planning agency, is sponsoring the awards to recognize companies and organizations that practice and promote environmentally friendly commute options including transit, carpooling, bicycling and walking, or offer telecommuting options and flexible work weeks. Eligible organizations are those with facilities in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain or Medina counties.

Read more.

Apply for the award.