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Ohio’s middle-market growth improves, tops national trend

Ohio’s middle-market companies’ year-over-year revenue growth in 2015 improved compared to 2014, according to the National Center for the Middle Market’s 4Q 2015 Middle-Market Indicator (MMI) report released last week.

Last year’s Ohio revenue growth rate was reported at 6.6 percent, compared to 5.4 percent at the end of 2014.

As a result, Ohio's middle-market revenues topped the national 2015 growth rate of 6.1 percent, which was one full percentage point lower than what was reported at the end of 2014.

In addition, more Ohio companies are poised to invest going into 2016 than nationally—66 percent compared to 61 percent. That’s significantly higher than what Ohio companies were saying at the end of 2014, when 53 percent said they had plans to invest.

“Ohio middle-market companies continue to demonstrate their importance to the state’s economy,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership Board member Bernie Moreno who chairs the GCP’s Middle-Market Committee. “The GCP recognizes the key role these companies play and we’re focused on providing the resources needed to help sustain and increase that growth for our region’s businesses.”

Ohio companies also are expecting a higher employment growth rate than the national average over the next 12 months—4.0 percent compared to 2.7 percent.

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.

How internships can be a ” win-win” for employers and students

In this week’s “GCP Insight” video, Shana Marbury, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s general counsel and vice president, strategic initiatives and research, talks about the dual value of internships for both employers and students.

Watch and learn how the GCP and Cleveland State University are working together to improve and enhance internship opportunities in Greater Cleveland through the upcoming Cleveland Internship Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and how you can add your input and ideas.

Click here for more information on the summit.

Click to watch the video.

The ”GCP Insight” video series, hosted by Lesic and Camper Vice President Steve Luttner, focuses on topics of interest to the Greater Cleveland business community.

GCP reiterates position on harmful local hiring legislation

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) continues to be opposed to state legislation that would prohibit local residency hiring requirements for public construction contracts.

Separate bills – HB 180 and SB 152 – have passed their respective chambers and are now being heard in the opposite House and Senate committees. SB 152 is scheduled for a hearing in the House State Government Committee this week. Ultimately, the House and the Senate need to agree on a single bill that can be sent to the Governor to sign into law.

The GCP, the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the GCP, and the City of Cleveland were successful in keeping a local hiring provision out of legislative bills passed last year.

In mid-2015, members of the GCP and the Commission signed a letter to oppose the legislation. They believe that HB 180 and SB 152 weaken the public-private partnership that has been in place for more than 10 years in the City of Cleveland to create greater workforce, community and economic development opportunities that lead to real civic and economic benefit for all.

Click to read the full letter.

The GCP will continue to stay in engaged on this issue.

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.

REMINDER: Check your BWC premium installment date

With the change in the Bureau of Workers’ Comp (BWC) payment schedule, your premium installment may be due soon.

When the BWC changed to Prospective Billing last July, the default for policy holders was a bi-monthly payment schedule. If you didn’t select another option, you should have received an invoice from the BWC with your next installment due by March 1st.

We encourage you to create an e-account on the BWC website so you can keep tabs on your policy and make payments online. Late premium payments will result in an immediate lapse in your coverage.

For assistance, please contact COSE’s Workers’ Comp Team at 216.592.2351.

Senators Brown and Portman join efforts calling for Army Corps to restore Cleveland Harbor funding

Ohio’s U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman have joined the Port of Cleveland in calling for Cleveland Harbor to be safely dredged and open for business without compromising the health of Lake Erie.

In a January 22nd letter, the Senators demanded that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) restore millions of dollars for dredging Cleveland Harbor, dollars that would prevent any need for dumping potentially harmful river sediment in Lake Erie.

Recently, the USACE unilaterally requested a $3 million cut from Cleveland Harbor’s dredging budget, and is now using that cut as a justification for its dumping campaign. Traditionally, river sediment is placed in confined disposal facilities (CDFs) due to concerns that contamination from historic industrial use and other sources could harm wildlife and water quality. The USACE wants this questionable material dumped into Ohio’s Great Lake.

“The FY2016 Omnibus bill reduced funding for the Cleveland Harbor dredging project without consultation and coordination with the Ohio delegation, the State of Ohio, or the Port of Cleveland,” wrote Brown and Portman.

“To ensure the Port’s continued operation and the safe management of dredged material, we are requesting the Corps provide the necessary funding to complete the Port’s dredge management plan for FY2016.”

The Port previously petitioned the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to prevent open lake dumping, and has developed a viable, cost-effective alternative plan. A bipartisan group of U.S. representatives from Ohio also have voiced their concerns about open lake dumping.

A cut in the harbor fund would also jeopardize the local maritime economy, its $1.8 billion in annual economic activity, nearly 18,000 jobs, and the Port’s growing shipping numbers.

“We appreciate the advocacy that Senators Brown and Portman are bringing to this critical issue to keep our economy flowing and protect the health of our water and wildlife,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman.

Those interested in supporting the Port’s efforts should contact Jade Davis, Port VP of External Affairs at