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City Council Approves $3 Million in Improvements to Airport Transportation Center

Cleveland City Council recently voted to allow Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to spend up to $3 million to expand the Ground Transportation Center, allowing more commercial vehicles to use it for picking up and dropping off passengers. Canopies will be constructed to allow the vehicles to be under cover and provide shelter from the weather for travelers.  

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Nine Critical Issues Impacting Northeast Ohio Businesses

GCP Chairman's Forum Reveals 9 Critical Issues for Northeast Ohio Companies

A standing-room-only crowd gathered at the GCP offices on Thursday for the latest edition of the GCP Chairman’s Forum, which featured GCP Chairman Scott Chaikin and GCP CEO Joe Roman discussing the biggest issues impacting businesses today.

Chaikin, executive chairman of Cleveland integrated communications firm Dix & Eaton, and Roman touched on nine hot-button issues facing Northeast Ohio companies today.

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NASA and GCP Host Stakeholder Briefing

GCP and the NASA Glenn Research Center hosted a stakeholder briefing for the recently appointed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at the Great Lakes Science Center. The administrator met with nearly 30 GCP member companies and public officials to discuss NASA’s overarching priorities for aeronautics and space as well as the unique role that NASA Glenn can play in advancing those priorities. Glenn Research Center Director, Janet Kavandi, joined Administrator Bridenstine in highlighting efforts to develop the Deep Space Gateway, integrated space communications, and attracting the next generation of highly skilled workers to advance NASA’s mission and innovations. Congressman Dave Joyce, who also joined the discussion, highlighted the important role that Ohio has played in getting NASA into space and confirmed the support of the Ohio congressional delegation in strengthening the role of NASA Glenn with the agency.

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Common Sense Initiative 2018 Midyear Report

Created in 2011, the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) was designed by the Governor and empowered the people to ask questions: Are Ohio regulations effectively protecting the public? Are they unintentionally strangling Ohio job development? Were the people being regulated asked about their concerns? 
CSI recently released its 2018 Mid-Year Report highlighting its work between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018, including: 

  • the review of 700 business regulations, with 62% being amended or rescinded;
  • the completed review of 40% of rule packages in 30 days or less.

The report provided a deeper look into the rule review statistics, indicating that of the 700 total rules were reviewed during this timeframe: 

  • 54% were amended;
  • 25% had no change;
  • 13% represented new rules; and 
  • 8% were rescinded.

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Cleveland Bagel to Open Second Location

Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), the real estate affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, provided a $250,000 loan to facilitate the opening of The Cleveland Bagel Company’s second location on Cleveland’s east side.  The new location at 7501 Carnegie will give Cleveland Bagel access to a larger food production facility allowing the company to expand its wholesale market.  In addition, the retail operation will add a much-needed amenity to the Midtown neighborhood.

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Hundreds Attend 10th Annual Inclusion Conference

Some 200 diversity and inclusion practitioners; senior HR managers; supplier diversity managers; procurement managers; and others descended on Westlake’s LaCentre Conference & Banquet Facility for a daylong discussion on how to have Bold, Inclusive Conversations in the workplace during the 10th Annual Inclusion Conference, hosted by the Commission on Economic Inclusion, a program of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

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Blockchain to Blockland

Cleveland’s leaders are organizing around a new initiative to transform and enhance the regional economy by leveraging Blockchain in an effort being referred to as Blockland. Bernie Moreno, president of the Bernie Moreno Companies, kickstarted this effort and designated GCP president and CEO Joe Roman as well as Dr. Akram Boutros of the MetroHealth System, to co-chair the political environmental implications of Blockchain’s application in Northeast Ohio.

Moreno shed light on this topic at the GCP's 3rd Quarter Middle Market Forum on Thursday. During his standing-room-only presentation at the Huntington Convention Center, Moreno said it is imperative that Cleveland begin laying the groundwork now to be a leader in this burgeoning technology.

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Blockland Effort Advances Forward

Blockland Effort Advances Forward

Cleveland’s leaders are organizing around a new initiative to transform and enhance the regional economy by leveraging Blockchain in an effort being referred to as Blockland. Bernie Moreno, president of the Bernie Moreno Companies, kickstarted this effort and designated GCP president and CEO Joe Roman as well as Dr. Akram Boutros of the MetroHealth System, to co-chair the political environmental implications of Blockchain’s application in Northeast Ohio.

Moreno shed light on this topic at the GCP's 3rd Quarter Middle Market Forum on Thursday. During his standing-room-only presentation at the Huntington Convention Center, Moreno said it is imperative that Cleveland begin laying the groundwork now to be a leader in this burgeoning technology.

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CDA Hits $400 Million Investment Milestone

Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), the real estate financing arm of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, has committed its remaining $16 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation to two projects in two major Northeast Ohio Cities– both of which represent catalytic, collaborative efforts to support major initiatives championed by local public, civic and business community leadership.

“These two Northeast Ohio projects represent capstone developments for the use of the balance of CDA’s New Markets Tax Credit allocation. Glenville Circle North in Cleveland and The Bowery development in Akron are both right down the fairway in terms of meeting CDA’s mission” said Yvette Ittu, President of CDA. “Both projects are extremely catalytic in nature and each are positioned to drive additional growth and have a long-term impact on the character and vitality of their cities and the region. We are very excited to be able to help move these highly impactful developments forward.” 

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Read this week's stories.

Congress Continues Support for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Despite Administration proposals that have attempted to end the program, both the House and the Senate have now passed appropriation bills that continue funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) at $300 million over the federal fiscal year. The House and Senate-approved Interior bills, which includes funding for the GLRI, now heads to conference committee. Since both chambers recommended the same level of funding for the GLRI, the program is certain to be funded at that level.

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The Business Case for Big, Bold Conversations

Given the current polarizing climate, people across the country are engaging in conversations and debates that historically have been “off limits” for the workplace. But is there a benefit to companies, if these conversations are happening already, to not only removing that label but also encouraging and providing a safe place for these talks to take place?

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CDA-Supported Ohio City Galley Restaurant Accelerator to Open in October

Ohio City Galley, a food hall restaurant accelerator supported by the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), is scheduled to open in October.

Located at 1400 W.25 St. and part of “The Quarter” project in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, the $1.8-million development acts as a launch pad for restaurant entrepreneurs. Chef owners apply for one of four kitchen spaces in the 8,000-square-foot space to operate at low cost and low risk for one year. 

Currently under construction, CDA provided project investment in the form of a $500,000 CDA-CRF loan. The City of Cleveland partnered with CDA on the project.  

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Greater Cleveland Partnership Hosts CSI Ohio

Having reviewed thousands of rules that impact the business community since its inception, Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) has provided a model for addressing dated regulations.  Last Tuesday, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) hosted CSI’s third Small Business Advisory Council meeting of the year.  The goal?  Shine additional light on a necessary, but often overlooked part of government – state regulatory requirements – and support the Northeast Ohio business community through continued representation on the CSI Small Business Advisory Council. 

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GCP Supports State Regulatory Reform Legislation

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) has been a long-time advocate for regulatory reform and continues to be a strong supporter of Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI).  
Our members see value in Senate Bill 293 (SB 293), legislation that would require state agencies to review and reduce regulatory restrictions by 30% over the course of three years.  On June 27th, GCP presented proponent testimony on the bill.  The Ohio Senate passed SB 293 the same day.   
Two GCP volunteer members serve on the CSI Small Business Advisory Council, a panel charged with helping state government achieve the right balance of regulations.  The work of CSI is critical and our members strongly recommend it continue.

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GCP Supported Cyber Bill Headed to Governor

Senate Bill 220 (SB 220) has cleared the legislature and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.  

Over the course of the last year, GCP and our members have had encouraging dialogue, resulting in the introduction of this legislation.  

The purpose of SB 220 is to create an affirmative defense to a cause of action sounding in tort related to a data breach and it would apply to all businesses that include and comply with certain cybersecurity frameworks. 

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Hundreds Attend Sixth Annual Empowering Local Leadership Conference

GCP hosted the sixth annual Empowering Local Leaders Conference this past week in Washington, DC, in partnership with Congressman Dave Joyce, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Congressman Jim Renacci, and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.  During the conference sessions the 150 business, civic, and local public sector leaders heard from Congressional members from across Ohio, the U.S. Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, House Minority Leader Pelosi, Amazon Global Innovation Policy leader Paul Misener, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and others. 

Voters Approve HHS Levy and Redistricting Reform

On Primary Election Day 2018, voters approved two issues supported by the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP).  

A two-year renewal of the Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services (HHS) levy, Issue 9, passed with about 73 percent of the vote.  GCP leadership will continue to actively work with Cuyahoga County to determine the need and future structure of HHS levies going forward.

Issue 1 will create a more bi-partisan, public process for drawing U.S. Congressional districts and it was authorized with approximately 75 percent of the vote. 

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Vote Yes on Issues 1 and 9 on Tuesday

Voters will be confronted with two important issues when they arrive at the ballot box on Tuesday, May 8.  After careful analysis and consideration, GCP business leaders from across Northeast Ohio, recommend voting “Yes” on Issues 1 and 9.  

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Hundreds Gather for Greater Cleveland Middle Market Forum

Hundreds of middle-market companies gathered on April 25 for the Greater Cleveland Middle Market Forum.
The morning kicked off with the state of the middle-market presented by Tom Stewart from the National Center for the Middle-Market. The first quarter of 2018 is showing a steady rate of growth in revenue, employment and confidence in the local and global economy. Talent is the #1 challenge facing these companies. It is becoming more difficult to recruit and retain quality employees.
 
Immediately following the Stewart’s presentation, Robert J. Jackson, Jr., Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), shared his inaugural address with the crowd. 

The breakout sessions covered three topics critical for leaders to understand to run a successful business in the current economy: taxes, workforce and technology.

The day concluded with a panel of local craft brewing leaders discussing collaboration, strategic vision and what’s next in the industry.

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Crowdfunding Legislation Supported by GCP Clears One More Hurdle

House Bill 10 (HB 10) – a bill that would permit intrastate equity crowdfunding under certain circumstances – has moved one step further along in the state legislative process.  GCP and our partners have long been in favor of expanding access to early stage capital and our members are appreciative of the legislature’s desire to implement creative financing and programming in Ohio.  

The GCP presented formal, written testimony in support of HB 10.  The bill passed the Ohio House of Representatives last summer.  On April 18, it was unanimously approved by the Ohio Senate Transportation, Commerce, and Workforce Committee. 

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Repurposed Standard Building Holds Grand Opening

Cleveland’s historic Standard Building, located at 1370 Ontario St., held its grand opening on Wednesday, April 11, beginning its new life as a mixed-use residential and retail building.

Now home to 285 apartments  and complimentary first floor retail, the Standard Building was the second tallest building in Cleveland when it opened in 1925. 

Learn more about the building.

CDA Investor Report Released

The Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA) has proven itself to be one of the nation's most successful community development associations. In 2017, CDA deployed $56 million in financing to 13 impactful projects that represent $446 million in development.

Read the report.

GCP Priorities Supported in FY 2018 Omnibus Bill

Congress recently passed the FY 2018 spending package that included support for many GCP federal policy issues, including:
• Continued funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $300 million to support the five lake basin.
• $1.5 billion to support the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program that provides critical discretionary funding for road, transit and maritime projects – this is triple the amount of funding from the prior year. 
• More than $2.6 billion for the Capital Investment Grants program in addition to directed language for the Administration to continue the program as Congress intended.

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GCP Recommended Projects Funded in State Capital Bill

The General Assembly unveiled the 2018 state capital bill last week. Companion bills – HB 529 and SB 266 – were released in the Ohio House and Senate Finance Committees. 

The total bill provides $2.63 billion for capital bill appropriations and roughly $150 million for community projects. Cuyahoga County projects received more than $20 million in funding with more than half of that funding going to projects recommended by GCP. Most notably, $2.5 million was secured to continue efforts to stabilize Irishtown Bend, the hillside along the Cuyahoga River.

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2017 Business Development 4th Quarter Update

Northeast Ohio continued to see substantial business and real estate investment in 2017, and GCP and its numerous economic development partners played a significant role in the many expansion and attraction efforts throughout the region. 

The GCP Business Development Team served as a critical partner in 52 business expansion and attraction projects in Cuyahoga County during the year that will result in nearly 7,000 new jobs and over a billion dollars in capital investment.

Read the full report.

2019 Federal Budget Priorities

With the expected release of the Fiscal Year 2019 federal budget today, Marty McGann, GCP’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy, along with Alesha Washington, Vice President of Government Advocacy, sat down to discuss several priorities that the organization will be monitoring in throughout the budget process. 

GCP Member Companies Support Non-Discrimination Bill

This week, GCP along with several member companies and other chambers of commerce testified in support of HB 160 – the Ohio Fairness Act. If passed, the legislation would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of protected classes in Ohio’s Civil Rights law. Support for HB 160 follows GCP’s recent endorsement of Ohio Business Competes, a coalition of more than 300 companies that supports statewide non-discrimination policies for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. 

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GCP Supports Columbus on Amazon HQ2 Bid

Amazon recently selected 20 finalists for the company's second headquarters. Although Cleveland did not make the list, Columbus is still in the running.

“While we are certainly disappointed that Cleveland was not selected for the second round of the Amazon HQ2 bidding process, the collaboration of the public and private partners to tell Cleveland’s story will generate long-term benefits for all of Northeast Ohio,” said Joe Roman, President and CEO of the GCP. “We are pleased and congratulate Columbus for making it to the second round and are committed to supporting their efforts to land Amazon HQ2 in Ohio.”

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GCP Supports SB 220 Cybersecurity

Members of the GCP have increasingly identified cybersecurity as an emerging issue and significant challenge.  On January 10, Tim Opsitnick (executive vice president & general counsel at Technology Concepts & Design, Inc.) presented verbal testimony, on behalf of the GCP, in support of Senate Bill 220 (SB 220)

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GCP Year in Review and Look Ahead

The Greater Cleveland Partnership provides a unified voice for the Northeast Ohio business community and our policy priorities are driven directly by our members. 

In 2017, a $1.5 trillion federal tax reform package was signed into law and the 132nd Ohio General Assembly introduced more than 700 pieces of legislation. In addition, numerous local initiatives were debated, including several crucial ballot measures that allowed the voters to help determine what the regional landscape will look like in the future.

Learn how the GCP Advocacy Team has helped member organizations in 2017 and the what is on the horizon for 2018.