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Every Monday - News From GCP

GCP Member Presents Testimony on the Importance of 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).  GCP supports SB 220, which would provide a legal safe harbor opportunity for covered entities that implement a specified cybersecurity program, because the legislation provides an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action.

Want to learn more about SB 220? Read our testimony here.

Metro Cities for a Renewed NAFTA

Next week, GCP staff will join chambers of commerce from across Canada, Mexico and the United States to discuss the importance of free trade. These sessions will take place in Montréal on the eve of the sixth round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations between the three countries. 

More than half of all Ohio exports are bound for Canada and Mexico, generating over $25 billion in revenue.  Nearly half a million Ohio jobs are at risk if the U.S. pulls out of NAFTA. We are interested in hearing GCP member perspective on this issue.

Please call 216-592-2244 to discuss the importance of international trade to your business.

COSE Health and Wellness Trust Providing Valuable Benefit for GCP’s COSE Members

In September 2017, GCP created the COSE Health and Wellness Trust, a multiple employer welfare arrangement to provide health care benefits for our COSE businesses of less than fifty employees.  The COSE MEWA was created to provide an alternative to the regulation and restrictions imposed by the Affordable Care Act on small employers.

Based on the implementation of the ACA, many small businesses – especially those small business owners without employees—were faced with significant hurdles in finding flexible plans that met their health benefit needs at a price they could afford.  And, many small businesses had no choice but to move to the individual market or to the government exchanges for their health insurance needs.

GCP and COSE leadership worked to design this new solution and partnered with Medical Mutual to provide distribution, underwriting support and third party administrative services for the plan.  The COSE MEWA allows small businesses to select multiple plan options and to avoid the community rating requirements of the affordable care act which is responsible for increasing rates significantly for the healthiest of small employers.

The MEWA has driven membership increases for GCP and has helped 2017 to be one of the top three membership sales years in the history of the organization.  With more than 2,000 employers enrolled in the plan over the last fifteen months, the COSE MEWA is provided both a viable health care benefit option for our smaller members and significant support for the work of GCP by driving membership in the organization. In addition, we are making the COSE MEWA available through an affiliate membership program with other chamber of commerce partners in Ohio, including the Toledo and Columbus Chambers and directly to small businesses across the state.  Businesses in more than 80 counties in Ohio are participating as members of the COSE Health and Wellness Trust.

In addition, GCP’s advocacy and products teams continue to keep a close eye on changes being contemplated at the federal level on rules related to multi-state health benefit arrangements.  These changes could provide additional opportunity for the MEWA, but need to be closely monitored to ensure they do not create additional risks for the small business community.

For more information about the COSE MEWA, please visit or contact Steve Millard at 216.592.2436 or 

State Capital Bill Project Presentation

Last week, GCP hosted a “gallery walk” for the Northeast Ohio state delegation to showcase the chamber’s recommended projects for the 2018 state capital bill. The projects on GCP’s list reflect Places with Impact – an important theme in the chamber’s emerging strategic plan – and other important economic development projects to the region.

“The state capital bill provides a great opportunity to build support for significant community and economic development projects in our region,” says Marty McGann, GCP’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy. “We are grateful for the leadership of our delegation and look forward to working with them to ensure support for these projects when the capital bill is released next month.”

The General Assembly has been collecting community projects from across the state for the past several weeks and will soon begin a prioritization process to select those that will be included in the initial state capital budget bill released sometime in February. The House and Senate will review and pass the bill in the respective chambers with expected completion and the Governor’s signature by early spring. GCP has been successful in advocating for projects in previous capital bills. During the 2015-16 cycle, GCP recommended projects accounted for two-thirds of the nearly $30 million dollars that came to Cuyahoga County for community projects.

GCP LEAD: Link. Engage. Advocate. Develop.

We are now accepting nominations of emerging leaders from Greater Cleveland Partnership member companies for the next cohort of GCP LEAD, a program designed to immerse and educate young professionals in the work of the GCP and the community. 

We invite you to nominate one or two individuals from your organization for the GCP LEAD Cohort 3, scheduled to begin in January 2018. 

GCP LEAD was created because GCP recognizes the importance of cultivating our region’s future business and community leaders. GCP LEAD provides unique development opportunities for young professionals, as well as ways to get the next generation of your company’s leaders involved and invested in Cleveland’s economic development agenda. 

Nominees must have at least five years of professional experience and an interest in getting involved in the GCP's priority areas of Education/Workforce, Business/Physical Development, Commission on Economic Inclusion, Small and Mid-Market Business Initiatives, and Advocacy. 

Please click here for additional information on the program. We hope you will consider nominating someone from your company to participate in 2018.

This year the deadline for nominations has been extended to Jan. 18, 2018. To submit your nomination(s), please contact Angela Finding at

The Diversity & Inclusion Organization Assessment Can Help You Focus Your D & I Strategy

The Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Organization Assessment from the Commission on Economic Inclusion is available for free to all Greater Cleveland Partnership members.
Employers who complete the Assessment will receive immediate feedback upon making their final submission, along with resources that can be useful for internal diversity and inclusion strategic planning.
In addition, after all of the data has been collected, dynamic reports will be distributed to participating organizations that will allow users to filter the aggregate results, as well as a confidential scorecard that provides comparisons to peer groups. 
The Assessment and the associated resources can be helpful to any organization—whether it has an established D&I program in place or it is looking for a place to start. 

We encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity.

The first 10 organizations that complete the Assessment for the first time this year will receive one free registration for the Commission’s annual Inclusion Conference in August—a $125 value.

Click here to register for a webinar
 (Wed., Jan 17, 2-3pm) to learn more about the Assessment, or contact Scott Harrington at / 216.592.2213.

Save the Date:  COSE Day at the Capitol  March 13, 2018

Reserve your “seat at the table” and participate in the political process by engaging Ohio’s policymakers and sharing your experiences at COSE Day at the Capitol on March 13, 2018 in Columbus.

The GCP Advocacy Team
advocates on your behalf daily to ensure your voice is heard before government officials on matters that are important to you.  There is no substitute, however, for legislators having the opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges you and your business face; which is why we are pleased to offer this opportunity to GCP/COSE member small business owners to travel to the Statehouse and participate in a day of briefings and dialogue with elected officials and thought-provoking guest speakers.  

Transportation to and from Columbus, food, and refreshments are provided.  Attendees will be provided background materials on the issues and the legislators you will be meeting to make your experience enjoyable and easy. 

Mark your calendar for COSE Day at the Capitol on March 13, 2018.  Additional details to come.