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Former GCP Board Chair, GCP receive economic development awards

Cleveland, Ohio--Former Greater Cleveland Partnership Board Chair William F. (Bill) Christopher was honored with the H. Peter Burg Regional Vision Award at the 2013 Team NEO Economic Development Plus Awards for his work to enhance the business climate in Northeast Ohio. In addition, GCP—through its Business Development team and the Commission on Economic Inclusion—was among the winners of three Economic Development Plus awards.

Christopher, who retired in April 2011 as president of Alcoa Engineered Products and Solutions, is currently president and CEO of Lakeview Consulting Enterprises LLC, specializing in helping small and mid-size businesses develop strategies for growth and implementing management systems for disciplined execution of strategic priorities. He served as GCP Board chair in 2009 and 2010.

GCP was honored for:

Business Attraction: More than 100 Employees International
GCP and Downtown Cleveland Alliance: Attracting Alexander Mann Solutions

GCP’s involvement included helping the company scout office locations and organizing a bus trip to highlight investments in the city and discussions with civic leaders and young professionals that highlighted the region’s efforts to attract and retain talent. AMS opened its North American headquarters in the Tower at Erieview in August 2012 and is currently scouting permanent office space. The company projects a local workforce of 75 by the end of 2013.

Business Attraction: Less than 100 Employees

City of Streetsboro, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Neighborhood Development Services, Inc. and Portage Development Board: Attracting Selas Heat Technology.

GCP coordinated the project to consolidate Selas Heat Technology’s North American operations with involvement by more than a half-dozen partners. In May, Selas opened its 70,000-square-footglobal headquarters in Streetsboro, a $3.7 million capital investment with a current employee count of 22 with a total of 35 and $1.8million in additional payroll when the consolidation is complete.

Fostering Entrepreneurship: Funding

City of Cleveland, Commission on Economic Inclusion, Cuyahoga County Department of Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Huntington Bank, The Business of Good Foundation, Cleveland Foundation and U.S. Small Business Administration: Creating the Cleveland branch of the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI).

The ECDI’s Cleveland branch opened in 2012 with a $4.6 million pool of funds created by the Greater Cleveland Partnership (the Commission’s parent organization), Huntington Bank, the Cleveland Foundation, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. A nonprofit that grants microloans of up to five years and $150,000 to small businesses and entrepreneurs, ECDI, has lent $1.3 million to 37 Northeast Ohio companies, which has translated into 72 jobs.

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About the Greater Cleveland Partnership
The Greater Cleveland Partnership mobilizes private-sector leadership, expertise and resources to create attractive business conditions that create jobs, grow investment and improve the economic prosperity of the region. www.gcpartnership.com.