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Every Monday -- News from GCP

City Council rejects Cleveland-only minimum wage hike;
voters may still decide

Last week, Cleveland City Council voted overwhelmingly—by a vote of 16 to 1—in opposition to the most aggressive minimum wage increase in the country.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine even released an opinion more than a month ago stating that municipalities cannot legally set their own minimum wage.

However, Cleveland’s charter still could provide the initiative’s supporters the opportunity to place the issue (or an amended version) on a future ballot to be decided by the voters.

The original proposal—imported to Cleveland by the multi-state Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 WV/KY/OH—submitted petitions to Cleveland City Council to raise Cleveland’s minimum wage to $15 an hour beginning in January 2017. If enacted, it would mandate an 85 percent increase as Ohio’s current minimum wage is $8.10.

Members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership vehemently oppose this effort and are urging Clevelanders to consider the unintended consequences of such a drastic and targeted increase to our minimum wage.

Issue should be addressed at state level

Our members may not be philosophically opposed to a minimum wage discussion, but if the issue is to be addressed, it should be at the state level.

Increasing the minimum wage only in Cleveland, as this plan would do, would immediately make Cleveland less competitive. Our minimum wage would be almost double what it would be in the remainder of Cuyahoga County and the rest of Ohio.

Cleveland would become an isolated economic island, adrift from the mainstream economy of Northeast Ohio as well as the rest of the state.

Learn more

To learn more about why the Cleveland-only proposal would backfire on our city, read the opinion piece by Kevin Johnson, co-owner, Visiting Angels, and GCP President and CEO Joe Roman.

We need your vote! Deadline is today!

A designated representative of a member company of the Greater Cleveland Partnership or COSE is entitled to vote in the 2016 election of the GCP Board of Directors.

By checking the appropriate box on the ballot, you may either submit proxy instructions to vote for the entire slate of nominated candidates or submit proxy instructions to vote for individual names.

Please submit your completed ballot to the GCP offices by email to or by fax to 216.621.6013 by close of business today, Monday, August 15, 2016.

Thank you for your vote!

Download the ballot here.

Middle-market perspectives: With Brexit decision,
manufacturers plan to reduce sales to UK, increase elsewhere

How do U.S. middle market companies believe the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union will impact their business?

The National Center for the Middle Market surveyed C-suite middle market executives with business operations outside of the U.S about on how Brexit will impact business Investments, purchasing plans, and exporting/importing.

The survey also zeroed in on middle market manufacturers to get their perspectives on how the Brexit decision will impact them. Those executives are predicting a slightly greater impact than other sectors. Two key findings:
  • Manufacturers expect to downsize their purchasing plans in the UK and increase volume in Asia and domestically.
  • Manufacturers also expect to reduce sales to the UK and Europe and increase their sales volumes in markets at home and elsewhere overseas.
Click to read more.

The National Center for the Middle Market, a partnership of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, SunTrust Banks, Inc., Grant Thornton LLP and Cisco Systems, is a strategic partner of the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Middle-Market Initiative.

GCP in the spotlight at national chamber conference

The Greater Cleveland Partnership was in the spotlight last week at the 2016 Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives (ACCE) conference in Savannah, Georgia.
  • GCP President and CEO Joe Roman wrapped up his one-year term as chair of the ACCE, an organization with more than 7,000 professional members in over 1,200 chambers of commerce in the U.S., Canada and several other countries.
  • Jason Guyer, GCP/COSE membership development manager won second place in the number of new personal sales category for chambers with more than $1.5 million in dues income. NOTE: Jason is active on Twitter! You can follow him @GCP_Jason.
  • Chad Hamman, vice president, membership development and services, won two tickets to attend the World Chambers Congress in Sydney, Australia next year.

Port earns award for increasing global cargo
for sixth straight year

The Port of Cleveland was recently presented with a 2015 Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award for increasing international cargo numbers on its docks in 2015.

This is the sixth straight year the Port has been recognized by the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), which operates and maintains the U.S. portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie.

The Port of Cleveland was one of only six ports in the entire U.S. portion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway system to receive the Pacesetter.

When presenting the award, SLSDC Administrator Betty Sutton cited the Port’s “remarkable growth” and its innovation in creating the Cleveland Europe Express (CEE) liner service between the Midwest, Europe, and connecting points worldwide.

Established by the Port in 2014 and operated by Spliethoff Transport BV, the CEE makes Cleveland North America’s inland-most hub for trade with Europe, bringing, regular maritime commerce between the two markets for the first time in 40 years. Sutton noted that the Port’s 9 percent growth in international containerized cargo for 2015 can be directly traced to the CEE’s innovative model.

Recognition for innovation in the maritime industry

“The Pacesetter Award is another example of the market and the industry recognizing that the Port of Cleveland is a leading innovator in maritime and that our strategic investments are paying off,” said Will Friedman, Port president and CEO. Friedman also cited the Port’s advocacy efforts—also recently covered by Crain’s Cleveland Business as forward thinking approaches that are paying off for Northeast Ohio.

A recent analysis found that the Port and Cleveland’s maritime industry now produce over $3.5 billion of total economic value annually for Northeast Ohio, including supporting more than 20,000 jobs.

To learn more about using the Cleveland-Europe Express or the Port’s maritime services, contact Dave Gutheil, VP of Maritime & Logistics at or 216.377.1363.

The Florijngracht general cargo ship, managed by Spliethoff, visits the Port of Cleveland as part of the Cleveland Europe Express.