The mission of the Greater Cleveland Partnership is to mobilize private-sector leadership, expertise, and resources to create attractive business conditions that create jobs, grow investment and improve economic prosperity in the region. GCP releases a member-driven public policy agenda every two years.
Growth and innovation will require a continued focus on fundamental priorities: 1.) An Adaptable Government & Public Sector, 2.) A Sustainable & Predictable Tax & Regulatory Environment, and 3.) Talent Development & Retention to Advance Business Growth. Forging an inclusive and equitable region will continue to be a fundamental part of GCP’s priorities. Below is a summary of the 2019 – 2020 GCP Public Policy Agenda.
An Adaptable Government & Public Sector
- Protect and renew the Ohio Third Frontier program.
- Provide grant assistance for brownfield redevelopment based on site strategies and connection to major job hubs.
- Explore possible JobsOhio enhancement in Cleveland and other metro areas of Northeastern Ohio – built off the complimentary approach established between JobsOhio, TeamNEO, and GCP in 2017.
- Maintain investments in the Ohio New Market and Historic Preservation Tax Credit program.
- Create a statewide Opportunity Zone to compliment the federal program in underserved communities.
- Restore state general revenue funding for public transit.
- Encourage municipal shared services policies to continue and evolve.
- Protect Ohioans’ data and transactions with sustainable, user-friendly processes for government interactions – permits, certificates, licenses – through secure technologies.
- Guard the Ohio Constitution via greater petition transparency.
Sustainable & Predictable Tax & Regulatory Environment
- Implement greater government efficiencies without shifting tax burdens from one group of businesses to another.
- Preserve the Ohio small business tax deduction on the first $250,000 in business income.
- Lower or maintain the commercial activity tax (CAT) rate and uphold the exemption level.
- Encourage entities that seek to alter a tax structure to adhere to GCP’s new levy protocol.
- Reduce the complexity of regulatory compliance utilizing new or existing processes.
- Expand the Ohio Common Sense Initiative (CSI) with proper legislative oversight.
- Support and monitor the public review of occupational licensing boards.
- Ensure employers are not prohibited from establishing and enforcing a drug testing policy, drug-free workplace policy, or zero-tolerance drug policy.
Talent Development & Retention to Advance Business Growth
- Audit Ohio’s workforce development and job training programs to assess performance and determine what “flex” funding is available to steer towards priority opportunities.
- Support the scale and growth of industry sector partnerships through an RFP process in core industries like advanced manufacturing, healthcare, infrastructure, and information technology.
- Maintain the Job Creation Tax Credit program.
- Increase funding for incumbent workforce training.
- Develop a population growth agenda to assist in retaining Ohio’s best talent, including supporting the creation of immigration hubs in key regions of the state.
- Reestablish the Minority Business Advisory Council (MBAC) and include representation from JobsOhio leadership.
- Review the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Encouraging Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) programs for necessary legislative and regulatory reforms.
- Encourage state funded organizations to achieve a minimum of 15% spending with minority businesses.
- Create additional opportunities and improve access to early-stage and working capital – particularly for small and minority businesses statewide.
- Support long-term immigration reform at the federal level in addition to comprehensive H-1B visa reform that increases the number of visas for highly skilled talent.
- Advocate for LGBTQ protections that add gender identity and sexual orientation to the protected classes under civil rights laws.
- Continue to support the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools.
- Oppose any efforts by the legislature to discontinue the Historic Preservation Tax Credit or convert it into a block grant.
- Support reauthorization of the EB-5 program in the short-term and permanency long-term.
- Support the development of transformational public projects, such as development along the lakefront and Cuyahoga River, including Irishtown Bend and the Flats; Opportunity Corridor and the W. 25th Street Corridor, including the MetroHealth Campus Transformation project; and support for the Great Lakes through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
- Support business expansion and development opportunities at NASA Glenn Research Center.
- Create a state Office of Military and Federal Affairs to ensure a single point of contact for Ohio on defense and federal asset issues.
- Obtain commitments for an international air service attraction fund to attract a direct flight to Europe on a full-service airline.
- Preserve Ohio’s CyberOhio Advisory Board and enhance technology industry support services and resources.
- Encourage policies that provide incentives for utilities to offer businesses opportunities that leverage energy efficiency programming; recognize it is equally important utilities are provided the level of elasticity needed to meet state mandated energy benchmarks.
- Support Medicaid expansion in Ohio.
- Study health care mandates that limit an employer’s ability to offer coverage.
- Improve the solvency of Ohio’s unemployment compensation system.
- Guard workers’ compensation safety education assistance and transitional work programs.
Collective Action & Partnerships
- Continue to lead and engage with state and national coalitions that advance GCP’s work.
- Grow the GCP Political Action Committee (GCPPAC) by building and reinforcing relationships and supporting candidates and current elected officials at the state and local levels of government.