Jan 31

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.

Fundamental Priorities

  • 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.

Read the full agenda.