Jul 18

WTAM 1100 Radio Host Bill Wills had an on-air conversation with GCP President & CEO Joe Roman to discuss the goings-on of the Northeast Ohio business community.

They started off by reminiscing about the 2019 GCP Annnual Meeting turned networking event at the last minute due to a power outage at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The information and content intended to be shared at the gathering was later condensed into the first-ever GCP Annual Meeting Online Show, which went live July 10. GCP thanks its members and sponsors, along with the team at Goldfarb Weber Creative Media, for their support and patience.

The next talking point of the conversation was the plastic bag ban passed by Cuyahoga County in May, slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2020. This policy would have the greatest effect on grocery stores, since some other businesses would be exempt from the law. Such hindrance would damage grocery stores' ability to compete in the local market. Paper bags, the leading alternative to plastic bags, are by no means the perfect solution, which Joe addressed in the interview.

"I think every one of us who goes to a grocery store and gets handed those 20 plastic bags knows it's an issue," he said, "but simply moving to paper bags, which also cause environmental issues and are more expensive, is not really the answer." 

Joe then called for a search for a more "holistic" solution that eliminates the need for single-use bags without undermining the success of grocers in Cuyahoga County. GCP will continue to support the search for innovations that are friendly to both the environment and the health of Cleveland businesses, just as it continues to be a leader in the restoration of the Great Lakes.

Moving on to a major event that Cleveland had not seen since 1997, the MLB All Star Game and its surrounding festivities occupied downtown streets from July 5-9. The weather was beautiful, the Home Run Derby was perhaps the most exciting it has ever been and Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber won the All Star Game MVP Award. Additionally, those who came from out of town had great things to say about their experience in Cleveland. A repeating theme of those testimonies was the impressive "walkability" of the city; Joe acknowledged that compliment and pointed out it will only get better, which should excite all members of the community. In the next three years, the sports world will convene here again for the 2021 NFL Draft and the 2022 NBA All Star Game.

Next, Bill inquired about GCP's work with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio's lawmakers in regards to various issues. Joe first touched on the state budget that was recently approved, which included a large restoration of the small business income tax deduction that had been greatly reduced in early versions of the budget. The GCP Advocacy Team worked hard to rectify those early proposals, just as they are working to ensure Ohio high school graduation requirements are where they need to be to ensure local companies have the highest possible caliber of talent available to them. Gov. DeWine signed a bill related to those efforts July 18.

Listen to the full interview