May 4

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and its small business division the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) work daily to advocate on behalf of small businesses in Ohio and we depend greatly on public officials to work in partnership with the small business community to promote the wealth and success of a strong economy and infrastructure. When a policymaker performs an act that has a known positive benefit for small businesses, our small business members have historically believed it is important for those officials to be recognized for their support of our cause.  The purpose of recognizing public officials in this manner is to reward elected officials hard work and public service when they provide tools, resources, and incentives that aim to assist small businesses in a meaningful way.


On May 2, GCP volunteer leaders had an opportunity to meet with Governor Mike DeWine to discuss various, crucial public policy issues that impact Northeast Ohio. The meeting provided John Young (Chair, COSE Board of Directors) the chance to present a Small Business Advocate of the Year Award to the Governor for his leadership. 


Tim Opsitnick (Chair, COSE Small Business Caucus) serves on Ohio’s CyberOhio Advisory Board and last year our members worked closely with then Attorney General DeWine to craft legislation—the Data Protection Act—that effectively became law in 2018 providing a legal safe harbor to covered entities that implement a specified cybersecurity program. GCP strongly supported the opportunity for covered entities that implement a specified cybersecurity program because the legislation provides an incentive to encourage businesses to achieve a higher level of cybersecurity through voluntary action. The Data Protection Act encourages more businesses to properly protect their business ventures, their workforce, and those with whom they do business. 


The former Attorney General and current Governor Mike DeWine was responsible for the strong promotion of the Data Protection Act—via the CyberOhio program—since its inception.