Apr 14

CLEVELAND (April 14, 2020) The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) is well prepared and positioned to help Greater Cleveland businesses and the broader community emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.  The organization has been aggressively and energetically helping businesses find solutions and access resources while helping policymakers understand and address business needs. 

And the organization isn’t going to stop there.  The GCP has launched a “Cleveland Metro RESTART” committee to begin focusing on and planning for how the Northeast Ohio business community will emerge from this pandemic.  The committee will be co-led by Paul Dolan, Chairman and CEO, Cleveland Indians Baseball and Kevin Johnson, Owner, NexGen Interactive and made up of leaders from businesses of all sizes and industry sectors across the region.  Additional members of the committee will be announced at the end of the week.

“It is equally important to begin developing a recovery strategy for our region now as it is to monitor and support business needs today,” said Dolan.  “We are fortunate here in Greater Cleveland to have a strong network of public and private partners who are willing and able to work collaboratively to ensure our region not only recovers from the impact of COVID-19, but that it thrives.”

Co-chair Johnson added “Clearly, the COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on small and mid-size businesses. COSE and GCP have helped these businesses navigate through this difficult period. And while we certainly haven’t made it through the crisis just yet, it is important that we assist in helping to chart our way out of this pandemic and assure that our small and medium size enterprises are positioned to prosper going forward.”

To help businesses as they work through the challenges presented as a result of this crisis, GCP has created a dedicated webpage with regular updates at the local, state and federal level. The website also includes links to business resources, health and wellness information, and local news updates. Additionally, employees across the organization are talking with business owners and leaders daily to better understand and address NEO businesses’ most significant concerns, needs or challenges. This information has been helpful in the organization’s advocacy efforts and initiatives to connect businesses to the resources and support they need. The GCP advocacy team continues to work directly with local, state and federal levels of government and agencies to inform them of business needs and to advocate for quick passage and implementation of programs that could improve cash flow and address regulatory problems.  The organization’s goal is to help individual businesses with their unprecedented challenges while doing whatever we can to accelerate our community’s economic recovery.

“I’m proud of the hard work the GCP staff is doing and the high impact it’s having at a time when our community needs it most,” said GCP Board Chair Scott Chaikin, Executive Chairman of Dix & Eaton.  “We’re uniquely equipped to provide individualized help to hundreds of individual businesses while giving policy-makers the business community view they need to help cure our regional economy.”

While business across the region develop plans to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) too has conducted a full assessment of operations to ensure the organization can continue its economic development work and support of the business community.  The organization is reducing costs in a way that allows it to maintain high service levels and engagement where its need most.

“Now, more than ever, we know that Northeast Ohio businesses – from the smallest entrepreneur to the largest corporation in town – need the connections, resources, information and support that our organization can provide,” said Joe Roman, President & CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.  “That is why it is even more important that we ensure our organization is well positioned, collaborative and standing strong during this very challenging time in our nation.”

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Executive Committee recently reviewed and approved a revised 2020 budget for the organization as they anticipate reductions in events and sponsorship revenues due to the current strain on resources in the business community.  The GCP is privately funded with revenues coming almost entirely from a combination of dues, sponsorships and event registrations.  While the impact is difficult to predict, the organization is taking steps to aggressively reduce budget expenses while maintaining critical programs to support businesses.  GCP plans to maintain full staffing levels with accommodations being made via hiring freezes and tiered salary reductions for at least two months as we monitor and review how the crisis resolves.  

“Due to very prudent financial management over the years, the Greater Cleveland Partnership is in a strong financial position with the ability to continue operating our business with very careful expense reductions that we believe will not interrupt the team’s ability to serve our members and the broad business community across the region,” said GCP Finance Committee Chair Joe DiRocco, Regional President Northeast Ohio for Fifth Third Bank.

About the Greater Cleveland Partnership

The Greater Cleveland Partnership mobilizes private-sector leadership, expertise and resources to create attractive business conditions that create jobs, grow investment and improve the economic prosperity of the region.