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Greater Cleveland Middle Market Forum

Hundreds of middle-market companies gathered on April 25 for the Greater Cleveland Middle Market Forum.
The morning kicked off with the state of the middle-market presented by Tom Stewart from the National Center for the Middle-Market. The first quarter of 2018 is showing a steady rate of growth in revenue, employment and confidence in the local and global economy. Talent is the #1 challenge facing these companies. It is becoming more difficult to recruit and retain quality employees.
Immediately following the Stewart’s presentation, Robert J. Jackson, Jr., Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), shared his inaugural address with the crowd. Jackson presented his thoughts on the state of the economy and how he plans to make improvements. 
Jackson discussed effects of the middle-market IPO tax on today’s economy. 

The tax rate has been set at 7% for many years, making it considerably more difficult for small and mid-sized companies to go public. Many of these companies choose to raise private capital instead of going public. Jackson suggested that addressing the tax issue will help to create equity and allow more of the smaller companies to go public. Attendees had the opportunity to ask Jackson questions that were important to their line of business.

The breakout sessions covered three topics critical for leaders to understand to run a successful business in the current economy: taxes, workforce and technology.

The day concluded with a panel of local craft brewing leaders discussing collaboration, strategic vision and what’s next in the industry.

Craft brewing in Ohio is big business. According to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, Ohio ranks no. 4 in the U.S. in craft beer production, with a $2.67 billion economic impact and more than 15,000 jobs supported by the industry. 

The panel featured Bill Boor, CEO of Great Lakes Brewing Co., Tanisha Robinson, CEO of BrewDog, Justin Carson, co-founder of Platform Beer Co. and Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Beer Association. The panel was moderated by Marc Bona, features writer for One challenge the local brewers are all facing is how to strategize for the future. 

The panelists agreed that collaboration plays a large role in the local craft brewing industry.

Volunteer for True2U

True2U enews 04 04 16.jpgRecognizing that career readiness starts early, an innovative program—True2U—a collaboration among the Cleveland Foundation’s youth development program, MyCom, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Neighborhood Leadership Institute provides eighth-graders with support to explore their purpose, identify their strengths and set personal goals for success.

This exploration and mentoring program links community capital to students and schools. Its objective is to begin raising career awareness for CMSD students on the cusp of entering high school. Mentors are trained on a structured curriculum and work in teams of two with small groups of  students supported by a CMSD key teacher once a month.

We invite business professionals from all industries to volunteer as mentors for the program. We are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. To submit your mentor application, please click HERE.

For questions about mentoring, contact Angela Finding at or 216-592-2385.

County Approves Consumer Initiative, Including Crucial GCP Member Feedback

Legislation has been approved by Cuyahoga County Council related to the enforcement of consumer protection laws.  The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) is encouraged by changes that were ultimately made, at our members’ urging, to the initiative.  Amendments were included in the measure that bring the statute of limitations on such cases in-line with the Ohio Attorney General’s parameters and limit the possibility of a business being scrutinized by the County and the Attorney General simultaneously. 

The Cuyahoga County's Department of Consumer Affairs role, in part, has been to educate the public on consumer protection laws and mediate complaints consumers levy. 

Upon introduction of the legislation, GCP’s steady, pragmatic approach included direct communication with GCP volunteer leaders, key stakeholders, state, and county officials.  GCP worked with these parties on specific provisions that were included in the final ordinance that aim to eliminate undue burdens on the business community and increase accountability.  The purpose of this collective work was to help ensure the ordinance mirrors state law and is concurrent with the state’s consumer affairs efforts, without needlessly duplicating services that impede economic stability and growth in Cuyahoga County. 

Want to learn more about the ways GCP advocacy works on your business’ behalf?  Click here.