Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest Column from Representative Richard Adams - Boosting Small Business Growth in Ohio

Small businesses are the bedrock of our state economy. Each day, we come into contact with local entrepreneurs when we visit a family-owned business, call an electrician in our community, or stop by a neighborhood store after work. These Ohio-based companies and stores drive our economy and support our families by providing nearly half of all Ohioans with employment. In so many ways, Ohioans depend on the revenue generated by these homegrown enterprises, fueling our economic interests and very often furnishing us with personal income.

With the central role they play in Ohio’s job outlook and economic well-being, it is crucial that our state government actively support our network of small businesses. Since the new General Assembly convened in January, we have strived to create an atmosphere conducive to the success of Ohio’s small factories, mom-and-pop shops and family-run stores. Whether they sell us food, provide us with vital services, or manufacture industrial parts, our small businesses can all benefit from forward-thinking, innovative legislation that works for the private sector.

In the past six months, the Ohio House has passed several bills that champion the needs of small businesses. For instance, Senate Bill 2 establishes the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) Office. Oftentimes, complex rules issued by state agencies can hinder the operations of a small business. It can be difficult to remain in compliance with complicated regulations, and this office will reconcile such problems. The CSI Office will review these rules to ensure that they do not harm business operations.

The House has also promoted small business development by passing House Bill 1, which forms JobsOhio, a not-for-profit entity dedicated to economic advancement and job creation. This board of leaders is based in the private sector, giving it a unique perspective on the needs of small businesses. By becoming more responsive to these needs, JobsOhio will promote competitiveness in Ohio’s small businesses and contribute to job growth.

The recently passed state operating budget also contains provisions that will increase the prosperity of our small businesses. One measure creates InvestOhio, a tax credit program that will induce greater investment in Ohio’s companies. An Ohioan who invests in one of our small businesses will receive a 10 percent tax credit, given that they retain the investment for at least two years. This program will help to funnel capital into our local enterprises and spur business expansion.

The budget also does away with Ohio’s estate tax. The “death tax” is detrimental to small business owners and farmers, who could lose significant portions of their holdings to pay the tax. Without this tax starting in 2013, Ohio is more apt to attract out-of-state entrepreneurs and retain those we have here.

As we move on in this legislative session, I pledge to continue my support for pro-business legislation. We have made tremendous progress in the past six months, and I am confident that we can continue with the same momentum as the year progresses. In fact, in the CNBC rankings of “America’s Top State for Business,” Ohio jumped 11 spots, the most of any state. There are so many more ways in which we can help Ohio’s small businesses grow, and I am eager to see the positive changes in our state economy and within our own communities.


  1. How can the city of Greenville move forward with economic development when the Darke County Economic Development Office can't even take a day to update their website listing any plans for future growth?

    No new programs for development+No community involvement=no new development and no growth.

    Why does Greenville not have it's own organization and community action groups to foster development when other successfully developing communities of the same size have programs in place to facilitate future growth and vision?

    The city of Greenville contracted a private consultant firm and paid out the tax dollars of it's citizens in 1992 to form a plan of action in regards to future development. That plan was revisited once again in 2003, yet most of the suggestions within this plan have largely been ignored.

    Has there been any updated action on this plan? And if so, why do we not have an efficient update of these actions available in a public forum so we, as citizens of this community can be called for involvement? Although many of the facts and figures from the earlier plan are now somewhat antiquated, the underlying principles which form the plan are still largely viable to date.

    I believe if small business and small town development are in hopes of evolving in Darke county, then our developmental plans must be utilized to the fullest and community action must be put into play.

    In short, if you want to avoid the pitfalls of looming budget cuts, by all means, start putting a sharper eye towards development and better utilization of the revenue generating resources already at hand as well as those which feasibly exist in the future.

  2. “In today’s economic conditions, if you don’t have a plan you are managing by crisis. We need to manage by a vision and need to have a target for where we want to be in 5 or 10 years.” -John Schmidt, Safety and Services Director for the City (circa 2004)


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