NFIB Sends Small Business Agenda to Ohio Legislators

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Federation of Independent Business in Ohio, the state’s leading small business advocacy organization, has distributed its Small Business Agenda to all 132 members of the Ohio General Assembly. 

The agenda outlines the Ohio small business community’s legislative priorities in 10 categories: workers’ comp, civil justice, employment law, taxes and fees, unemployment compensation, energy, health care, workforce development and education and state government.

“Our elected leaders must remember that small business is the engine that drives Ohio’s economy,” NFIB Interim State Director Chris Ferruso said. “Small businesses are recovering from the economic setbacks caused by the pandemic, but they still are dealing with a host of problems, including historic inflation and ongoing staffing problems. We need the Legislature to help strengthen Ohio’s economy and support measures that encourage local businesses to grow and create jobs.”

This year’s Small Business Agenda calls for:

  • Improving workforce development and education by:
    • Continuing TechCred as a way for employers to receive reimbursement for upskilling current and prospective employees.
    • Reducing or eliminating obstacles to state licensure. “One in five jobs in Ohio requires the state’s permission to practice,” Ferruso said. “We believe it’s time the General Assembly review which jobs require a license and make it easier, not harder, for people to work.”
    • Making the Department of Education & Workforce a cabinet-level agency to ensure accountability on education and workforce training.
  • Shoring up Ohio’s insolvent unemployment system by:
    • Eliminating the dependency provision. 
    • Freezing maximum benefit amounts until the fund is better funded.
    • Reducing eligibility from 26 weeks to 20. “These reforms will encourage individuals to return to work sooner to help address workforce needs while ensuring necessary benefits remain available,” Ferruso said.
  • Evaluating third-party lawsuit financing. “Lending money to plaintiffs so they can prolong a lawsuit is a perversion of Ohio’s justice system,” Ferruso said. Rather than helping injured parties recover their losses, the loans discourage plaintiffs from settling out of court, even when they’re unlikely to win at trial.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.