In the News
We are getting noticed around the region and the globe. Read how the Columbus Chamber, our members and the Columbus business community are making headlines.
To arrange an interview with a member of the Columbus Chamber team, contact:
Michelle Bretscher, APR
Vice President, Marketing and Communication
W: (614) 225.6908
June 19, 2013
Columbus Chamber's Young Professional Initiative Showing Success
From Columbus CEO:
The Columbus Chamber and the Create Columbus Commission continue to attract college graduates and young professionals to Columbus through the success of the Young Professionals Initiative, causing perceptions of Central Ohio as a vibrant and thriving community to increase since 2007. The Columbus City Council will allocate $50,000 this year to Create Columbus, partnering with Chamber member United Way of Central Ohio, to make grants that will directly fund young professional initiatives in the region.
June 18, 2013
Columbus' Population Growth One of Fastest in the Nation
From New Geography:
Columbus is one of six cities in the nation with a core population that is growing faster than the populations of surrounding suburbs.
June 17, 2013
Delta Energy Names New President, Focusing on Growth
From Columbus Business First:
Member Delta Energy Services has promoted Justin McMaster to president, heading day-to-day operations, as CEO Sheri Tackett focuses on growing the Dublin-based company.
June 14, 2013
VSP Vision Care Names 2013's Most Eye Healthy Cities
From a VSP Vision Care release:
VSP Vision Care Names 2013’s Most Eye Healthy Cities Study reveals women actively care for their eyes more than menRancho Cordova, Calif., June 10, 2013 – VSP® Vision Care (VSP) announces the results of the 2013 Eye Health Index, revealing Boise City, Idaho, as the top city where more residents took care of their eyes in 2012. In fact, Boise City had the highest rate of eye exams compared to any other city on the index for the past two years. The Eye Health Index reviews tens of millions of VSP claims from more than 100 geographic areas1 across the country to identify which cities and regions are the most focused on maintaining their eye health. VSP (www.vsp.com), the largest not-for-profit vision benefits company in the United States with 59 million members, began analyzing claim data in 2012 to recognize the top cities whose citizens are getting eye exams as part of their healthcare routine. In addition to helping identify vision correction needs, eye exams also help ensure that the eyes and body are healthy, as eye doctors are often first to detect signs of serious health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. For 2013, Boise City and Des Moines, Iowa, made the top 10 for the first time. The Sacramento, Calif., and Oklahoma City-Tulsa, Okla., regions showed strong gains, jumping from No. #10 and No. #9 to No. #2 and No. #3, respectively. Additionally, the analysis showed that women—who are statistically at a greater risk for eye-related diseases—take a more concerted effort to care for their eyes. Women go to the eye doctor 28 percent more than men and represent about 60 percent of the eye exam claim analyzed. The Top 10 2013 Eye Healthy Regions in the United States:
1. Boise, Idaho
2. Sacramento, Calif. (No. #10 in 2012)
3. Oklahoma City-Tulsa, Okla. (No. #9 in 2012)
4. Wichita, Kan. (No. #2 in 2012)
5. Columbus, OH (No. #6 in 2012)
6. Des Moines, Iowa
7. Birmingham, Ala. (No. #4 in 2012)
8. Denver, Colo. (No. #5 in 2012)
9. Raleigh, N.C. (No. #3 in 2012)
10. Bay Area, Calif. (San Jose was No. #7 in 2012) All markets include the greater surrounding geographic area. “VSP Vision Care travels around the country, with programs like Eye on Diabetes, to help educate people about the importance of eyecare, so we’re thrilled to see some of the cities that we have visited make this year’s list,” said Susan Egbert, director of eye health strategies at VSP Vision Care. “We commend everyone who took part in ensuring that this important exam is part of everyone’s healthcare routine.” Eye doctors can detect signs of diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension—which currently affect more than 140 million people in the United States (according to the Center for Disease Control)—before any other healthcare provider up to 65 percent of the time. This is due to the fact that an eye exam provides the only non-invasive, unobstructed view of a person’s blood vessels. Through early disease detection and treatment, eye exams are an inexpensive and effective method for consumers to have an opportunity to enter the healthcare system earlier. To ensure an accurate result, data was based on the percentage of people covered by VSP who received an eye exam in 2012 in greater city areas in which at least 95,000 people have VSP. In 2013, cities were uniformly grouped by region and were not restricted to specific city limits. For example, San Jose, Calif., was listed separately in 2012 but was grouped into The Greater Bay Area for 2013. Similarly, Columbus, Ohio, was expanded this year to include central Ohio. These refined groups provide a more accurate reflection each area’s attitude toward vision care. VSP Vision Care’s 59 million members are equally split between male and female, indicating the average split for women and men exam claims is significant. In 2013, the Greater Birmingham Area, Ala., had the highest percentage of female eye exams. About VSP Global
VSP Global® includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 59 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity® which offers innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; and VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics. To date, through VSP community outreach programs such as VSP Mobile Eyes® and Sight for Students®, and through relationships including those with the American Red Cross and Prevent Blindness America, VSP has invested close to $155 million in free eyecare and eyewear for more than 825,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States.
June 14, 2013
Franklin County Budget and Economic Advisory Panel Moves toward August Deadline
Beginning in February, Franklin County Commissioners convened a small panel of financial, economic, and business leaders to:
1.) Determine if the County is in a state of “structural imbalance,” meaning that the county is spending more than it is bringing in, and
2.) If there is a structural imbalance, what recommendations the group has for the County to address this issue.While there has not been an official vote by the Panel regarding if there is a structural imbalance, there is general consensus by panel members that there is. Recommendations on how to solve the imbalance range from reducing services, sacrificing the County’s AAA bond rating, to finding new revenue. One of the new revenue options includes a 0.25% sales tax increase. Franklin County’s current sales tax rate is 6.75%. Here is a list of other available budget solutions prepared by County staff. Many, if not all of the potential budget solutions, could occur without a vote by Franklin County citizens. The Columbus Chamber supports the Panel’s efforts to evaluate the County's finances and looks forward to their recommendations. The Chamber has expressed to the Panel its hopes that it provides clear suggestions for ways in which to address the fiscal gaps, potential cost savings, and expanding efficiencies. Panel members also asked for more information on the county’s shared services efforts, a key component of the Chamber’s Public Policy Agenda. Chamber staff will continue to monitor and attend the Budget and Economic Advisory Panel meetings and will keep you informed as further information becomes available. Read more in the Columbus Dispatch.
June 14, 2013
Medicaid: Expansion or Reform?
The Ohio House and Senate have introduced companion bills that address Medicaid reform. House Bill 208 (Rep. Ron Amstutz and Rep. Vernon Sykes) and Senate Bill 145 (Sen. David Burke and Sen. Capri Cafaro) are aimed at making the Medicaid system more efficient and sustainable, but do not include expansion. Sen. Burke said the goal from the beginning has been to “find ways to provide more services to more people in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.”
According to bill sponsors, the companion bills have the following priorities:
- Establish firm spending targets.
- Establish performance measures and targets that focus on medical outcomes.
- Increase consumer involvement in the delivery of Medicaid services.
- Remove costly legislative mandates that prohibit innovation and flexibility.
- Streamline legislative involvement in caseload.
- Invest in research and evaluation for Medicaid and the entire health care system in Ohio.
- Eliminate statutory regulations that impede the cost-effective delivery of health care.
House Bill 176, introduced by Rep. Barbara Sears, would expand Medicaid to cover those making 100 to 138 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, providing health insurance to tens of thousands of Ohio’s veterans and working poor.
House Bill 176 also requires recipients to provide co-payments for certain services, promotes job training and provides drug treatment services. Referring to House bill 176, Rep. Sears said, “By providing a ladder up and out of poverty through quality care, we are allowing for citizens to achieve greater self-sufficiency and creating a healthier Ohio.”
Both House Bill 208 and House Bill 176 are scheduled for hearings before the House Finance and Appropriations Committee on Tuesday June 18th.
June 14, 2013
Ohio Budget Bill (House Bill 59) Goes to Conference Committee
Ohio House Bill 59, the biennial budget bill, was scheduled for its first conference committee meeting on Thursday, June 13th, but the meeting was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts among the committee members. The committee is now due to begin deliberations on Tuesday June 18th. In the meantime, committee members will have more time to wade through the changes made by the two chambers. One of the many issues to be debated: the Senate’s 50 percent tax cut on the first $750,000 of income for small businesses vs. the House’s 7 percent personal income tax cut.We’d love to hear from you about how these separate tax cuts would affect your business. If you have questions or feedback please contact Michael Hartley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 14, 2013
Columbus Chamber Pushes for Municipal Tax Uniformity (House Bill 5)
Your help is needed to move House Bill 5, Municipal Tax Uniformity.
The Columbus Chamber’s Government Relations team has been working closely with members and the General Assembly as House Bill 5 works its way through committee. However, we need one final push to move the bill out of committee and onto the House Floor for a vote. Please contact Chairman Peter Beck and/or Speaker Bill Batchelder to share your support for House Bill 5 and to encourage that the bill moves.
Why Ohio Needs Reform
- Ohio has the most complicated local income tax system in the U.S.
- Ohio is one of only 10 states that tax both individuals and businesses.
- Ohio is the only state where each city/village makes its own rules and regulations – businesses must keep track of and comply with as many as 600 different sets of tax ordinances.
- It’s particularly burdensome for businesses whose employees work/travel in multiple cities.
- The high cost of complying hinders economic growth.
- Compliance often costs businesses more than they owe in tax.
- International site selectors say Ohio’s municipal tax system is the second highest negative factor (the first being the negative labor environment) when it comes to attracting new employers.
Benefits of Municipal Tax Reform
- This legislation will help achieve the goals of any good tax policy: making Ohio's municipal income tax system simpler, fairer and more predictable.
- Businesses will not pay less in tax, however they will reduce their municipal tax compliance costs. This frees up capital and time to reinvest and grow their companies.
- The bill establishes one set of municipal tax rules and regulations that apply to nearly all Ohio cities that impose business and individual income taxes.
- The bill will minimize the administrative hassles many Ohio businesses are subjected to by cities with conflicting notice rules, administrative appeal procedures and tax forms/documentation requirements.
- Makes Ohio more competitive for new investment and jobs – Ohio will no longer stand out negatively as an outlier state in terms of the difficulty of complying with municipal tax requirements.
Key Provisions in Bill
- Extends occasional entry rule (requiring companies to withhold for employees not working in principal place of business city) from 12 days to 20 days.
- Defines a “day” for occasional entry purposes to where the employee spends “preponderance of work day.” Currently an Ohio worker (i.e. a plumber) can owe tax to every city he visits in a single 8-hour workday, even if he’s only there for 10 minutes.
- Creates uniform net operating loss (NOL) carry-forward period of 5 years (currently ranges from zero to 15 years). Currently two thirds of Ohio cities have an NOL, most with 5 years.
- Creates uniform treatment of filing requirements – extensions, penalties, due dates, etc.
- Creates consistent taxation of pass-through entities (PTEs) (not corporations). Currently, cities are divided as to if and how they tax PTEs. A substitute version is being drafted that establishes taxation at the entity level.
- Defines “resident” – At the request of cities a substitute version is being drafted that establishes a uniform set of facts and circumstances for municipal tax purposes.
- Specific revenue items for cities – eliminates deduction for 2106 Employee Business Expenses.
Email Chairman Peter Beck
Email Speaker Bill Batchelder
June 12, 2013
KeyBank Expands Mobile Capabilities for Commercial and Consumer Clients
News release from member KeyBank:
CLEVELAND -- KeyBank is making banking more convenient for all clients - commercial and consumer - to manage money while on the move with an expanded suite of mobile banking services."We're seeing double-digit growth in our clients' use of consumer mobile banking, and we know our commercial clients have increasing interest in mobile," said Matthew D. Lehman, head of KeyBank's Community Bank online and mobile banking. KeyBank's mobile banking use increased by 45 percent between 2011 and 2012. Jordan M. Olack, senior vice president, Product Management of KeyBank Enterprise Commercial Payments, said research shows that business owners of all sizes and needs increasingly see electronic payments as a way to boost cash flow, increase payment security and lower cost. "More business owners, particularly owners of small businesses, use mobile devices to manage their business matters," Olack said. "These business owners want banking service that matches how they do business." Commercial mobile banking services such as Key Total Treasury™ Mobile give clients the ability to access account information and make important decisions while on the go through a secure browser connection. The service is available to all Key Total Treasury customers. Special features include the ability to approve ACH and Wire payments, act on Positive Pay items, and access Intraday and Previous Day reports. KeyBank Merchant Services Mobile enables card payment acceptance anytime, anywhere for business owners who want to offer their customers cash or check alternatives, using a smart phone or tablet. For consumers, there is Mobile Deposit, which enables clients to make deposits as late as 11 p.m. EST, one of the latest cut-off times in the industry. Mobile Deposit client can also view recent mobile deposits via Key's mobile app. Clients in a Key Advantage, Key Privilege or Key Privilege Select account can take advantage of Mobile Deposit for no charge, while clients in other accounts will be assessed a fee. For more information, visit key.com/deposit. "KeyBank is committed to making investments in mobile technology to make banking with Key easier for our clients," Lehman said. About KeyCorp Key traces its history back more than 160 years and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, Key has assets of approximately $89.2 billion as of March 31, 2013. Key (NYSE: KEY) provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals, small and medium-sized business in 14 states under the name KeyBank National Association. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name.
June 12, 2013
Retail Report Shows Franklin County Sales Tax Revenues Increase for Fourth Straight Year
From Columbus Business First:
For the fourth consecutive year, sales tax revenues in Franklin County continue to rebound to pre-recession levels. According to the annual report released by Franklin County and the Columbus Chamber, last year’s revenues reached $169 million, the highest since 2007. The Chamber’s Research Director, Jung Kim, shared the annual report with business leaders Wednesday at the 2013 Franklin County Retail Summit.
June 12, 2013
Columbus Expected to be Sixth Strongest Hiring Region this Summer
From the Columbus Dispatch:
Central Ohio is expected to be the sixth strongest hiring region among the country’s metropolitan areas over the summer, according to Manpower’s quarterly employment outlook. 27 percent of employers, the report found, plan to hire during the July-September period, while only 4 percent will reduce their staff.
June 11, 2013
Columbus Ranked No. 6 Best City for Jobs this Summer
Forbes ranked Columbus as the sixth best city in the nation for jobs this summer, with a net employment outlook of 23 percent.
June 11, 2013
Chamber Members to be Honored at the 2014 WELD Twelve Women You Should Know Awards
From a WELD media release:
Congratulations to the following Columbus Chamber members for being recognized as honorees for the 2014 Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD) Twelve Women You Should Know class:
WELD was founded with the mission to develop and advance women's leadership to strengthen the economic prosperity of the communities it serves. The reception sponsor, Mount Carmel Health System, will recognize the 2014 Twelve Women You Should Know on Nov. 13, 2013 from 6-8 p.m. at the St. Ann's facility in Westerville.
- Beth Alloway, Commercial Relationship Manager, Huntington National Bank
- Caroline Worley, Owner, Worley Law - Business & Entrepreneurship
- Cassi Baker, VP Government Relations, Cardinal Health
- Catherine Lang-Cline, President and Co-founder, Portfolio Creative
- Darla King, President/CEO, King Business Interiors, Inc.
- Doreen DeLaney Crawley, Chief Human Resource and Administrative Officer, Grange Insurance Companies
- Lee Ann Schwope Cochran, VP Business Development, Battelle
- Michelle Galligan, CEO, ViaVero
June 11, 2013
Safelite CEO Tom Feeney Honored by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ohio
Release from Safelite AutoGlass:
Safelite AutoGlass President and CEO Tom Feeney Becomes First Inductee of Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio’s Hall of FameCOLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ohio (RMHC) recently honored Safelite® President and CEO Tom Feeney as the first-ever Hall of Fame recipient for his 10-plus years of support to the organization. The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio Hall of Fame, new in 2013, will recognize and commemorate individuals who have represented significant support for seriously ill children and their families at the Ronald McDonald House. “The community of Central Ohio has been so generous in their support of our local Ronald McDonald House and the families being served here. A few individuals in the community have gone above and beyond the call of duty in a significant way, and we are thrilled to honor them in the new Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio Hall of Fame,” said Dee Anders, CEO and Executive Director. “We are so proud to have Tom Feeney as our first inductee – he is certainly worthy of this honor for his decade of service to the charity and tireless support of the families we serve.” Feeney has served on the Board of Trustees for 10 years, serving as Board President from 2008–2010, and he continues to serve as a Board Member today. During this time, Feeney helped bring the 2010 McDonald’s High School All American Basketball Games to Columbus, Ohio. This event serves as a major fundraiser for Ronald McDonald Houses around the country. Safelite AutoGlass® donated $100,000 to support the games benefiting RMHC. Under his leadership, they raised $1,000,000, enabling the RMHC to pay of all debt on its facility. Each year, RMHC Global grants a limited number of Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs to deserving RMHC Chapters throughout the world. During Feeney’s tenure as Board President, the charity successfully earned one of only two Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs launched in the U.S. that year. This program is positively impacting the lives of thousands of children every year by providing access to healthcare for children in areas where it’s hard to get to a doctor. Feeney was an instrumental leader in the successful $6 capital campaign to fund a vital expansion of Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio, to make it the largest in the world, with 122 guest rooms. This expansion will provide 14,000 more nights at the Ronald McDonald House each year for families of seriously ill children being treated at area hospitals in Central Ohio. Feeney also has played a critical role in the success of the annual Ronald McDonald House Golf Classic, RMHC’s largest fundraiser. Through his leadership as event Chair, the Golf Classic reached new heights and grew to the event it is today. While Feeney served on the Golf Classic Committee from 2007–2010, he brought in sponsorships and event registrations, including a Presenting Sponsorship of $25,000 from Safelite AutoGlass®. In 2012, The Ohio State University men’s basketball coach Thad Matta was nominated for the ESPN Infinini Coaches’ Charity Challenge, a national contest between 48 of the top basketball coaches in the nation. Each coach was asked to select a charity of their choice to receive a $5,000 donation and be eligible for a $100,000 donation in the event their coach won the contest. Thad Matta graciously chose Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio as his charity. The contest took place online, and included a daily voting component during the basketball season through the NCAA Tournament. In order to help Coach Matta win this contest, and win a $100,000 prize for Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio, Safelite AutoGlass® offered their full support and provided countless volunteers. Employees held a “get out the vote” day for the contest, and strongly encouraged employees to sign up to vote for Coach Matta and RMHC. Feeney even filmed a video encouraging Safelite® employees to support the campaign. Because of support from Safelite, Coach Matta won the contest and earned a $100,000 donation for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. About Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio
For three decades, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Central Ohio has been serving families with seriously ill children by providing a home-away-from-home at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. From its beginnings as a grassroots movement established by a partnership between local McDonald's Owner/Operators and a group of women who wanted to help mothers of seriously ill children, the Charity has served thousands of families in their deepest times of need. The reality of having a child sick and in the hospital can be incredibly overwhelming to parents and siblings. What the Ronald McDonald House is able to provide these families is a bit of stability in the midst of unthinkable circumstances. When a child is hospitalized, the healing power of having family nearby is beyond measure. It is this heartfelt purpose that both drives and defines RMHC of Central Ohio. About Safelite AutoGlass®
Safelite AutoGlass®, founded in 1947, is the nation’s leading provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services, providing mobile service to more than 95 percent of the U.S. population in all 50 states. The Columbus, Ohio-based company employs nearly 10,000 people across the United States and serves more than 4.1 million customers annually. For more information, visit www.safelite.com.
June 11, 2013
Manta CEO Named Among 10 CEOs to Watch in 2013
Congratulations to Manta CEO and Columbus Chamber Board Member, Pamela Springer. She was named among 10 CEOs to Watch in 2013 by OPENForum. It recognizes Springer for being "The Small Business Shepherd," and says "Springer has transformed her company into one of the fastest growing online communities for small business. It now has more than 30 million unique visitors a month and adds over 3,000 new business owners every day."
June 10, 2013
US Department of Commerce, US Commercial Service Provide Federal Export and Import Assistance
An update from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Commercial Service:
The U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Commercial Service are working to assist U.S. businesses with import and export webinars, trade missions and teleconferences. International trade and commercial specialists inform business leaders how they can enhance their strategies and opportunities globally by tuning into the latest webinars. Upcoming trade missions, focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, give businesses the opportunity to learn more about the innovative and competitive sectors of the economy. The U.S. Department of State also provides American businesses, especially small- and medium-sized companies, with a unique opportunity to engage directly with U.S. Ambassadors overseas with its latest teleconference program. The program is open and free to American companies that are already in the country where the Ambassador serves or are interested in expanding their businesses into those countries.
June 10, 2013
United Way of Central Ohio Welcomes New Senior Assistant Vice President for Leadership Giving
Release from Member United Way of Central Ohio:
(Columbus)— United Way of Central Ohio welcomes Amy Wharton to the United Way team as Senior Assistant Vice President of Leadership Giving.Amy will play a vital role in the advancement the organization's efforts to raise the funds that help improve lives and strengthen our community. "Amy has a lifelong commitment serving our community and her dedication, experience and strong relationships with business and community leaders will be a tremendous asset for United Way," said Deanna Stewart, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Prior to joining United Way, Amy led the advancement efforts for Wexner Heritage Village’s health, housing and supportive services as Senior Vice President of Development and Marketing. In that role, she designed and launched the current $10 million Campaign to Revolutionize Care, the largest fundraising effort in the organization's 60-year history. Amy also spent 15 years at The Ohio State University as a Senior Development Officer—Major Gifts for the Wexner Center for the Arts. Earlier in her career, she was Director of Volunteer Services at the Capital Area Humane Society and Manager of Incentives, Recognition and Customer Service for Limited Brands. Amy is a founding member of Women for Economic Leadership and Development and the Temple Israel Lurie MicroGrant program. She is also a co-founder of the Jefferson Meadows Civic Association. A native of Columbus and mother of two children, she is a graduate of Bliss College as well as a graduate of the inaugural class of The Ohio State University's Leading Edge leadership development program. About United Way of Central Ohio
Founded in 1923, United Way of Central Ohio is working to improve lives and strengthen our community by providing pathways out of poverty through our focus on the building blocks of a good life: a quality education that leads to a productive career, enough income to support a family through retirement, good health, and a safe place to live. As one of the largest United Ways in the country, we bring together more than 80,000 donors, advocates and volunteers to achieve our community's transformational Bold Goals in Education, Income, Health and Home. Working together, our community will accomplish these goals by 2020. For more information, visit www.liveunitedcentralohio.org.
June 07, 2013
Columbus 2020 May Monthly Economic Update Released
From Columbus 2020 May Monthly Economic Update:
Learn about recent completed economic development projects and upcoming initiatives from the Columbus 2020 team.
June 06, 2013
Big Data Continues to Grow in the Columbus Region
From the Columbus Dispatch:
Compass Data Centers plans to build five 21,000-square-foot data centers in the next five years on New Albany Road East in New Albany.The New Albany City Council on Monday agreed to give the company a 65 percent property-tax abatement for seven years on each building. The company is expected to invest $61.3 million in the project and to create 26 full-time jobs with an anticipated payroll of $2.1 million when all five buildings are built. Read more.
June 05, 2013
Lawmakers Praise Supporters of Columbus Education Plan
From the Columbus Dispatch:
A Senate committee assessing the bill recommended by the Columbus Education Commission to repair Columbus City Schools applauded local leaders Tuesday who testified in support of the legislation. The House passed the bill by an overwhelming vote May 30 and officials from local and state organizations agreed that supporting the bill would be the primary step toward allowing central Ohioans to restore integrity to their school system.
June 05, 2013
Columbus Ranked No. 7 Best City for College Grads
From Columbus Business First:
Columbus is the seventh-best city for new college graduates to live in, according to a report from financial literacy and consumer advocacy website NerdWallet. Among the top 10 cities, Columbus has by far the lowest cost of living, topping cities such as Denver and San Francisco, and the fourth-lowest unemployment rate.
June 05, 2013
Porter Wright Launches Updated 'Technology Law Source' Blog
From a Porter Wright news release:
Columbus, OH – Porter Wright announces its revamped and refreshed Technology Law Source blog, designed to improve reader experience and present the latest information about topics in the realm of intellectual property, technology, information management, privacy and data security.Blog posts cover traditional concepts and protection of intellectual property through patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyright, as well as the way these concepts and data management are affected by rapidly moving technology and internet based systems used by businesses today. “This blog serves as a resource for anyone who wants to protect intellectual property, ensure compliance with privacy and data security regulations or navigate the electronic landscape, both in the U.S. and internationally," said Donna Ruscitti, blog editor and chair of Porter Wright's Technology, Privacy and Data Security practice groups. The blog will provide the latest information about a range of issues, including:
- Data breach
- Data security
- Database management
- Electronic commerce
- Electronic discovery
- Electronic medical records
- Enforcements, disputes and litigation
- HIPAA and HITECH Act compliance
- International law and regulation
- Internet law
- Legal issues in use of social media
- Online commerce
- Online marketing, advertising and promotions
- Patent filing, prosecution and enforcement
- Regulatory environment in privacy
- Trade secret protection and enforcement
- Trademark selection, enforcement and brand protection
- User-friendly alerts allow subscribers to receive full blog post content directly via email.
- Additional posts are now easily viewable by clicking “older posts” at the bottom of the blog home page.
- The enhanced Archives section allows readers to search for articles by topic, author name or date — and quickly scan all article titles.
- Coming soon: Technology Law Source will publish downloadable e-books designed to provide a thorough understanding of hot topics and emerging issues related to IP, technology, privacy and data security.
June 05, 2013
OPRS Pledges Support for June's National Employee Wellness Month
News release from member Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services:
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services (OPRS) has pledged support for, and will participate in, the fifth annual National Employee Wellness Month. This month-long initiative helps business leaders learn from best practices how to successfully engage employees in healthy lifestyles. More than 175 companies across the United States and more than 70,000 of their employees have pledged their support to this important workplace wellness initiative.National Employee Wellness Month is sponsored by Virgin HealthMiles, in partnership with the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and WorldatWork. A healthy, engaged workforce is critical for business success. Now more than ever, employers must find effective strategies to improve employee health and productivity and create healthy cultures that help to attract and retain the best employees. National Employee Wellness Month highlights the powerful role the workplace can play in helping employees make healthy lifestyle changes. Forward-looking organizations understand that promoting engaged and healthy employees can significantly improve productivity and reduce healthcare costs. OPRS is participating in National Employee Wellness Month alongside other leading U.S. organizations that are leading by example to support employee health and wellness. During the month, companies such as OPRS will actively promote prevention and good health throughout its organization and help its employees understand the impact and importance of healthy lifestyles. Since initiating the Virgin HealthMiles program, OPRS employees have logged 2,502,848,777 steps, which equates to 52.5 times around the world. With 18 locations throughout the state of Ohio, OPRS is proud to have a Wellness Warrior at each site -- focusing on the staff’s unique health needs and challenges. As a means of celebrating the accomplishments of its employees, OPRS has an Employee Wellness Hall of Fame, in which a quarterly tribute is given to the employee(s) who goes above and beyond and serves as a role model. Though still in its infancy, the encouraging testimonials have already been proven to be inspirational. President/CEO Laurence C. Gumina says, "Our wellness commitment is to provide OPRS employees the opportunity to develop healthier lifestyles through education and modifying habits to enhance the positive well-being of themselves and their families. We are able to fulfill this promise by participating in initiatives such as the National Employee Wellness Month and the Virgin HealthMiles program." Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services is the largest and most experienced not-for-profit provider of continuing care retirement communities and services in Ohio. With headquarters in Columbus, OPRS serves more than 90,000 people in 40 Ohio counties through its wholly owned subsidiaries OPRS Communities and Senior Independence. OPRS Communities operates 11 retirement communities. Senior Independence provides home and community based services, operates 13 adult day centers and manages six senior centers, in partnership with local governments.
June 05, 2013
5 Reasons to Visit Columbus this Summer
Among homegrown boutiques, cafes, galleries, and events, Columbus has plenty to keep locals and visitors entertained all summer long.Check out the five unique reasons to visit.
June 04, 2013
US Small Business Administration Announces New Columbus District Director
From Columbus Business First:
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Martin Golden as the new director of the Columbus district office. Golden replaces Thomas Mueller, who retired Dec. 31, and will lead employees in offices in Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. Golden says he plans to continue the SBA’s involvement in the community and “use the resources of the SBA to nurture new businesses and to help grow existing ones.”
June 04, 2013
IT Services Company Oxford Consulting Group Announces Acquisition of European Firm Chase Consultancy
From an Oxford Consulting Group news release:
Oxford Consulting Group (http://www.oxford-consulting.com/), a leading provider of comprehensive services and solutions for business to business integration and multi-channel commerce, announced that it has acquired Chase Consultancy Limited, a U.K.-based IT consulting firm, effective June 1st, 2013.Chase Consultancy is a prominent European IT services firm and IBM Premier Business Partner offering solutions for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and business to business (B2B) integration. The company was founded in 2002 and has since helped numerous European companies implement and manage their EDI and B2B integration solutions. In the near term, the organization will be known as Chase Consultancy, an Oxford Consulting Group Company, while the two companies complete the integration process. “We are very excited about the becoming part of Oxford Consulting Group, and the benefits of the acquisition to our clients,” said Ian Wells, managing director of Chase Consultancy. “We will be able to expand the services and solutions we offer to them, and now with offices and resources in North America and Europe, we can better support the needs of our multi-national customers.” Oxford Consulting Group, an IBM Premier Business Partner in the U.S., established its U.K. presence earlier this year with its Belfast, Northern Ireland office. The office has been dedicated to the training and development of skilled resources to support the IBM Smarter Commerce solutions portfolio. The acquisition of Chase Consultancy, which is located in Fareham, England, will enable Oxford Consulting Group to expand its presence in Europe. Furthermore, the combined organization and consulting resources will help Oxford Consulting Group deliver higher service levels and more comprehensive solutions into the European market. “We are thrilled about the acquisition of Chase Consultancy, as the merger advances our mission of becoming a top IBM Smarter Commerce solutions provider in the U.S. and U.K.,” said Michelle Kerr, president of Oxford Consulting Group.“ We are bringing together two leading companies focused on providing high-value solutions for B2B integration and eCommerce, along with a sincere dedication to the success of our clients. We believe that our corporate values, skillsets and goals are exceptionally well-aligned, and look forward to working together to deliver exceptional service and solutions to our European clients.” Oxford Consulting Group is exhibiting at the upcoming IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Monaco, June 18-20, 2013, and executives from both companies will be present at the event. About Oxford Consulting Group Oxford Consulting Group is a leading information technology (IT) consulting firm and solutions provider that has developed, implemented and supported the technology portfolios of hundreds of companies nationwide. Established in 1998 and headquartered in Westerville, Ohio USA, Oxford Consulting Group has a team of nearly 200 talented, dedicated, creative and customer-focused business and technology professionals. An IBM Premier Business Partner, the company’s breadth of solutions range from delivering B2B integration and supply chain management solutions for global organizations, to providing IT staffing and executive placement, to providing IT services and IT outsourcing for small to medium sized businesses. Visit Oxford Consulting Group’s website at http://www.oxford-consulting.com/ to learn more about the company’s services and solutions. About Chase Consultancy Limited Chase Consultancy Limited is a leading solutions and services provider that has helped numerous European companies maximize their investments in EDI and B2B integration business solutions. Established in 2002 and located in Fareham, England, their mission is to close the gap between a company’s B2B and EDI systems and their core business objectives. The company’s current website is at http://www.chaseconsultancy.com/.
June 04, 2013
Columbus Ranked Among Most Military-Friendly Cities
From a Columbus 2020 press release:
Columbus, OH – The Columbus Region was today recognized as a Top 50 Military Friendly City® according to G.I. Jobs magazine, earning the No. 11 spot out of 381 metropolitan areas nationwide. The Region was singled out for its low cost of living and unemployment rate, as well as its large pool of jobs at Military Friendly Employers®, number of Military Friendly School® campuses and number of veteran-owned businesses.
“Only one in eight metropolitan areas made this list,” said Sean Collins, brand director for G.I. Jobs, which conducts the study and publishes the list. “As a result of their pro-military and veteran policies and practices, these cities will certainly have an advantage in attracting this young, vibrant talent as they choose where to raise their families after leaving the military.”
The Columbus Region dedicates various resources to help veterans transition into the workforce, including OhioMeansJobs.com, which lists veteran-friendly employers, top careers for veterans, and offers tools like the Military Skills Translator. Companies in the Region also participate in a number of military-specific hiring initiatives, including the Hiring Our Heroes job fair and the 100,000 Jobs Mission.
Columbus Region companies offer training programs targeted to military veterans, including Halcyon IT, which teaches veterans the basic skills of software development and software quality assurance through classroom training, reference materials and hands-on workshops and lab exercises. For veterans pursuing higher education, The Ohio State University’s Office of Military and Veteran’s Services is a single point of contact for all students utilizing VA benefits.One of the Columbus Region’s largest employers is Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC), boasting approximately 9,000 civilian, contract or and military personnel. In general, the Region boasts a favorable unemployment rate for veterans seeking a stable job market, with a 6 percent rate in the first quarter compared to state and national rates that were more than 7 percent.
“It’s an honor for the Columbus Region to be included on this national ranking, as the Central Ohio economy is positively impacted by veteran-owned businesses and large, military-focused employers,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer, Columbus 2020. “We are proud to be recognized for our
favorable cost of living and unemployment rate, but even more proud of the initiatives that help veterans thrive once they have served their country.” For more information about G.I. Jobs annual ranking, including a full list of metropolitan areas that made the 2013 cut, visit www.MilitaryFriendly.com/city or watch for the July issue of the magazine.
June 04, 2013
Columbus Boasts Nine of Top 15 Restaurant Headquarters in Ohio
From Columbus Business First:
Columbus’ well-earned reputation as a hotbed of the restaurant business is backed up by the numbers. Of the top 15 restaurant chains in the state, nine are based in Central Ohio – including the six largest, topped by Dublin-based Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ:WEN), according to data from Chicago-based research firm Technomic Inc.
June 03, 2013
Workers' Comp Rebates to Inject $159M into Central Ohio Economy
An update from Steve Buehrer, Administrator and CEO, Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation:
The economy in Central Ohio can expect to see a cash infusion of more than $159 million in the wake of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors approval of Governor John Kasich’s $1 billion rebate plan. Businesses and local governments should be on the lookout for their checks, which should be mailed later this month or next.
The rebate is part of a three pronged approach to making BWC a partner in Ohio’s economic resurgence. In approving the rebates we’ve achieved step one. Step two is tripling our safety grant program and step three is seeking legislative approval to modernize BWC billing practices.
This proposal builds on our ongoing efforts to prevent accidents, improve injured worker care and keep rates low and stable for employers. Over the past three years, private employer premiums have been reduced by $224 million and public employer rates have been reduced to their lowest level in 30 years. At the same time, we’ve created a wellness grant program, improved claims management and instituted better drug management policies.
Now, thanks to prudent management, strong investments and safer workplaces, BWC’s net assets have grown to the point where we can give back to the businesses and workers we serve while still maintaining a sound balance to pay for future costs.The $1 billion in rebates will help stimulate the economy and includes $113 million to help local governments and schools. We will also be creating a robust safety campaign tripling funding for BWC’s safety and wellness grant programs from $5 million to $15 million. These grants have a proven track record of improving safety. Companies that used them saw a 66 percent decline in their number of claims. That means safer workers and lower workers’ comp costs. Finally, we are asking the legislature to allow BWC to switch from billing employers in arrears to billing in advance. This common sense move has many advantages, including a reduction in rates of two percent for private employers and four percent for public employers, more flexible payment options and better employer compliance. If approved, BWC would issue an estimated $900 million credit to employers to ease the transition. I am proud of this plan. It helps all of Ohio by putting $1 billion directly into our economy, reforming BWC to further strengthen our economy and ensuring more Ohio workers safely return home to family, friends, and their community.
June 02, 2013
Columbus Leads Job Recovery in Ohio
From the Columbus Dispatch:
Columbus has increased jobs by 113 percent since 2009 and remains the only region in Ohio, topping Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Akron, to recover all the jobs it lost during the recession and add more. Columbus 2020 CEO Kenny McDonald said the region continues to grow and “the engagement of the very top business leaders is critically important.”