Over the last year or so, your Columbus Chamber has been engaged in conversations with Columbus City Council and the Department of Development regarding their desire to increase the wage threshold from $12/hour to $15/hour for all jobs receiving tax incentives through the City’s job creation incentive programs.
Your Chamber has advocated for a reasonable approach to spurring job growth and economic development through policymaking. We have relayed to Council the rising costs of doing business, such as the increased cost of materials, especially those upon which tariffs have been imposed; increased labor costs, which now include employer-funded training programs to up-skill unqualified workers, and attraction and retention dollars to recruit the best and brightest talent in a highly competitive market; and the City’s permitting process, which continues to be a challenge for businesses trying to build, renovate and expand. We have expressed to them the disproportionate negative impact that policies of this nature have on small businesses. We have asked the City to consider benefit packages when calculating the wage threshold, and even asked for them to consider a phased-in wage increase to lessen the burden on growth-minded businesses.
Despite our efforts, Mayor Ginther has already imposed the $15 minimum for incentives through the Department of Development as an internal policy, and Council intends to move forward with codifying the proposal before they break for the winter recess.
Council member Elizabeth Brown will host an announcement and public hearing on Friday, December 7th at 10:00am at All People’s Fresh Market (945 Parsons Avenue) to introduce and review the ordinance, should you wish to participate. I encourage you to reach out directly to members of Council should you have concerns. You can also share feedback directly with me, and I will make sure it is relayed.
Holly Gross, Esq.