Online Small Business Resource Center proposed to Ohio legislature

In today’s fast-paced world, the most successful businesses are those that take advantage of every available resource. To achieve a competitive edge, Ohio’s small businesses need to be aware of the resources available to them through their state government. Ohio is at a crossroads when it comes to business growth and job creation, and our economic prosperity largely hinges on the success of our small businesses.

Here in the state legislature, my colleagues and I are actively looking for ways to foster business development and expansion. Sometimes, this can be as simple as consolidating and organizing existing government resources. To this end, in the previous General Assembly, Representative Peter Stautberg and I introduced legislation that would create a small business resource center on the Ohio Department of Development’s website.

Voices from the small business community came to us with this idea, citing the difficulty they had in finding information relevant to their field of work. As a small business owner for more than 30 years, I know first-hand the frustration that comes with trying to understand government requirements, permits and licenses. In addition, many small business owners are not even aware of the many government opportunities and incentives open to them. There is a clear need for a simple, user-friendly resource that addresses these queries.

The small business community stands to benefit immensely from the suggestions made on the Ohio Small Business Resource Center. Recognizing the unfilled need, Representative Mike Dovilla and I re-introduced the legislation as House Bill 144 in the current Legislature. Specifically, the website will function as a location to furnish small businesses with the tools and information they need to grow and prosper. The site will feature information on a variety of business-related topics, including steps to starting a small business, loan and financing opportunities, advocacy opportunities, and required licenses and permits.

With House Bill 144, small business resources will be designed to navigate easily and efficiently access the information they need to grow and develop. Business growth does not only signal success for business owners, but also for their employees and Ohio’s economy at large. Economic development, in turn, boosts job creation, and Ohio needs to take advantage of any opportunity to induce this sort of positive growth in the business sector.

Your input is invaluable to me as I move forward in this legislative session. If you have any questions or concerns about Ohio’s small businesses, please do not hesitate to contact my office by calling 614-466-0961, emailing District16@ohr.state.oh.us, or by writing to: Representative Nan Baker, 77 S. High Street, 10th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Nan Baker

State Representative, 16th Ohio House District

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 4:49 PM, 05.03.2011