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Week in Review: Oct. 16, 2022

Written on Oct 16, 2022

AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

The Biden administration joined Gov. Mike DeWine and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Tuesday in announcing a $4.4 billion investment by Honda Motor Co. and LG Energy Solutions of Korea in a new Fayette County electric vehicle (EV) battery plant and another $700,000 to convert Honda's three existing Ohio automotive factories to EV production by the end of 2026, creating over 2,500 projected new jobs.

Gathering in a crowded Statehouse Atrium with Honda and LG officials, DeWine said the announcement came 45 years to the day after former Gov. Jim Rhodes signed the first agreement with Honda to build a motorcycle plant in Marysville and follows many other company ventures in Ohio since. Of projected jobs, the governor said 2,200 will come at the Fayette County plant near Washington Court House.

BALLOT ISSUES

The Health Policy Institute of Ohio announced it has launched an online resource page on State Issue 1, a ballot initiative that would amend the Ohio Constitution and change the way that bail considerations are made in the state. Ohioans will vote on the issue on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The resource page includes background information about the ballot initiative, research and analysis on the issue and a collection of media coverage. It also includes information from HPIO's recently released policy brief, "Connections between Criminal Justice and Health: Pretrial Incarceration and the Bail System."

BUSINESS/CORPORATE

Ohio will receive $52.4 million in federal funds for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, very small businesses and early-stage technology-based companies, the Ohio Department of Development (DOD) announced Thursday. This is part of up to $182 million in total funds through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Remaining funds will be made available through further allocations as Ohio meets expected performance targets, according to DOD. DOD will administer the SSBCI program through the Minority Business Development Division and the Ohio Third Frontier, with the following four programs expected to be available by the end of the year:

- The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Loan Participation Program, which will provide loans to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, very small businesses and businesses located in CDFI tracts.

- The Ohio Collateral Enhancement Program, which will provide collateral on small business loans made by financial institutions to allow small businesses to access loans that otherwise would have been denied.

- The Ohio Venture Fund, which will provide capital to investment funds to invest in early-stage, tech-based companies.

- The Early-Stage Focus Fund, which will complement the existing Ohio Third Frontier Pre-Seed Fund to support funds that target investments to early-stage, tech-based companies in underserved communities and populations.

EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in September, the lowest since July, as total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 jobs. BLS said the number of unemployed persons edged down to 5.8 million in September. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics decreased to 3.8% in September. The jobless rates for adult men (3.3%), adult women (3.1%), teenagers (11.4%), Whites (3.1%), Blacks (5.8%), and Asians (2.5%) showed little change over the month. Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers decreased by 173,000 to 1.2 million in September. The number of persons on temporary layoff changed little at 758,000. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.1 million in September. The long-term unemployed accounted for 18.5% of all unemployed persons.

FEDERAL

Approximately 70 million Americans will receive an 8.7% increase in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income in 2023, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) announced Thursday. On average, Social Security benefits will increase by more than $140 per month starting in January, according to the agency. The 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment will begin with benefits payable to more than 65 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2023. Increased payments to more than 7 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 30, 2022. Some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 This feature was provided by Hannah New Service and selected for you by OSCPA Government Relations Staff.