The Ohio Department of Development announced that qualified organizations can now apply to partner with it in hosting a Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC). The centers help strengthen the minority business community, support job creation and grow the state economy. The seven MBAC providers address business needs by offering services including technical assistance, professional consulting, access to capital and assistance obtaining contracts. The applications are for community-based nonprofits, public economic development organizations and educational institutions with strong experience in business and economic development. They can be found at https://tinyurl.com/mr3mznhn. The site also has program guidelines, application information and a presentation with details on the MBAC program team, the RFP process and eligibility requirements.
Sen. Michael Rulli (R-Salem) was joined by Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Ohio Chamber of Commerce President Steve Stivers Tuesday to announces legislation aimed at protecting businesses from identity theft. Rulli said the instances of identity theft for businesses increased during and after the pandemic, necessitating the need for his SB98 (Rulli). He cited instances where some bad actors will create a new corporation seemingly under the umbrella of an already existing corporation. In other cases, corporations may create different subsidiary corporations to handle certain aspects of the business, such as owning the land the business sits on. If those subsidiaries are later closed, some fraudsters may come along and try to reactivate them.
Gov. Mike DeWine's administration announced Monday the approval of assistance for four projects expected to create 209 new jobs and retain 356 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority reviewed economic development proposals brought by JobsOhio and its regional partners. The projects are expected to collectively result in more than $13.4 million in new payroll and spur more than $55.6 million in investments across Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) said Friday that the state unemployment rate decreased to 3.9% in February, down from 4 percent in January. The state added 900 jobs over the month. ODJFS said the number of workers unemployed in Ohio in February was 224,000, down from 229,000 in January. The number of unemployed has decreased by 6,000 in the past 12 months from 230,000. The February unemployment rate for Ohio decreased 0.1% from 4.0% in February 2022. The U.S. unemployment rate for February 2023 was 3.6%, up from 3.4% in January 2023, and down from 3.8% in February 2022.
The deadline to register to vote in the Tuesday, May 2 primary will be Monday, April 3, and early voting will begin on Tuesday, April 4. Voting for military and overseas Ohio voters began last month. Meanwhile, provisions of a new state law that requires Ohioans to present a state-issued photo identification to vote go into effect next week. Beginning on Friday, April 7, the provisions of 134-HB458 (Hall) take effect.
SECRETARY OF STATE
According to Secretary of State Frank LaRose, there were 16,065 new business filings in February, the highest February number of business filings in Ohio history.
Ohio is on track to quadruple Internet speeds statewide within five to six years if the Legislature authorizes Gov. Mike DeWine's current budget proposal and BroadbandOhio receives another $500 million to $1 billion in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), state broadband chief Peter Voderberg told the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee Tuesday. Voderberg brought senators up to date on the build-out of high-speed Internet since the signing of broadband omnibus 134-HB2 (Carfagna-Stewart) nearly two years ago. He said BroadbandOhio, launched by DeWine in 2020, has awarded $232 million in 31 counties and brought affordable high-speed Internet to 43,000 households through the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant (ORBEG), a provision of HB2.
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