Timely Tips: Chamber Provides Resources So Entrepreneurs Can Be In the Know on Election Day

As an entrepreneur, you’re focused on your business, but public policy can drastically affect your ability to grow. Don’t have time to keep tabs on what’s happening in the halls of government? That’s OK…we do.

The Columbus Chamber wants to make sure you are well informed when you go to the polls on Nov. 4, so we’ve compiled a variety of voter information resources for busy business leaders like you.

Voter Education Guide – A new resource for the business community, this tool identifies key issues for business and shows how Central Ohio’s state legislators addressed them. We’re closely following legislation affecting education, workforce and taxes, and the guide is an objective, inclusive resource so you can understand our legislators’ individual commitments to building a stronger business environment. You can read a press release about the guide, or watch a brief intro video from Mike Hartley, our vice president of government relations, below. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think of the new guide.

Issue & Levy EndorsementsThe Franklin County Children Services $1.9 million Renewal Levy will appear on the November ballot. The levy is a renewal of an existing tax originally passed in 2004. That means Issue 4 will not increase taxes on property owners and the state’s 12.5 percent property tax rollback will remain in place with the approval of the renewal levy.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors passed a resolution in support of this levy. Franklin County Children Services has continued to make and fulfill promises to taxpayers by improving the quality of care and services, while also finding ways to become more efficient and reduce costs. It makes sense for the business community to continue to support the integral work of this agency. If you’re in Franklin County, we encourage you to vote yes on Issue 4.

Other Ballot Issues – The Chamber also assembled educational information on three ballot issues in the City of Columbus, Issues 6, 7, and 8, which are amendments to the City of Columbus charter that will make local government more cost-effective, accountable and accessible.

Municipal Income Tax Reform – Municipal income tax reform has been our No. 1 legislative priority for more than a year. That legislation, House Bill 5, is at a critical point, awaiting approval in the Ohio Senate. In an article in Forbes (In the State Tax Battle, The Tar Heels Soar Above The Buckeyes Sept. 23, 2013), Greg Lawson and Scott Drenkard said Ohio’s is “…the most complicated, absurd, and punitive system of municipal taxation in the nation.” This infographic provides some statistics as to why uniformity is needed now.


It’s our duty to all be informed voters. The best way to find out what will be on your ballot is to connect with your County’s Board of Election, a directory of which can be found on the Secretary of State’s website.

Connect with Policy Makers

But don’t stop at the election. The Columbus Chamber offers lots of ways to get you directly in front of your elected officials throughout the year.

Coming up on Dec. 9 is Meet The Class. This free, bi-annual event is hosted by the Columbus Chamber, MODE and MORPC. It gives you the chance to meet the new delegation representing your business and community, and it’s a great way to begin building or re-establishing relationships with newly elected and incumbent officials.

We also host six small roundtables with government officials each year. You can watch our calendar for announcements.

And maybe most importantly, we know there are times when you may need help navigating what can be the frustrating world of government. You may have questions about sign regulations or need clarification on zoning and permitting. Maybe you have parking concerns or EPA issues, and you don’t know who to call. Call us! Our staff can do the navigating for our members. We’ll find the answers you need so you can get on with running your business.

To reach the Columbus Chamber’s Government Relations team, call us at 614.221.1321 or email [email protected].