Stinziano - Proposed Economic Gardening Program Passes House

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A bill creating a pilot program that will provide technical assistance to local businesses so they can expand and hire workers passed the Ohio House of Representatives today.

The proposal, which was originally introduced by state Rep. Michael Stinziano, D-Columbus, was incorporated into Senate Bill 243, which passed this morning. It will be called the Ohio Economic Gardening Pilot Program, and will bring resources to companies that are poised to grow and create well-paying jobs in Ohio.

“Our local small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of Ohio’s economy, and this program will give them the tools they need to grow,” said Stinziano. “The Ohio Economic Gardening Pilot Program is a great example of innovative, cost-effective solutions that will create a dynamic business atmosphere in Ohio.”

Senate Bill 243, which passed the Senate in February, now returns to the Ohio Senate for final action before going to Governor Kasich for his signature.

The pilot program relies on a model based on the fundamental idea that entrepreneurs drive economies, and seeks to create jobs by connecting those entrepreneurs to essential resources.

Under the program, businesses that have between 6 and 99 employees, maintain a principal place of business in Ohio for at least two years, and generate between $750,000 and $25 million in annual revenue will be provided with key market intelligence that will help them to grow and prosper.

Those businesses must also have increased their workforce and increased their gross revenue during at least three of the last five years to qualify for the program.

According to data compiled by the Lowe Foundation of Tampa, Fla., Entrepreneurial Growth Companies create more jobs and more wealth per employee than other companies. Other states have implemented similar measures, such as Florida, where it is estimated to have created more than 1,458 local jobs and contributed $281.2 million to the local economy.