With 125,204 new business filings, 2018 was a record-breaking year for new businesses formed in the Buckeye State. This marks the ninth consecutive year the state has seen a record number of new entities choose Ohio as the place they want to do business, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. The previous record was set in 2017 with 117,429 new businesses registered with the secretary of state’s office.
In Norwalk, two restaurants — Sidelines Sports Eatery and Pub and Main Street Cafe — opened while Sherri’s Coffee House and Gaymont Nursing Center each came under new ownership.
“During the last eight years, my administration has focused on providing the best customer service possible, implementing innovative reforms, and cutting costs and processing times associated with starting and maintaining a business in Ohio,” Husted said. “As a result, we have made our state a place where people increasingly want to do business and shown how government can — and should — work.”
Husted noted the following successes:
• The launch of Ohio Business Central, which enables all Ohio-based businesses to form and renew their business status online.
• A 21-percent reduction to the costs for starting and maintaining a business in Ohio, making the Buckeye State the least costly state in the region for starting and maintaining a business. This move, which was made possible by Husted’s “careful fiscal stewardship,” has already saved Ohio businesses nearly $8.5 million.
• Partnering with Google’s “Let’s Get Our Cities on the Map” program to put additional tools in the hands of new and growing Ohio businesses.
• The launch of a partnership with the Cleveland Sight Center, which has improved customer experience by reducing the average wait time for callers into the Business Services Call Center from five minutes and 19 seconds to just 43 seconds with a 95.7-percent customer satisfaction rate.
• Leading an effort to ensure that 100 percent of all forms needed to start or maintain a business in Ohio can be submitted online. This four-year effort was completed in August 2017, and three out of every four new businesses are now started online.
While the secretary of state’s office said new Ohio business filings do not guarantee the company will begin operations, be profitable or create jobs, the recent changes have made a difference.
These efforts to provide better services at a lower cost have enabled the Secretary of State’s Office to save $14.5 million in Husted’s first term when compared to the previous administration.
Two hospital systems join the Cleveland Clinic
CLEVELAND — Officials announced that Indian River Medical Center (IRMC) and Martin Health System are now part of the Cleveland Clinic health system, effective Jan. 1, following the recent regulatory reviews and approvals.
Moving forward, IRMC and Martin Health will continue all current operations, services and programs and patients will continue to see their same physicians and providers. All procedures and outpatient appointments will proceed as scheduled. More information about the acquisition will released in the next week.
Hawblitz earns volunteer award
WILLARD — Dave Hawblitz was recognized with the Volunteer of the Quarter Award at Mercy Health-Willard Hospital.
About 60 volunteers help fulfill Mercy’s mission of caring for the sick and injured through their generous giving of time and talent.
The Volunteer Excellence Award is presented each quarter and then annually to a volunteer who is nominated by either a fellow volunteer or Mercy Willard employee. The award was created to recognize a Mercy volunteer who goes above and beyond the requirements of their assignment and reflects the Mercy’s mission and core values, something Hawblitz does very well.
Hawblitz, earned the 2018 fourth quarter award.
“Dave has been a volunteer at Mercy Willard for three years. During that time he has seated countless patients in registration and escorted many others to the departments they come in to visit,” his nomination read. “While performing his duties, Dave has a quiet, respectful demeanor and shows his compassion to many. He exemplifies the core value of compassion with each visitor he encounters.
“Dave also has a way of engaging the hospital employees by trying to make their day a little more enjoyable as they perform their duties. He treats the registration employees to occasional goodies and watches out to make sure people are rewarded by small acts of kindness when they need it most. Additionally, Dave has helped staff with special events that require more hands for set up. We are grateful for his service to our mission and for going the extra mile.”
For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact Laurie Kaple at 419-964-5102
$693,000 given to protect firefighters
COLUMBUS — Berlin Township Fire Department was one of 64 Ohio stations to share $693,000 in grants given to protect the firefighters.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) grants were awarded under a program to protect firefighters from carcinogens and other harmful health hazards they encounter during their daily work activities.
The fire departments received the funding under BWC’s Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program, which helps departments purchase safety gear, exhaust systems and specialized washing machines. Because residue collected on firefighters’ gear during a blaze can cause respiratory disease, cancer and other ailments, it’s important not only to wear appropriate protective gear, but also to ensure its cleaned properly.
Berlin Township used its $15,000 cut to purchase one extractor, 41 hoods and 41 pairs of gloves.
Other area departments who benefited from the grants included Vermilion, which used $12,516.66 to purchase one extractor and 60 hoods, and Oberlin, which was awarded $15,000 to purchase one extractor, 52 hoods and 26 gloves.
Local entities earn state auditor award
Auditor of State Dave Yost announced several entities received the Auditor of State Award for their clean audit reports, including Huron-Erie School Employee Association and the Huron County Metropolitan Housing Authority.
The Auditor of State Award is presented to local governments and school districts upon the completion of a financial audit. Entities that receive the award meet the following criteria of a “clean” audit report:
• The entity must file timely financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles
• The audit report does not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, single audit findings or questioned costs
Also, the entity's management letter contains no comments related to ethics referrals, questioned costs less than $10,000, a lack of timely report submission, reconciliation, failure to obtain a timely single audit, findings for recovery less than $100, public meetings or public records and no other financial or other concerns exist that involve eligible entity.
If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email it to [email protected]