State Sen. Sue Morano (D-Lorain) recently met with several chamber businesses and other interested community members at an event sponsored by the Firelands Electric Cooperative.
The Senator gave a review of the first six months of activity within the state legislature and then took questions from those businesses in attendance. One item of concern is the Healthy Families Act petition being circulated within the state. An area business ran the numbers to assess the cost to the business should this mandated paid leave become law. The results are staggering more than $600,000 in additional costs. No way is this a good thing for Ohio businesses. It will cost jobs, maybe entire business, to relocate out of the state.
It sounds good; it is an emotional issue which makes opposing it very difficult, and supporters will play that card of how they have family values, they will bring up the most extreme cases of hardship, etc., as if opponents of this act don't have families or don't care about their employees. This is purely an issue of dollars and "sense," not a contest of who has the most values. Our businesses need to make our voices heard by every legislator in the state. If you are a member of other professional organizations encourage them to bring this to the attention of the legislature as well. If we want to preserve the jobs we have, if we want to keep the companies we have, we need to make sure the truth about the impact this mandate would have on Ohio businesses and Ohio workers is heard loud and clear.
The Membership Committee will hold a new and prospective member breakfast Wednesday for those businesses that have either recently joined or who may be interested in learning more about the chamber and how we can help your business. There are so many opportunities for businesses of every size and type. Benefits that help grow your bottom line, events that raise your visibility, resources that can really make a world of difference for those in the business world. If you'd like to attend this complimentary breakfast please call the office at (419) 668-4155 for details and to RSVP.
Two opportunities for our member businesses are fast approaching. First, our "Fair Deal" offer of free display space at the Huron County Fair. Through the Chamber's Gold Sponsor program members are offered the opportunity to staff the chamber booth and in exchange for doing so may promote their own business during their shift. We decorate the booth, provide display space, and even provide a ticket to get you in the gate, everything but the fair food is included. The fair is a great place to see lots of people in a short time frame, pass out some coupons, give balloons to the kids, etc.
The Chamber fair booth is the perfect way to select a day and time that will allow you to get the most benefit from the fair without having to be there all week. This year our booth will feature a large world map with globes hung from the ceiling. We'll skirt the tables and leave the space above the tables open for your sign or banner. Call the office to RSVP your preferred shift and let us know if you need help coming up with display ideas, we'll be glad to help you with it.
Melissa James is executive director of the Norwalk-Area Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at the chamber office, 10 W. Main St., Norwalk, or by calling (419) 668-4155.