Last week, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the National Center for the Middle Market released a report documenting the first-ever in-depth study on mid-sized companies across Ohio. Overall, the report pointed to a positive outlook for Ohio’s middle market companies, which are defined as companies that have annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion. In our research, we found the majority of middle market companies in Ohio say company performance has improved, revenue has gone up, and hiring has increased. Even more encouraging is the fact that trends in the middle market sector tend to reflect those in smaller and larger companies as well, serving as a barometer for all businesses.
However, middle market companies shared challenges that mirrored the challenges facing the vast majority of Ohio businesses, as well as those facing Ohio Chamber members that were a part of our summer tour. As Ohio Chamber President and CEO Andrew E. Doehrel shared during a press conference last week, “the ability to maintain margins, cost of health care, and ability to attract and retain talent are themes we hear over and over at the Ohio Chamber…[as well as] the cost and time required to comply with regulations.” Throughout our statewide tour, we heard about similar obstacles from members of all sizes, industries, and geographic regions.
As a member driven organization and a trade association that serves middle market firms, we plan to address the mounting issues facing Ohio businesses. While the 130th General Assembly and Gov. John Kasich have been behind significant positive developments for business, including a “billion back” from the Ohio BWC, a freeze on energy mandates, creative job training and employee training programs, small business tax cuts, and ensuring all rules undergo a business impact analysis, there is still work to do. Heading into the 131st General Assembly, we plan to further address these issues in the Ohio Chamber’s 2015-2016 policy agenda.
Keep an eye out for our policy agenda in 2015!