News & Opportunities


We have relocated to Suite 601 in our building. Our new address is:

526 S. Main St., Ste. 601, Akron, OH 44311



Seeking Business Owners for SBA’s Emerging Leaders Training Program in Youngstown! Free Program Trains Established Entrepreneurs to Take Their Business to the Next Level!

Registration is now open for the 2019 SBA Emerging Leaders executive level training program in Youngstown, Ohio.  This is the 9th consecutive year in Youngstown.  The goal of this program is to attract owners of established small businesses with high growth potential and to provide them with the knowledge and resources and scale.  Seeking 20 applicants for this Emerging Leaders training program.  Businesses from the Mahoning Valley/Youngstown area and surrounding counties can apply.

Criteria include: At least 3 years in business, have at least one employee besides the owner, and have gross annual sales of at least $250,000.  Participant must be an owner or key decision maker within the company.  The course begins in April 2019 at Youngstown State University and runs thru October. This seven-month-long intensive course, which is free for participants, requires a commitment of 100 hours, including 40 hours of in class training, 7 CEO mentoring group meetings, and course work assignments, as well as networking and mentoring opportunities.









The IRS regularly updates its “Tax Reform News” and “Tax Reform Resources” websites with tons of information for small business clients. They also have a series of “drop in” articles that make great content for newsletters or social media. Recent updates include (websites are below):

  • News Releases:
  • IRS: Several tax law changes may affect bottom line of many business owners
  • Reduced 24-percent withholding rate applies to small businesses and other payers; Revised backup withholding publication features helpful FAQs
  • Tax Reform Tax Tips:
  • Tax reform brings changes to real estate rehabilitation tax credit
  • Tax reform brings changes to fringe benefits that can affect an employer’s bottom line
  • Drop-in articles:
  • Taxpayers may be eligible for a qualified business income deduction (199A)
  • New tax law changes backup withholding rate
  • Tax law changes affect fringe benefit deductions and your taxes
  • An estimated tax payment in 2018 could help avoid a penalty in 2019 (This drop-in article was previously issued as part of the estimated taxes campaign. You may want to share it again with your partners/stakeholders as needed.)




Thursday, March 21, 2019

8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Youngstown Business Incubator

Minority Business Assistance Center

241 W. Federal Street

Youngstown, Ohio 44503

For More Information Email:

Call: (216) 522-4826


Veterans have the character, discipline and skills needed to succeed as small business owners and entrepreneurs. Wondering what it takes and how you can prepare? Enroll in Boots to Business Reboot.


Boots to Business Reboot is a two-step training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources.

Step one is the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course eligible to Veterans of all eras, service members (including members of the National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners, who are skilled business advisors.

Step two is one of the online follow-on courses instructed by a consortium of professors and skilled business advisors from the SBA Network. If you’ve already attended an in-person Boots to Business or Reboot class, visit to sign up for one of the online B2B follow-on courses.



Minimum Wage Increase – Free Labor Posters

Ohio’s minimum wage increased to $8.55 for non-tipped employees starting January 1 for businesses grossing more than $314,000.

2019 minimum wage poster can be downloaded for free here.




Online Business Filings

100% of All Business Filings Now Available Online

100 percent of all filings needed to start or maintain a business in Ohio may now be submitted online and business owners may now submit all Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) statements and certified search requests online. This completes an effort that began in 2013, when Secretary Husted launched Ohio Business Central to modernize operations and better serve business owners.

The online filings effort is among a series of initiatives, led by Secretary Husted, that aim to alleviate the bureaucratic constraints and costs on Ohio’s job creators. Two years ago, Secretary Husted reduced the cost of starting and maintaining a business in the Buckeye State by 21 percent. This change has saved Ohio businesses over $4.5 million to date. In 2016, Secretary Husted contracted with the Cleveland Sight Center to manage the Business Services Call Center, which assists entrepreneurs with starting and maintaining a business in Ohio. The collaboration with the Cleveland Sight Center has paid off significantly as average call wait time has dropped from more than five minutes to just 14 seconds – a reduction of 96 percent. Secretary Husted’s work to build a more business-friendly economy has been complemented by efforts to make his own office more efficient. As part of the recent state budget process, Secretary Husted requested a 100 percent cut in the amount of tax dollars needed to run his office. Husted’s request will save taxpayers nearly $5 million over state fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Additionally, during his first term, Secretary Husted reduced spending by $14.5 million, a 16 percent reduction when compared to the previous administration. He is also operating his office with nearly 40 percent fewer staff and payroll costs are at the lowest level in 10 years.

Connect with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s Office Learn about the resources and programs available in the Secretary of State’s office. Get information on how to start your own business and elections.









The U.S. Small Business Administration Columbus District Office will present a FREE webinar for small business owners and entrepreneurs through ATT Connect. This webinar will provide information about financing options for your business; SBA loans, programs and services; how to apply for a loan; and, what to include in your business plan. The webinar should last about 40 minutes with a Q&A at the end. ATT Connect is a call-in and web site login conferencing system which provides an audio presentation over the phone and a video presentation over the internet. All that is needed to participate is a computer with internet access and a phone to call a toll-free number. This webinar will be offered on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The Webinar is FREE, but registration is required so that you may receive instructions and the access code needed to participate.

The link is:









Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Business Services Video Series

OOD has been working on producing a series of short videos about their business partnerships and the services they provide. Topics covered include:

  • How OOD Can Help Meet Your Workforce Needs
  • Employer Resources and Incentives
  • Effective Interaction with Individuals with Disabilities
  • Promoting Employer Peer to Peer Networking Opportunities
  • Workforce Success Stories

To view this video series, click here.







Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical and Bio-based Product Manufacturing Assistance Program


Please see the link below for additional information on this program and how this program could be used as an economic incentive for further development in your area.

Applications are being accepted for this program.

The program is designed to assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the development of advanced chemicals and bio-based product manufacturing.  Our assistance is provided through the guarantee of loans made to fund the development, construction and retrofitting of commercial scale bio-refineries which use eligible technology. Additionally, the program is designed to assist companies install technologically new commercial scale processing and manufacturing equipment to convert renewable chemicals into end user products.

A letter of intent indicating your interest in applying for the loan guarantee program must be submitted by August 31, 2018 for the application deadline of October 1, 2018 and by March 1, 2019 for the application deadline of April 1, 2019.

Additional information and application material can be found at the following website:




Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – April 1, 2019 Deadline





Rural Development is accepting applications for the Rural Energy For America Program.  The next application deadline is April 1, 2019. This application deadline is for projects which request $20,000 or less and for projects which request up to $500,000.

 In brief, this program is designed to assist rural, small, for-profit businesses and agricultural producers install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements to their operations. These types of improvements can help eligible applicants control energy costs and improve the overall profitability of their operations. The grant program can cover up to 25% of the eligible project costs while the loan guarantee can cover up to 75% of the eligible project costs.  Federal participation cannot exceed 75% of eligible project costs.

 Grants can range from $1,500 to $500,000 with loan guarantees up to $25,000,000.

 In previous years, this program has helped farmers replace grain dryers; fans and lights for livestock operations; and install solar PV arrays to help offset electrical consumption. Small businesses have benefited through high efficiency lighting; improvements to HVAC systems; and the installation of a renewable energy system to help offset electrical consumption.  


Additional information can be found at: Rural Energy for America Program.

 Should you be interested in discussing a specific project or in receiving an application to complete for your project, please contact one of the persons listed below:


Jennifer Brown             614-255-2423

Randy Monhemius       614-255-2424


Randel Monhemius, Business Program Specialist

USDA, Rural Development

200 North High St., Room 507

Columbus, OH 43215

Phone 614-255-2424

Fax 614-255-2562 “Committed to the future of rural communities”


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.





Ohio Proud Partners

If you produce a food or agricultural product that is at least 50 percent grown, raised or processed in Ohio, you can become an Ohio Proud partner. Ohio Proud will distinguish your products in the crowded marketplace, and increase sales for your company and retailer.


Ohio Proud
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068

Phone: 1-800-IMPROUD (1-800-467-7683)

Fax: 614-466-7754





Job Description Writer:


Did you know the Department of Labor has a free tool to help small businesses develop position descriptions?








This message is a reminder to all sales and use tax practitioners and taxpayers that the February 2019 monthly sales and use tax returns are due March 25, 2019.

Taxpayers are required to file sales and use tax returns electronically via the Ohio Business Gateway at or through TeleFile by calling (800) 697-0440.

Please visit our website at or contact the Department at (888) 405-4039 with any questions regarding sales and use tax.

Ohio Department of Taxation
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Telephone: (888) 405-4039







(Columbus, OH) – The Ohio Department of Taxation will begin accepting 2018 state income tax returns on Monday, January 28th.

More than 5.5 million Ohio taxpayers will file a return by the end of the filing season on Monday, April 15th.

Taxpayers will see some changes from last year, including:

    • An inflation adjusted increase in the maximum deduction for contributions to a Medical Savings Account (MSA). The new maximum is now $4,753, up 1.66% from last year.
    • Increases to the tax-free contributions to an Ohio 529 plan or to a STABLE account to a maximum of $4,000 per beneficiary.
    • An inflation adjustment to the personal exemption and the tax brackets.
    • A new deduction for income earned by out-of-state business owners and nonresident employees who conduct disaster work in Ohio during a disaster response period.
    • Tax booklet instructions that are shorter and simpler to read and understand.

Ohio continues to be vigilant in the fight against tax fraud. As a result, some taxpayers will be directed to take an identification quiz to protect against fraudulent tax returns filed using stolen personal information. Since 2014, the Department has blocked the attempted theft of more than $600 million by criminals using stolen personal IDs to file fraudulent returns.

Ohio taxpayers are encouraged to file on-line. More than 88% of Ohioans file electronically and those who do, and are entitled to a refund, will typically see that refund in 15 business days or less if they request direct deposit to a checking, savings or investment account. Those who file a paper return and are entitled to a refund will typically receive a refund check in 8-10 weeks.

If you need assistance, tax agents are available toll-free at 1-800-282-1780 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Forms and all the filing information you need is available on the Taxation website: Get started today!





The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT), in cooperation with the IRS and tax preparation software vendors, will be offering Modernized e-File (MeF) for taxpayers and tax practitioners who file forms IT 1140 (Pass Through Entity and Trust Withholding Tax Return) and IT 4708 (Pass Through Entity Composite Income Tax Return) with ODT.

To date, seven software vendors have submitted written notice that they intend to include an MeF option for the Pass-Through Entity Tax in their 2018 tax preparation software packages. You can monitor the list of vendors as they are approved by visiting:

Once you click on the link above, choose the option that says, “2018 IT 1041, IT 4708, and IT 1140 MeF Approval Status.”  Any approved vendors will be displayed.

ODT is inviting and encouraging other tax preparation software vendors to consider incorporating MeF for Pass Through Entity Taxes into their commercial/professional products as well.

The Department has information needed for development of MeF software available on its website. Testing of products intended for use in the 2018 tax year filing season has begun.

For more information or assistance, please contact ODT’s Pass-Through Entity Tax Section of the Employment Tax Division at 614-387-1965 or by email at







2018 Pass-Through Entity Tax forms and the instruction(draft) booklets are now available on the Ohio Department of Taxation’s webpage at





There will be one (1) sales and use tax rate change effective April 1, 2019.  (Wayne county was inadvertently added to the original tax alert.)

  • The Gallia County sales and use tax rate will increase from 7.00% to 7.25%.

Please visit our website at or contact the Department at 1-888-405-4039 with any questions regarding sales and use tax.

Ohio Department of Taxation
Business Tax Division
P.O. Box 530
Columbus, Ohio 43216-0530
Telephone: (888) 405-4039
Fax: (206) 339-9305






Out-of-state companies must pay business tax, Ohio’s top court rules

State of Ohio Taxes More +

By Jay Miller

Crain’s Cleveland Business

Out-of-state businesses that sell into Ohio but have no physical presence will have to pay the state’s commercial activity tax (CAT), the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, Nov. 17.

In three 5-2 decisions, the state’s high court ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause, which requires a physical presence in a state to allow the state to collect sales tax, does not apply to the CAT.

“(T)he physical-presence requirement recognized and preserved by the United States Supreme Court for purposes of use-tax collection does not extend to business-privilege taxes such as the CAT,” associate justice Willliam O’Neill wrote, affirming a Board of Tax Appeals decision against Virginia-based Crutchfield Corp., one of the three cases decided together.

Justice Sharon L. Kennedy wrote a dissenting opinion in the Crutchfield case arguing that a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision saying that a physical presence in a state is required for taxing an out-of-state company, and “we are bound by the court’s prior holdings and by Congress’s inaction on this issue, given its power to regulate interstate commerce.”

In 2005, the Ohio General Assembly overhauled the state’s business tax system and created the CAT, which taxes gross receipts on business transacted in the state. These cases challenged a tax commissioner ruling that transactions by Ohio consumers that result in goods shipped into the state are considered gross taxable receipts subject to the CA






To maximize awareness, the Ohio Department of Taxation is sharing an alert from the Security Summit regarding a new Two Stage E-mail Scheme that targets tax professional. Please visit for additional information.

Partners, The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and tax industry leaders are warning tax professionals to be alert to an email scam from cybercriminals posing as clients soliciting their services. A new variation of this phishing scheme is targeting accounting and tax preparation firms nationwide. The scheme’s objective is to collect sensitive information that will allow fraudsters to prepare fraudulent tax returns. These latest phishing emails come in typically two stages. The first email is the solicitation, which asks tax professionals questions such as “I need a preparer to file my taxes.” If the tax professional responds, the cybercriminal sends a second email. This second email typically has either an embedded web address or contains a PDF attachment that has an embedded web address. In some cases, the phishing emails may appear to come from a legitimate sender or organization (perhaps even a friend or colleague) because they also have been victimized. Fraudsters have taken over their accounts to send phishing emails. The tax professional may think they are downloading a potential client’s tax information or accessing a site with the potential client’s tax information. In reality, the cybercriminals are collecting the preparer’s email address and password and possibly other information. The IRS urges tax professionals and tax preparation firms to consider creating internal policies or obtain security experts’ recommendations on how to address unsolicited emails seeking their services. One tip: Never respond to or click on a link in an unsolicited email or PDF attachment from an unknown sender. As the IRS, states and the tax industry make progress in the fight against identity theft, cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their efforts to steal additional client information. Criminals need more data in their effort to impersonate clients and file fraudulent returns to claim refunds, and schemes like this can help in this effort. Read more at Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself, the Security Summit initiative to increase awareness about the tax professional community.








SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff avoidance program that allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during

times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, employers reduce employees’ work hours, but employees keep their jobs

and receive prorated unemployment benefits for up to 52 weeks.


Employers that do not already have access to Ohio’s unemployment system must register online. To obtain a registration code, call (614) 466-4047.

For more information, call (866) 733-0025, option 3, or visit









What is new hire reporting?

By law, all employers in Ohio must report ALL employees to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center, including new hires, re-hires, temporary or seasonal hires, and independent contractors.

State and federal laws require all employers to report each new and re-hired employee to the Ohio New Hire Reporting Center within 20 days of the date of hire.

Failure to report a new employee could result in a financial penalty.

Employers are key partners in helping children in Ohio receive the child support they deserve by promptly and consistently reporting new hires. New hire information is used to establish and enforce child support orders.

The following information is REQUIRED on all new hire reports:

  • Employer FEIN
  • Employer name
  • Employer payroll address
  • Employer e-mail, phone, fax
  • Employee social security number
  • Employee name
  • Employee address
  • Date of hire (first day of work)
Include this information if reporting an Independent Contractor:
  • Independent contractor’s name
  • Independent contractor’s address
  • Independent contractor’s Social Security (SSN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Date payment begins
  • Length of time the independent contractor will be performing services for the employer

Why must I report?

Employers serve as key partners in ensuring stability for many children and families. New hire reporting speeds up the child support income withholding order process, expedites collection of child support from parents who have changed jobs, and quickly locates parents to help in establishing paternity and child support orders. New hire reporting helps children receive the support they need.

Who must report?

ALL employers doing business in Ohio must report all newly hired and returning employees. A new employee is considered any individual who is eligible for federal income tax withholding and provides a service to the employer. This includes part-time and temporary employees, and employees returning to work after a period of absence, such as seasonal employees.

An Independent Contractor is defined as “an individual who provides services to an employer as an independent contractor, for compensation that is reported as income other than wages, and who is an individual, the sole shareholder of a corporation, or the sole member of a limited liability company.”

What if I have employees in several states?

If you are a multi-state employer, you may choose to report your new hires electronically to one state. If you choose this option, you must provide written notification of your intent. Contact the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to register by visiting .

Reporting your new hires online is fast and simple and will ensure timely receipt of your new hire reports. Visit our website at to register.


Questions? Contact Us:


Ohio New Hire Reporting Center
P.O. Box 15309
Columbus, OH 43215-0309
Phone: (888) 872-1490
Fax: (888) 872-1611





What is Form I-9?

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.


Home > E-Verify > What is E-Verify?

What is E-Verify?

What is E-Verify Monitor ImageE-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.

Instant Verification of Employment Eligibility

E-Verify’s most impressive features are its speed and accuracy. E-Verify is the only free, fast, online service of its kind that verifies employees’ data against millions of government records and provides results within as little as three to five seconds.

Today, E-Verify is:

  • Used nationwide by more than 600,000 employers of all sizes
  • Used at more than 1.9 million hiring sites
  • Joined by about 1,400 new participating companies every week
  • One of the federal government’s highest-rated services for customer satisfaction









Ohio EPA –

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Helping communities and businesses access compliance, technical and financial assistance for their environmental needs.

Ohio Materials Marketplace is a new, free online platform whereby Ohio businesses, not-for-profits and government organizations can advertise and acquire scrap and by-product materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. The new Ohio Materials Marketplace allows these organizations to connect and find solutions to material reuse and recycling needs, thereby facilitating the shift towards a circular, closed-loop economy.

Examples of materials posted on the marketplace (and their potential re-uses) include common items such as bulk wooden pallets (mulch base) or used bricks (building materials). Other items reflect materials from industrial processes such spent foundry sand (to be mixed with potting soil), and specialized items such as spent hydro-treating catalyst (metals recovery).

Along with browsing for materials, users of the marketplace can post “wanted” items, thereby, seeking items that may serve as substitutes for raw materials or other items they currently purchase. Examples of such requests that have been posted thus far include bulk alumina oxide (for metals harvesting/recovery) and bulk food waste in packaging (to be used for aerobic digestion/energy recovery).

In the circular economy, products and by-products recirculate productively through reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and maintenance. Users of the Ohio Materials Marketplace can make or save money by finding a market for their unwanted materials and avoiding landfill tipping fees; buyers save money by having access to sellers’ discounted (or free) materials; Ohio’s environment benefits by having more material removed from the waste stream.

Ohio is the first state in the US to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale. This leadership from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is paving the way for other states – through a new public-private partnership between the US Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) – to launch state-level programs modeled on the Ohio Materials Marketplace over the next few years.

For more information on the Ohio Materials Marketplace and to get involved, please visit the program website at

If you have specific questions about the program, please contact Joseph Klatt at or 614-644-2798.







There are still some seats available for our April 17, 2019, Ohio EPA 2019 Sustainability Conference, Columbus, OH.  Ohio EPA recognizes that many businesses, communities, and other organizations are moving beyond compliance and incorporating sustainable environmental practices into their daily operations. Our conference will show attendees how to implement sustainable practices and utilize available resources to strengthen Ohio’s communities and businesses. Secure your spot and register soon!


 Michael Kelley
Ohio EPA
Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance
Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention

50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, OH 43215



The U.S. Postal Service has a mailing service called “Every Door Direct Mail” or EDDM. This is an opportunity for businesses and organizations to send Direct Mail advertisements to specific neighborhoods without the need or cost of mailing lists and permits.

Every Door Direct Mail is a great way that can potentially help increase your business with our advertising tool at USPS.COM

Every Door Direct Mail allows you to reach your local customers easily without names, addresses, or permits. You simply select the neighborhoods in your area based on demographics such as household size, age and income and we deliver your advertising mailpiece to each address. Every Door Direct Mail is relatively inexpensive. For example, currently priced at 18.3 cents per piece you could reach 1000 potential customers for only $183.00.


Cynthia M Mravec

Business Development Specialist

U.S.P.S. Northern Ohio

2200 Orange Ave Room 206

Cleveland, Ohio 44101



EDDM sample Pizza full menu



In the News…Fund for Farmers

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and a group of Ohio investors are launching a loan fund for entrepreneurs and small- and mid-size sustainable and organic farmers.

The association and a group of Ohio investors have launced the OEFFA Investment Fund, initially putting in $500,000. Loans are expected to be in the $5,000 to $50,000 range. Equity and revenue-sharing agreements will be considered, based on applicants’ requests and other circumstances, the association said.

The fund is open to Ohio-based association members who are farms or related businesses in the agricultural supply chain. Entities receiving money from the fund must commit to support sustainable agricultural products throughout the life of the investment, the association said.

For more information, go online to or call Carol Goland at 614-421-2022, or email


Business Taxes and Affordable Healthcare -the Affordable Care Act


The Virtual Small Business Workshop includes 9 lessons with 3 being identified as follows:

  • What you need to know about federal taxes and your new business;
  • What you need to know about federal taxes when hiring employees or contractors; and
  • How to make tax deposits and file a return to report your payroll taxes.

Please direct all questions to




Fun word for merchants…and their customers!

A lagniappe (/ˈlænjæp/lan-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of
a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly,
“something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.”