Local Chambers of Commerce & Business Groups Moving Forward with State Capital Budget Community Project Ranking Process

A critical requirement for success in many urban Ohio markets for those seeking state capital budget community project funding is to make the list of recommended projects set by the local business community. The support of the local chamber of commerce or business partnership organization illustrates support from the business, academic and local government leaders that often make up these organizations. This process was created decades ago by legislative leaders who were tired of managing the requests of competing constituents. Governor John Kasich has encouraged local business groups to make recommendation to his office as part of the process to recommend community project awards in the state of Ohio capital budget bill. These organizations cover the urban markets which gain a larger dollar amount than individual rural counties.

With the OBM Guidance Memo on the upcoming state capital budget released in late September, many of these local business trade associations have set deadlines for when applications must be filed including: Columbus Partnership (November 6, 2017), Toledo Chamber of Commerce (November 20, 2017), and Dayton Development Coalition (November 10, 2017).

However, making or not making the urban business group list of recommended projects does not guarantee success in the Statehouse. Members of the Ohio General Assembly will have their own application process and there opinion matters most. Also, urban business groups do not represent rural communities- that would be roughly 78 of the Ohio’s 88 counties. More capital budget funding has been flowing to rural communities. As an example, rural Ohio was the major winner in SB 310—the last state of Ohio capital budget bill. Ohio’s 73 rural counties gained 28% of the Community Project funding in SB 310 which is a jump of nearly 10% compared to the lasted capital bill for FY 2015-16. Business support for a state capital budget community project is important but is not the only game in town.

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