Issue Action Updates

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Support


1. Resources for Small Business Support are coordinated across the region and in public and private sectors, and are clearly communicated and easily accessible to business owners.

2.   Resources include access to capital, free and fee-paid coaching and consulting support across the wide range of business support services needed for small business start up and successful growth.

3. Small Business support is seen by local, regional and state public and private groups as a key job creation strategy for the region … and is funded appropriately.

4.   Large companies and associations are collaborating with Small Business Support programs to enhance growth of both business segments across the region, and to increase diversity of vendor spending and partnership relationships to enhance innovation.


1. Facilitate development of a Regional Small Business Development and Support plan by pulling together a meeting with the Regional Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development groups and associations with Small Business owners.

2. Define key actions and outcomes for the plan and identify groups to lead execution across the region.

2017 Summit Group Discussion Outcomes

Improving Skilled Workforce Development Outcomes

The 2017 Summit focused on the subject of Skilled Workforce Development, looking at the issues involved in closing the gap that exists between unfilled skilled technical jobs existing in Ohio today, and the number of unemployed and underemployed workers, many of whom have been displaced from traditional manufacturing jobs.

In the afternoon session, 120 participants in 12 small deliberative discussion groups discussed options for closing this gap and overcoming the barriers.  The groups were led by experienced moderators following the format of the National Issues Forum Institute for conducting effective small group community discussions.

The options considered and the outcomes from all groups are summarized in the document which can be accessed by clicking on the 2017 Summit Group Discussion Outcomes title.  

Update from 2016 Summit

Inclusion of Racial and Ethnic Minorities -- Issue Action Group Updates

Members – Yvonne Wathen, Duane Stansbury, Lisa Hayes, Tanya Williams, Emiko Moore, Yvonne Peay

1. Update to Desired End States

(a) Supplier diversity program goal inventory from big companies locally available at Think Regional web site.                 (b) Establish outreach to help educate minority Chambers on integrating members into communities and business networks. (c) Advocate for more culture days in High Schools and Middle Schools and even Universities and Community Centers/Parks/Malls, leveraging global companies and international college students and language services companies.

2.  Update to Next Action Steps

(a)  Communication – Continue Chamber outreach to Japan/American, Hispanic, African/American, European Chambers     (Add Chinese and Indian?).                                                                                                                                     (b) Important to reach top high companies to get them to partner with us by asking them to check the diversity programs and implementation with partners.                                                                                                                       (c)  Meet with West Chester Hospital -- Identify their needs with regard to serving minority communities.                           (d)  Get needs directly from the communities -- Churches.                                                                                       (e)  Hold a community health assessment focus group among minority groups.                                                               (f)  Resources for reaching minorities could start at Churches and Rec Centers and where they shop.                             (g)  Create Resource List on Think Regional website for minority Chambers and individuals.