To have an idea of what makes Ohio such a great place to live, all that someone would have to do is walk in the shoes of our everyday citizens. Across this state are wonderful towns, big and small, filled with friendly faces who won't hesitate to say hello to you as you stroll down the street. Medina and Brunswick are terrific examples of this. The only thing to out-match the beauty and charm seen from our cities is the charm that comes with our people.

They come here to make a living and to raise their families. From day to day, we go about our lives, going in and out of our storefronts without a thought as to how fortunate we are. We sometimes take for granted the many small businesses in our community--the places we go to grab a bite to eat, to get a haircut, or to buy some odds-and-ends items that we can't go without.

These are the places that are the backbone of our economy. Seventy percent of all jobs are created by small businesses. And in Ohio, small businesses play an even greater impact than in many other states. If we want to see Ohio's economy develop and get our people working again, the best place to start is by bolstering our small businesses.

Just this week, I joined together with members of the House Economic and Small Business Development Committee to highlight the ways that government can allow businesses to grow, create jobs and make a profit. The House began this effort by passing a bill to create JobsOhio, a nonprofit, private entity that will aggressively address the needs of businesses without the hindrance of government bureaucracy getting in the way. That's also why we have passed the Common Sense Initiative, an office tasked with ensuring that government regulations and red tape won't negatively affect business development and job creation in our state.

While we continue to work on a number of pieces of legislation that will benefit Ohio business by keeping tax rates down, reducing state spending and changing areas of law that just don't pass the common-sense test, we recognize that there's much more we can still do.

This summer, House Republicans will continue to solicit feedback from business owners around the state on what government should or shouldn't do to help their businesses grow. Having toured many of these types of businesses throughout my years as a legislator, I know that issues are always popping up that add to the list of challenges they are facing.

It's my hope that at the conclusion of the summer, we will introduce a whole host of bold, innovative solutions for the small businesses of this state. With all they do to make Ohio a better place, I see it as fitting for the state government to make efforts that will help to better them. In many cases, it has been a lifelong dream of Ohioans to own and operate these establishments. Far be it from this government to squash that dream.


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