New challenges for local businesses

By Congressman Steve Stivers - Guest Columnist

Local businesses are the backbone of our economy. They provide critical goods and services, create jobs, and attract more people to our communities. That’s why, since I came to Congress, one of my top priorities has been advancing policies to support our local businesses to create jobs in Ohio and across the country.

Employers face a unique set of challenges when attempting to open or stay open for business. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with members of the Pickaway and Ross Counties business community for a roundtable at the Pickaway-Ross Career and Technology Center to discuss these challenges, and how we can work together to help businesses thrive in Ohio’s 15th District. We discussed various topics affecting businesses, ranging from job training and education, to infrastructure and tax reform.

One of the biggest problems faced by employers is not just finding potential employees, but finding qualified potential employees who already have the skills needed for the job. For many at the roundtable, education and training were the most important factors in getting workers ready for the jobs available. Vocational school and other career and technical education (or CTE) programs, for example, are a great way students can get training and certification for jobs so they are ready to start working or get further specialized training after graduating from high school. In Congress, I am a supporter of legislation to update federal policies and ensure these CTE programs deliver results and effectively train our nation’s workforce for the jobs of today and the future.

We also discussed how important infrastructure is to attracting new businesses. Without proper roads, highways, and bridges, it can be difficult for businesses to open up in some communities. Especially in rural areas of Ohio, the lack of broadband access can also prevent new businesses from opening or expanding in certain communities. This makes it even more important that any infrastructure package that comes through Congress is broadly defined to include broadband.

Businesses are also tasked with navigating a complicated and outdated tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. For small businesses, the tax system can increase the cost of doing business, and ultimately hurt their ability to create jobs. After 31 years without an overhaul, I am hopeful we can fix these issues in the tax system for businesses so we can spur economic growth in our communities.

Coming away from the roundtable, I have a renewed commitment to supporting policies that will make it easier to do business in America. Working together, we can make sure that employers can stay open and be successful in our country.

If you have questions or concerns about this or any other legislation in the federal government, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-2015, Hilliard office at 614-771-4968, Lancaster office at 740-654-2654 or Wilmington office at 937-283-7049.

Steve Stivers is a member of Congress from Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.

By Congressman Steve Stivers

Guest Columnist