State Representatives Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) today applauded the House passage of House Bill 218, legislation aimed at improving coordination and communication between state government and small businesses.

The legislation would create an “entrepreneur in residence” (EIR) program, in which private sector entrepreneurs would volunteer at state agencies and offer feedback as to how the state can better reach out to small businesses. This would include suggestions regarding burdensome regulations and other ideas to increase efficiency.

“I am pleased the House has passed this bipartisan legislation to establish an entrepreneur in residence program at Ohio’s state agencies,” Dovilla said. “Through this exciting new public-private partnership, supported by small business advocates such as Greater Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises, we will help improve Ohio’s environment for entrepreneurs to innovate and flourish while encouraging state government to become more efficient and effective in service delivery.”

Similar to a program recently implemented in Texas, HB 218 would also establish duties for entrepreneurs who are assigned to an agency. In addition to making recommendations to state agencies for how they can improve their functions, entrepreneurs’ duties would include educating small businesses about the particular agency and assisting businesses in accessing the agency’s services.

“Often times businesses see government as a hurdle, but with this legislation we hope government will become a better guide and resource to those institutions that are so vitally important to Ohio’s economy,” Rosenberger said. “The entrepreneur in residence will be the small business resource within state government; to offer guidance and suggestion to both agencies and businesses on how to better address the challenges of growth and utilizing the resources Ohio has to offer.”

The Governor’s Small Business Advisory Council would evaluate the pilot program, at which time the Council would determine whether the initiative should be continued.

HB 218 will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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