WBE Bill 494 Signed into Law

NAWBO Columbus Leads Effort to Create First WBE Program for Ohio

On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the persistent efforts of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Columbus for the creation of a Women’s Enterprise Certification (WBE) paid off.

House Bill 494 was passed by the Ohio Legislature and signed into law by Governor Kasich on December 19, 2018. The bill contains language that will create the first-of-its-kind certification program for women business owners in Ohio.

“This is a critical issue that has limited women-owned businesses access to economic opportunities which will include job creation both in Ohio and other states,” said Merry Korn, CEO of Pearl Interactive Network and NAWBO Columbus member. There are states that require a women-owned business to be certified in their “home state” to be eligible for the advantages those states provide. Ohio has finally taken the important step to create a specific Ohio WBE program to address this unnecessary disparity.

“Building on many years of advocacy by NAWBO Columbus members, we are thrilled that more than 330,000 women-owned businesses across Ohio will now have access to the resources and opportunities they need to grow and scale their businesses in support of their families, their community, and Ohio’s economy,” said Sheri Chaney Jones, President of Measurement Resources Company and NAWBO Columbus Public Policy Vice President.

A recent 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report confirms that 40 percent of businesses in the United States are owned by women -- yet they account for only 8 percent of the total private sector workforce and contribute only 4.3 percent of total revenue. Additionally, WBE’s have limited access to government contracts. At the federal level, the government finally reached a modest 5% goal of small-business contracts for women-owned businesses after being set more than 20 years ago.

NAWBO Columbus will work with the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to establish the rules of the program, allowing DAS to enter into reciprocal agreements with other states and begin opening up the rest of the country for Ohio’s women-owned businesses.

NAWBO Columbus is Central Ohio’s premier organization for women business owners. Members contribute more than $250 million to Ohio’s annual economy and have been in business an average of 12 years. NAWBO Columbus is the trusted leader for connections, advocacy and mentorship. We envision women business owners equally recognized and celebrated for their growth, revenue generation, and leadership. For more information on membership, upcoming networking and educational events, visit

Upcoming Candidate Meet & Greets

 Meet the Candidates. Be Informed. 

Did you know there are events throughout Central Ohio that provide an opportunity for you to meet the candidates that will be on the ballot this November?

The Franklin County Consortium for Good Government has organized the following great events:

Worthington Forum at the McConnell Arts Center- October 9 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Meet and Greet with the Candidates starting at 6:30 pm.  The forum will begin at 7:00 pm.

This Forum will feature the following races:

State Representative District 21
– Beth Liston
– Stu Harris

State Attorney General
– Steve Dettelbach
– Dave Yost

Franklin County Auditor
– Clarence Mingo
– Michael Stinziano

Worthington City School District – Proposed Bond Issue Renovating, repairing, improving, furnishing, equipping and constructing additions to various permanent improvements; purchasing school buses and related transportation equipment; site improvements; and acquisition of land and interest in land $89,000,000; 2.58 mills, $0.258 per $100 of valuation, for 30 years

 Westerville Forum- October 22 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Meet and Greet with the Candidates starting at 6:30 pm. The forum will begin at 7:00 pm.

This Forum will feature the following races:

Treasurer of State
• Robert Sprague
• Rob Richardson

Franklin County Common Pleas – 1/4/2019
• Karen Phipps
• Jim Hughes

Franklin County Common Pleas – 1/6/2019
• Kim Brown
• Michael Cassone

Secretary of State
• Kathleen Clyde
• Dustin Nanna
• Frank LaRose


Northland Forum- October 23 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Meet and Greet with the Candidates starting at 6:30 pm. The forum will begin at 7:00 pm.

This Forum will feature the following races:

Franklin County Auditor
• Clarence Mingo
• Michael Stinziano

Ohio Issue 1, Drug and Criminal Justice Policies Initiative
On the ballot in Ohio as an initiated constitutional amendment
• Make offenses related to drug possession and use no more than misdemeanors
• Prohibit courts from ordering persons on probation for felonies be sent to prison for non-criminal probation violations
• Create a sentence credits program for inmates’ participation in rehabilitative, work, or educational programs
• Require the state to spend savings due to a reduction of inmates, resulting from Issue 1, on drug treatment, crime victim, and rehabilitation programs.

Franklin County Common Pleas Domestic – 1/2/2019
• James Brown
• Jessica Barwell

Ohio House – 22nd District
• David Leland
• Doug Moody

Franklin County Common Pleas – 1/7/2019
• Carl Aveni
• Dan Hawkins

New Albany Forum- October 24 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Meet and Greet with the Candidates starting at 6:30 pm. The forum will begin at 7:00 pm.

This Forum will feature the following races:

Auditor of State
• Zack Space
• Robert Coogan
• Keith Faber

25th District – Ohio House
• Bernadine Kennedy Kent
• Debbie Staggs

Ohio Congressional District 12
• Danny O’Connor
• Joe Manchik
• Troy Balderson

19th District – Ohio Senate
• Louise Valentine
• Gary Cox
• Andrew O. Brenner

Downtown Forum- October 25 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Meet and Greet with the Candidates starting at 6:30 pm. The forum will begin at 7:00 pm.

This Forum will feature the following races:

Ohio Supreme Court – 1/1/2019
• Craig Baldwin
• Michael Donnelly

Ohio Supreme Court
• Melody Stewart
• Mary DeGenaro

Franklin County Commissioners
• Marilyn Brown
• Michele Reynolds

Franklin County Common Pleas
• Monica Hawkins
• Amy Koorn

U.S. Representative – 3rd District
• Joyce Beatty
• Jim Burgess

Application Opens for Workforce Training Funds

The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program application is now open. Ohio businesses can begin completing the application for funding to improve the skills of their workforce.

Training in the following high-demand fields is eligible: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Aviation, Automotive Manufacturing, Automotive Technicians, BioHealth, Corporate Headquarters, Energy, Financial Services, Food Processing, Information Technology and Services, Polymers and Chemicals, Logistics, or Research and Development. Training opportunities include, but are not limited to, operational skills training, certification processes and equipment training. Training can occur at the employer’s facility, the provider’s training facility or at a third-party site.

The Ohio Development Services Agency reimburses the employer for up to 33 percent of the eligible training costs, up to $2,000 per employee, after 1) the employer pays the full cost of the training, and 2) the employee successfully completes the training. The maximum amount an employer may qualify for in a Fiscal Year is $25,000. The company must be in operation for at least 12 months in Ohio to participate.

Eligible businesses can begin the online application process on September 24, 2018 and will have three weeks to gather the necessary information to complete their application. Online applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and can be submitted on October 11, 2018 between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

For more information about the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program visit