Winburn's "Buy Cincinnati" Eight Initiatives
to Put Cincinnati to Work and Back to Work

December 1, 2011
Full Text of Speech at Swearing In Ceremony


I want to thank the past Council for helping me accomplish seven major initiatives which I sponsored:

1. Twice by a 5-4 vote, we kept police officers and fire fighters on the street with no layoffs. These members are still here today: Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, Councilmember Laure Quinlivan, Councilmember Cecil Thomas, Councilmember Wendell Young, and former Councilmember Laketa Cole.

2. By an 8-1 vote, we passed major changes to the chronic nuisance ordinance, which addresses irresponsible landlords and blighted rental properties.

3. By a 9-0 vote, we created an Amnesty Program that generated over $2 million in revenue for the City.

4. By a 9-0 vote, we revamped the City’s Small Business Enterprise Program and provided for the implementation of the remaining OPEN Cincinnati recommendations.

5. By a 9-0 vote, we funded a small business initiative through Allied Construction Industries for 42 emerging construction companies to provide training to help them grow their businesses.

6. By a 9-0 vote, we funded an expansion for A&B Deburring to create 12 new manufacturing jobs in Queensgate.

7. By a 9-0 vote, we funded an expansion for Nehemiah Manufacturing to create 75 new manufacturing jobs in West End.

The voters of Cincinnati have elected 9 clear leaders. I am looking forward to working with all 8 Members of Council and let me congratulate you on your successful election.

I will be recommending to Cincinnati City Council during this term eight ambitious business attraction and job creation plans under my Buy Cincinnati Initiative.

The purpose of these eight Buy Cincinnati Initiatives include:

  1. 1. Retaining jobs in Cincinnati. We cannot afford to continue to lose jobs like the 800 from Fifth Third Processing Center, the 400 from Chiquita, and possibly 2,000 jobs if the Dalton Avenue Post Office closes.
  2. 2. Creating new net permanent jobs.
  3. 3. Attracting business to Cincinnati.
  4. 4. Making it easier for developers to do business in the City.
  5. 5. Expanding our tax base.6. Encouraging new home ownership to offset population decline.


Briefly, I offer the following eight Buy Cincinnati Initiatives with a view toward helping to put Cincinnati to work and back to work:

  1. 1. We should have a Local Contract Preference Ordinance for Cincinnati. What does this mean to local businesses and workers?
    1. The Local Contract Preference Ordinance will meet four core objectives:
      1. a) It will help retain and grow business in the City of Cincinnati.
      2. b) It will generate tax revenue for the City.
      3. c) It will create jobs through business growth.
      4. d) It will encourage businesses who do business with the City to work with other local Cincinnati businesses relative to city construction, professional services, and supply contracts.
    1. The Local Contract Preference Ordinance will be given to businesses that reside and pay taxes in Cincinnati proper. This will not only appeal to current Cincinnati businesses, but it provides an incentive for non-resident businesses to relocate into the City.
    1. Additionally, Cincinnati tax revenue will increase as we create more businesses for those who live, work and play in our City, thereby keeping our dollars in our community. These commitments to our resident businesses will generate a return on investment of new job creation and increased tax revenue for Cincinnati. This just makes common sense.
  2. 2. We want our City to have a Local City Resident Hiring Policy and Ordinance for Cincinnati residents. How will this strengthen our local economy?
    1. The Local City Resident Hiring Policy and Ordinance will meet two core objectives:
      1. 1) It will create jobs specifically for Cincinnati residents.
      2. 2) And, it will grow businesses by requiring contractors with the City to hire a certain percentage of local residents in order to fulfill the Local Hiring Policy of their contract.
    2. Currently, the City of Cincinnati has billions of dollars of contracting and construction underway in our community. However, we do not have a policy that will drive new jobs for Cincinnati proper residents. It is imperative that we immediately pass local legislation for a Local City Resident Hiring Policy and Ordinance to create immediate jobs on the hundreds of construction sites and within businesses that have benefited from our investment in their projects. I will bring before Council a Local City Resident Hiring Policy and Ordinance that will require the creation of Cincinnati proper jobs on any project that has the investment of our local public funds. This Policy would extend to the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Horseshoe Casino - Cincinnati, and all Community and Economic Development Projects.
  3. 3. We should Revamp the City’s Tax Increment Financing Process (TIF) to encourage hiring local Cincinnati residents.
    1. The City of Cincinnati has numerous economic incentives available to help businesses in their development process such as Tax Increment Financing, Job Creation Tax Credits, and Property Investment Reimbursements.
    2. For example, Council recently provided $16 million in benefits to the Cincinnati Horseshoe Casino and another $24 million for U Square at UC. All of this was provided without the guarantee of jobs for local workers.
    3. I want to thank Horseshoe Casino – Cincinnati for their self-imposed commitment to contract with over 26% minority business enterprises in their most recent report. The City of Cincinnati should use the Casino as a model for promoting equal opportunity and fairness, especially as it relates to promoting African American businesses and white female owned businesses.
    4. We will require those who get TIFs must create 25% of their jobs from City residents.
    5. If we Revamp the City’s Tax Increment Financing Process (TIF), it will mean:
      1. 1) Companies who receive any type of economic incentive from the City that benefits their development project, they would be required to create a minimum number of jobs for local Cincinnati residents.
      2. 2) Local residents in turn will have a greater access to local jobs.
    1. I will bring before Council a policy to require businesses who have taken advantage of our many economic incentives such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Tax Abatements, Job Creation Tax Credits (JCTC), and Property Investment Reimbursements (PIR), to create jobs for Cincinnati proper residents.
    2. Additionally, Council just provided $30 million in TIF benefits for the U Square project near the University of Cincinnati and $16 million in TIF benefits for the Horseshoe Casino - Cincinnati. In the future we need to receive commitments from all companies who obtain TIFs to guarantee that they will hire a percentage of Cincinnati residents. Cincinnati needs jobs and I’m going to insure that we get them.
  4. 4. Overhaul the City’s Residential and Commercial Development Process to make it easier for developers to develop in Cincinnati. By doing this we will remove the bureaucratic obstacles that chase developers away and make building in Cincinnati easier and more efficient.
    1. Developers tell us that it’s far easier for them to do business in Northern Kentucky, Blue Ash, West Chester and Mason. This naturally creates temporary and permanent jobs outside of the City of Cincinnati.
    2. If we Overhaul the City’s Residential and Commercial Development Process we will:
      1. 1) Fast-track the development and permitting process to speed the projects to completion.
      2. 2) Make Cincinnati more business friendly by recruiting new ones to the City and by making it easier to grow existing businesses through development.
      3. 3) Bring construction jobs back to Cincinnati and put people back to work immediately.
    3. Developers have found Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati’s building process to be a red-tape nightmare that is cumbersome and time-consuming. This issue has developers building and creating jobs outside of Cincinnati proper. We must make Cincinnati more business friendly.
    4. Furthermore, we must work to identify key site development opportunities in targeted city neighborhoods in a unified way instead of using the current piecemeal manner in which we have approached development. I will bring before my colleagues a solution to fast track the development process that is efficient, effective and user-friendly for all residential and commercial developers. Part of this proposal includes:
    5. Goals for the One-Stop Fast Track Development Model:
      1. (1) Make it easier for developers to build in Cincinnati.
      2. (2) Attract new developers to Cincinnati.
      3. (3) Eliminate unnecessary regulation, red tape and development slowdowns.
      4. (4) Attract new businesses, improve tax base and expand job opportunities in the City of Cincinnati.
      5. (5) Increase new home ownership opportunities in Cincinnati.
      6. (6) Improve Cincinnati's housing stock.
      7. (7) Ensure that Cincinnati is a safe place to live and work so we can attract new developers and new homeowners.
      8. (8) Become a national model for effective development regarding residential and commercial development.
      9. (9) Help identify lots capable of development in targeted city neighborhoods through the development and implementation of a citywide comprehensive master plan.

    5. We should Develop a plan to put Veterans, Hard-to-Hire and Ex-Offenders to work. How will this impact our local economy?

    1. 1) We all know that this is one of the hardest groups to help re-enter the workforce. If we make it a priority with new career training for veterans and re-entry programs for ex-offenders, we will make them productive citizens who can contribute to society.
    2. 2) When these workers find fulfilling vocations, they become tax paying, community focused citizens who are an important part of the livelihood of our neighborhoods.
    3. 3) And finally, it’s just the right thing to do. Giving people a second chance and a job will provide the opportunity to re-enter society with the dignity they deserve.
  5. 6. We will be creating a Small Business Bonding Initiative. Why do we need this?
    1. 1) Sufficient bonding capacity is often the biggest barrier to small businesses being able to bid on contracts. This initiative will make it easier for them to leverage their work history alongside their current capacity. This will lead to the growth of small businesses, the largest employer in any community.
    2. 2) This new Small Business Bonding Initiative will help grow small businesses and attract new ones. Adding jobs to our citizens and earnings income taxes to our City is a WIN-WIN from any direction.
  6. 7. Finally, we will be putting together a new initiative called Invest Cincinnati USA, modeled after the State of Ohio’s Invest Ohio program. How will this impact our economic health?
    1. Invest Cincinnati USA will be a tool for helping Cincinnati businesses gain the capital they need to succeed, grow, and create new jobs. Individuals who invest in small businesses in Cincinnati may receive an income tax credit if the investment is held for a specified time.
    2. We need to work with the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, Cincinnati Business Committee, African American Chamber, and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber in order to obtain their suggestions and recommendations.
  7. 8. Leverage Metropolitan Sewer District/Project Rebuild, a $3 billion project
    1. We need to work with MSD to develop creative and innovative ways to use MSD Project Rebuild to grow small businesses and create jobs in all 52 city neighborhoods.
  1. There is nothing more important than the health and vitality of our local economy. These bold initiatives will do more to strengthen the economic foundation of Cincinnati than any others that have come before Council in a very long time.
  2. Cincinnati, if you can remember one thing: I work for you! Now Cincinnati City Council, let’s get to work! I’m Charlie Winburn and I approve this message.

 

 

 


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