Small business owners weigh in on Issue 1

Columbus, Ohio
August 2, 2023

Watch entire press conference video here

Small business owners weigh in on Issue 1

by: Natalie Fahmy

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — We are just under a week away from Election Day in the state’s single-issue special election, and small business owners are weighing in on the issue.

On Aug. 8, Ohioans will decider whether to pass Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that would increase the threshold to pass future constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60%.

“Unfair, undemocratic and unnecessary” is how small business owner Sean Logan, who owns Sean Logan and Associates, describes the issue.

Logan joined other small business owners from across the state at the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday morning to voice their opposition to Issue 1. While dozens of small business owners have joined the opposition, not all agree that Issue 1 would be a detriment.

“Every small business should vote ‘yes,’” said Mehek Cooke, a small business owner and Republican strategist. “It is so important.

Cooke said the small business community will be better heard if it takes a 60% vote to amend the state constitution.

“We will have a greater voice if we say ‘yes’ to Issue 1,” Cooke said. “We won’t be able to raise taxes on small business if we have that 60% threshold. This is so important, again, because we’re continuing to see outside interest groups come into our state and try to dictate changes.”

Both Cooke and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce support Issue 1.

But not every small business owner is aligned with them.

“I know that there’s plenty of Chamber of Commerce folks in my region that are opposed also to Issue 1, because they feel that it’s giving up more than what they’re going to gain,” Logan said.

Logan said while some reforms may be necessary, Issue 1 is not one of those reforms. He and some others worry that if it passes, state lawmakers will ignore their needs.

“They’re not going to be listening to the small business owners, they don’t need them anymore, they are going to be listening to the big due paying members, the ones the Ohio Chamber represents,” Frank Knapp, director of business for Democracy Campaign, said.

Mehek disagreed that the legislature would become negligent of business owners’ needs.

“When a bill is introduced, any interested party can come in and we can testify to make sure our voices are heard,” Cooke said. “The legislature does not work for big businesses; the legislature works for the people.”

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce declined a request for an interview and did not provide a statement.


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