(A) There is hereby created within the department of development an office to be known as the office of small business. The office shall be under the supervision of a manager appointed by the director of development.
(B) The office shall do all of the following:
(1) Act as liaison between the small business community and state governmental agencies;
(2) Furnish information and technical assistance to persons and small businesses concerning the establishment and maintenance of a small business, and concerning state laws and rules relevant to the operation of a small business. In conjunction with these duties, the office shall keep a record of all proposed and currently effective state agency rules affecting small businesses, and may testify before the joint committee on agency rule review concerning any proposed rule affecting small businesses.
(4) Receive complaints from small businesses concerning governmental activity, compile and analyze those complaints, and periodically make recommendations to the governor and the general assembly on changes in state laws or agency rules needed to eliminate burdensome and unproductive governmental regulation to improve the economic climate within which small businesses operate;
(5) Receive complaints or questions from small businesses and direct those businesses to the appropriate governmental agency. If, within a reasonable period of time, a complaint is not satisfactorily resolved or a question is not satisfactorily answered, the office shall, on behalf of the small business, make every effort to secure a satisfactory result. For this purpose, the office may consult with any state governmental agency and may make any suggestion or request that seems appropriate.
(6) Utilize, to the maximum extent possible, the printed and electronic media to disseminate information of current concern and interest to the small business community and to make known to small businesses the services available through the office. The office shall publish such books, pamphlets, and other printed materials, and shall participate in such trade association meetings, conventions, fairs, and other meetings involving the small business community, as the manager considers appropriate.
(7) Prepare for inclusion in the department of development's annual report to the governor and general assembly, a description of the activities of the office and a report of the number of rules affecting small businesses that were recorded by the office during the preceding calendar year;
(8) Operate the Ohio first-stop business connection to assist individuals in identifying and preparing applications for business licenses, permits, and certificates and to serve as the central public distributor for all forms, applications, and other information related to business licensing. Each state agency, board, and commission shall cooperate in providing assistance, information, and materials to enable the connection to perform its duties under this division.
(C) The office may, upon the request of a state agency, assist the agency with the preparation of any rule that will affect small businesses.
(D) The director of development shall assign employees and furnish equipment and supplies to the office as the director considers necessary for the proper performance of the duties assigned to the office.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.2, SB 2, §1, eff. 1/1/2012.
Effective Date: 09-26-2003