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Story Ideas for Media 1-22-08


Report: Ohio’s economic future may depend on entrepreneurs, small businesses.
Ohio’s economy could get a much-needed jump-start if the state focused more on helping small businesses and self-employed workers succeed, according to a new Ohio State University policy brief. But policymakers need to avoid methods that could limit economic gains, the authors say.
The January 2008 report, “Growth and Change: Does Enhancing Ohio’s Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Provide the Key to Growth?” examines the strengths and weaknesses of Ohio's self-employed workforce and entrepreneurial climate over time. It was issued by Ohio State’s Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy and the Exurban Change Project, part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Economics.
The report comes just as more attention is turning to signs of an economic downturn. In the face of anemic job growth, Ohio’s unemployment rate increased to 6 percent in December, up from 5.6 percent in November. Statewide and nationally, concerns about slow retail sales, the housing market, gas prices, inflation and the stock market have increased anxiety about a possible recession.
The report’s lead author, Mark Partridge, professor of agricultural and developmental economics, says boosting the success of the state's self-employed could be a key factor in a turnaround. Partridge says self-employment has been a significant aspect in Ohio's job growth for decades and even more so in recent years.
CONTACT: Mark Partridge, (614) 688-4907; Jill Clark, (614) 247-6479. SEE: http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~news/story.php?id=4449. The report is online at http://exurban.osu.edu/


Taste of OSU brings international flavor to campus – Jan. 25.
Thousands are expected to attend the annual “Taste of OSU and World Carnaval” from 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday (1/25) at the Recreation & Physical Activity Center, 337 W. 17th Ave. Sponsored by the Office of International Affairs, more than 30 student organizations and Campus Dining Services chefs, the event is an evening of international food, desserts and cultural performances. There will be international foods and cultural performances from 5 to 9 p.m., with many of the student organizations preparing foods characteristic of their home countries. CONTACT: Maureen Miller, (614) 247-2462. SEE: http://oia.osu.edu/tasteofosu/

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276, Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748, Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110, or Amy Murray, (614) 292-8385.