The state of business in Cleveland post-COVID
The Monte Ahuja College of Business held a Cornerstone Speaker Series event on Sept. 30 that featured CSU President Harlan Sands and the CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Baiju Shau discussing the state of business in Cleveland, post-COVID.
The Greater Cleveland Partnership is the region’s leading economic development organization with over 12,000 members, making it the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the nation.
Shau outlined some of the GCP’s values that they will be following to excel business in Cleveland and also CSU’s integral part of that.
“Businesses are thriving because of investments in technology and a focus on innovation,” Shau said. “Cleveland State is an important partner in that effort through the research component of what the institution presents in addition to the talent.”
As part of the new CSU 2.0 plan, the university will be working to connect students with businesses in Cleveland through a corporate connector program.
“The internships are important because it enables the talent to get exposed to those companies,” Shau said. “I want talent that graduates from Cleveland State to have at least one job offer if not multiple job offers as a way to retain talent.”
In regards to the state of business in Cleveland, Shau and Sands discussed the challenges that are most apparent on the demand side of business.
“We are at a different time than my history in Cleveland where it feels like every business or organization that you turn to talk to is thriving on the demand side,” Shau said. “It's a frustrating situation that we’re at this point where every business wants to grow and we need to collectively figure out how we help deliver talent to support their growth here in the region.”
Sands described it as a “good kind of problem,” in the aspect that there is growth potential, and it is better than the alternative where businesses are suffering from lack of demand.
“This talent situation is not just because of the pandemic,” Shau said. “This has been a long standing challenge for the region to be able to develop and retain sufficient talent for types of industries that are thriving in the 21st century.”
Shau and Sands not only explained the importance of providing talented individuals, but also keeping them in the Cleveland area.
“An appealing community is not just about physical development which we’ve got a lot on the drawing board including renovations in enhancements on the Cleveland State campus, but it’s about the amenities around a community,” Shau said. “It’s about having parks and trails and arts and culture and music and all of those things that make a community rich and a diverse community.”
The Greater Cleveland Partnership and Cleveland State University will be working towards these goals moving forward and will be an important aspect of the future of Cleveland business.
The next speaker event for the Monte Ahuja College of Business will be featuring the Director of Client Services and Business Development at Maloney + Novotny, Laura Gray, in a Coffee with a Closer series event on Oct. 13.