Friday, October 3, 2003

Tristate summary

From staff and wire reports

Program to assist small businesses

Gov. Bob Taft issued an executive order to create a small-business ombudsman program that will serve as a guide and advocate for Ohio small-business owners and operators interacting with state agencies.

"Many small-business owners are overwhelmed by regulations and business reporting and tax requirements," Taft said. Ninety-eight percent of Ohio firms are small, employing 49 percent of Ohio workers, and reporting annual incomes totaling more than $20 billion.

The ombudsman's primary mission will be to serve as a neutral source in assisting business owners who believed that they are overwhelmed by the legal requirements of state laws. The service will be free and confidential.

A small-business ombudsman inquiry form is expected to be posted on the state of Ohio Web portal ( in the coming weeks. To request a paper copy or other assistance, call 1(800) 248-4040 during regular business hours.

Ky. treasurer pressures NYSE

Kentucky Treasurer Jonathan Miller said he doesn't plan to pull his pension fund's money out of stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange, though he and other pension managers will use their influence to press for reform.

The NYSE has "a near monopoly over the markets in this country," Miller said.

"We are going to try to leverage our money and our investments and put pressure on both the stock exchange as well as individual corporations to reform their practices and to promote accountability." Miller said he and other pension fund managers sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission about concerns related to proxy voting.

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Laughter to land at levee
Ford outlines timetable for plant closings
Ky. improvements still planned
Forest Fair gets bigger Red Lobster
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