Senator Antonio Named Small Business Advocate Of The Year
We all know that small businesses are the foundation of economic vitality in our communities and critical to our state’s financial success. Last week, I was honored to receive the Small Business Advocate of the Year Award from the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE). Along with Lt. Governor John Husted, we received the award that honors elected officials whose initiatives have promoted the success of small businesses. This year, I was selected for the award due to my work on Senate Bill 11, the Ohio Fairness Act.
The Fairness Act works toward leveling the playing field for all because we know that our communities are stronger when everyone has a fair shot at achieving the American Dream. Earlier this year, more than 230 people testified in support of S.B. 11. During the hearings, the Bill also received support from almost 1,000 businesses throughout the state.
In an effort to make the American Dream even more achievable, I have also been working to advance women-owned businesses as we seek to find support and resources during these challenging times. While we can improve the status of small businesses through individualized purchasing power, legislation that keeps our businesses diverse and protects our workers is also vital.
As we work to re-energize our economy in the era of Covid-19, it is important to further support and lift up our small businesses as much as we can. So order take-out, purchase online for a store-front pick-up or make an appointment to visit your local hairdresser or barber – goodness knows we can all use a visit!
State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving in her first elected term in the Ohio Senate District 23, following 8 years of service in the Ohio House of Representatives, 13th House District with 5 of those years serving in leadership as Minority Whip. Antonio has also served as Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug/alcohol treatment program for women and teacher for children with special needs.
Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Transportation and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committees. She also serves on the Finance Subcommittee on Health, and Ways and Means Committees. She is also a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus—previously serving as chair—and is the State Director for the Women Legislators’ Lobby.
She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, our local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, healthcare for all and fighting the opioid crisis.
Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she has worked to pass legislation such as Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (SB 23/HB 61) and a step therapy reform law (SB 265/HB 72). During each of her four terms in office, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act (now SB11), to provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBT community, as well as an end to Ohio’s use of the death penalty and an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly.
The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds both MPA and B.S.Ed. Degrees from Cleveland State University and was named a CSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013. She is also an alumnus and Bohnett fellow of the Kennedy School Harvard Leadership Program (2011).
Daughters Ariel and Stacey have made Antonio and wife Jean Kosmac, very proud as the girls engage in their adult life journeys.