A new pilot program aimed at supporting middle-range businesses was amended into a lame duck sales tax holiday measure, according to a recent Gongwer report. The Economic Gardening Technical Assistance Pilot Program “aims to provide eligible businesses assistance with market research and marketing as well as creating connections with trade associations, academic institutions, business advocacy groups, mentor programs and other businesses,” during its two-year pilot operation. Rep. Michael Stinziano, who “sponsored measures to create the program,” said that “while the state works to attract and retain big businesses through JobsOhio and provides assistance to budding entrepreneurs through numerous programs, the economic gardening program will support middle-range or so-called ‘stage-two’ businesses that aren’t new but also don’t necessarily have significant national or international reach.” To be eligible for the program, businesses must have been located in Ohio for the last two years, employ between six and 99 employees, and generate revenue between $750,000 and $25 million. Additionally, companies must have “recorded increases in gross revenue and the number of full-time Ohio employees during three of the past five years.” Stinziano said research into similar programs in Indiana, Michigan and Florida “supports his theory that the program could increase jobs and revenue among Ohio’s stage two businesses and those who work for them.”