Downtown Tiffin earns national accreditation with Heritage Ohio for third year

Tiffin recognized as a National Main Street Community

TIFFIN, OHIO – FEBRUARY 8, 2019 – For the third year in a row, Downtown Tiffin has been re-recognized by Heritage Ohio as a National Main Street Community. The Ohio Main Street Program, administered by Heritage Ohio, works with communities across the state to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. Based in historic preservation, it focuses on four points: organization, design, promotions, and economic vitality. Each point is an integral part in the successful revitalization of a downtown area.

The Ohio Main Street program is a partner of Main Street America. Accreditation is an honor that must be earned every year by meeting the program’s high standards as determined by an annual quality audit by state officials. With this distinction, Downtown Tiffin has received accreditation for its Main Street program at both the state and national level for 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Downtown Tiffin’s revitalization efforts continue to be validated and recognized throughout the state. Since becoming a Main Street Community in 2015, 42 new businesses have located in Downtown Tiffin and more than $25 million in investment has occurred in the downtown, creating a vibrancy.

This past October, Downtown Tiffin was presented with three statewide awards by Heritage Ohio at its Annual Preservation and Revitalization Awards Ceremony. The Façade Enhancement Grant program won Best Public/Private Partnership; Suzie Reineke and Weston Reinbolt won Young Preservation Leaders; and Amy Reinhart won Main Street Manager of the Year.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, who participated in the accreditation process Jan. 30 at Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, was excited to see Downtown Tiffin recognized. “We are doing great things in Tiffin, and it is validating to see that our efforts were recognized for a third year by Heritage Ohio. A big thank you to Amy Reinhart and the hard work of those citizens, business and building owners in our downtown development committees.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. TSEP consistently ranks among the top communities statewide and nationally for economic and downtown development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

About Heritage Ohio

As Ohio’s official historic preservation and Main Street Organization, Heritage Ohio’s mission is to foster economic development and sustainability through preservation of historic buildings, revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts, and promotion of cultural tourism. Since 1998, Heritage Ohio has contracted with the National Trust for Historic Preservation as Ohio’s state coordinating agency for the Main Street Program™. Learn more at www.HeritageOhio.org.

Sign enhancement grants available for 2019

Downtown properties can receive up to $1,000 for projects

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 6, 2019 – Following a rollout in 2018, the City of Tiffin again is to offer downtown property owners a grant to update hanging signs. For 2019, Tiffin City Council has approved $5,000 in funding for the program which allows for a 50 percent reimbursement of expenses directly related to perpendicular signage on properties within the downtown target area, up to a maximum match of $1,000. This grant is available on a first-come, first-served basis from application approval.

To apply for a grant, the building owner should meet with Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart to discuss how the program works and obtain an application. Eligible improvements include all exterior perpendicular signage including the bracket. Historical signs, including neon signs, are eligible to be repaired and restored. Once the application is submitted, reviewed and deemed complete and without issues, the Architectural Board of Review will consider it for approval. Projects approved in 2018 include $1,000 to The Ritz Theatre for its marquee, $1,000 to Washington Street Outfitters for its sign and to restore the bracketing and $1,000 to Viewpoint Graphics to restore the historic Leiner Men’s Wear sign.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he was glad to see local businesses take advantage of the program last year and hopes it will continue in 2019. “This is a great opportunity to continue to beautify downtown Tiffin and to increase awareness of the great businesses in our city.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

Audrey Flood named new Development Manager at TSEP

New role to focus on community, small business and rural development

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 1, 2019 – The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) is pleased to announce that Audrey Flood has joined the team in the newly created role of Development Manager with a focus on Community, Small Business, and Rural Development. She replaces Katie Lang, Communications Manager, who obtained her real estate license and is now working in the Cleveland area for Howard Hanna. Flood will work part-time beginning February 1 until after she graduates with her Master of Public Administration degree from The Ohio State University in May.

Lang’s departure, combined with the departure last fall of former Development Manager Bryce Riggs, who left to become Associate Director of Development at Tiffin University, provided TSEP with an opportunity to redesign the organization to improve our services to the community and economy. Nick Dutro replaced Riggs and started on January 2, with a focus on commercial and industrial development.

“Audrey is a perfect fit for this position, and we couldn’t be happier she is joining our team,” TSEP President & CEO David Zak said. “She truly loves Tiffin and Seneca County, has a real passion for public and nonprofit work, has already built a solid network of relationships, and gained relevant experience through her work at the Tiffin Community Foundation.”

Flood said she is excited to get started. “After six years in Columbus at Ohio State, I am ecstatic to be moving back to work in my hometown community and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to pursue my passion for public service with this organization,” she said. “I feel that this position is a perfect way for me to get involved in the extraordinary momentum that Tiffin and Seneca County are experiencing.”

In addition to her work at the Tiffin Community Foundation, she has also worked with the Columbus Police Foundation, State Rep. Bill Reineke, The Columbus Foundation, and Patchworks House. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in public policy and nonprofit studies from The Ohio State University and received an honors diploma from Mohawk High School. During her time as a masters student at Ohio State’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, she has focused her studies on local government and nonprofits

TSEP Board Chair Lynn Detterman is confident in the new hire. “We are excited that Audrey will be joining the TSEP office as our new development manager, and we know she will help us be a force for good in the Tiffin-Seneca County community,” she said.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

Downtown gains new art gallery

Renovation of downtown property aided by $10,000 in grants

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 30, 2019 – Modern artist Tom Hoffman has announced plans to open a new art gallery, Court Street Gallery, showcasing his work and that of other artists at 33 Court Street in downtown Tiffin’s historic district. Hoffman previously had a gallery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is excited to offer his gallery vision to residents of Seneca County and Northwest Ohio.

“I wanted a place to showcase my art and show other artists eventually,” Hoffman said. “I love Tiffin and think it’s a really great town; it’s blossoming, and I want to be part of that,” he added.

Hoffman has a degree in architecture from the University of Illinois and was first an interior designer with a thriving business and a move to Tiffin prompted him to put his art to the forefront. Hoffman is to use part of the renovated storefront for a gallery space and art studio, and he is to live in one of the upper apartments.

Andy Faber, partner with building owners Tiffin Capital Investments LLC, purchased the building in March 2017, said the renovation was a new experience for the group and thanked Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and guidance from other property owners and their bank as they updated the storefront and five apartments.

“The four of us just did this. We’re four buddies who started this over a beer. We looked at other properties and this one made the most sense,” Faber said. “We’ve really resurrected a building down there. It’s crazy to look back, seeing people living there and making it a home is absolutely awesome.”

In 2016, the previous owner received a $10,000 Façade Enhancement Grant that was used for repairs to slate, masonry, windows, cornices, roof, and dormers, as well as painting. In August 2018, Faber and his associates started the process on the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) for tax abatement, which is awaiting approval upon completion of renovations.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he is excited about the project. “It is great that the city of Tiffin will have another attraction in its downtown, and we are pleased to see that a historic building has been brought back to life by members of our community.”

The Diane Kidd Gallery on the campus of Tiffin University will host “Evolving,” an exhibition of abstract paintings by Hoffman through February 21, 2019.

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

Tom Rodgers Flowers expanding at downtown Tiffin location

Business partners with national clothing wholesaler

TIFFIN, OHIO – JANUARY 28, 2019 –Tom Rodgers Flowers announced today that they have finalized a deal with Jim’s Formal Wear to expand their operation and sell and rent designer clothing at their 245 South Washington Street location in downtown Tiffin. The store upgrades, including dressing rooms, will be complete this year and products are to be available by Valentine’s Day. Brian Ferguson, Owner and President of Tom Rodgers Flowers, expects to add two more staff members this year as well.

Based in Trenton, Illinois, Jim’s Formal Wear provides clothing nationally through seven service centers, eight regional hubs, and 5,000 retail locations nationwide. Currently, there one location in Attica (Seneca County), and other area stores can be found in Fremont, Findlay, Maumee and Upper Sandusky. The company specializes in clothing for weddings, formal dances and special events and offers items from designers such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Jean Yves and Lauren by Ralph Lauren.

Ferguson is pleased the project is moving forward: “Jim’s Formal Wear is a great strategic partner, and it will allow us to expand our business throughout the area. We service a lot of weddings, homecomings and proms, so I think this is a really good fit for our business.”

Established in 1947, Tom Rodgers Flowers has a successful history of providing quality floral arrangements, Ohio-made or -packaged homemade and gourmet food products, memorial items for funerals, gifts and customized gift baskets, as well as home decor. The company also recently expanded its delivery fleet and becomes the fourth business to offer clothing in the downtown area, joining stores like Washington Street Outfitters, Simply Susan’s and Tuxedo Junction.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was excited about the announcement: “Every new business and business expansion in Tiffin and in the downtown enhances quality of life for residents and makes our community more attractive for students, visitors and investors.”

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at http://www.tiffinseneca.com.

Advocacy group opens downtown Tiffin office

Seneca Anti-Wind Union to cut ribbon in historic Laird Arcade

Press release provided by Seneca Anti-Wind Union

“It was officially announced Tuesday via the Seneca Anti-Wind Union Facebook page that the Seneca Anti-Wind Union now has a physical office space in Downtown Tiffin. I would like to formally invite you all to attend our official public ribbon cutting event that is being hosted by the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services on Tuesday, January 22nd at 4:00 PM.

The ribbon cutting event will take place in front of the our office doors which are located next to Same Day Signs on Market Street (see map). Our official address is 76 E. Market St., Suite B. The office is located in the beautiful and historic Laird Arcade Building right across the corner from the new Joint Justice Center.

Please spread the word as this event is completely open to the public. We also would love to have each and every one of you sign our ribbon.

We hope to see you there!”

Architectural Board of Review approves first façade grants for 2019

Projects represent almost 40,000 in downtown investment

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 15, 2019 – Today, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved the first two Façade Enhancement Grants for 2019 for two projects in downtown Tiffin. The City of Tiffin has set aside $100,000 for projects this year.

Atkin Investments LLC had requested $10,000 to reroof and replace gutters at their 269 S. Washington St. apartment complex, for a total estimated investment of $31,600. Building owner Justin Atkin was the first person to apply for the program this year. “I have been waiting three years for this program, so I can do some necessary improvements to my building,” he said.

In another project, Lange Gordon Rannigan & Claus LLC requested $4,200 for updates to their offices in the historic Advertiser Building at 27 Court St. to repaint the first floor exterior, repair lighting fixtures and install a new awning for a total estimated investment of $8,300.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “This program continues to be a great benefit to beautify our city,” he said. “That we are getting projects coming to us so early in the calendar year to take advantage of the program, now in its fifth year, makes me proud in city council’s continued support of the Façade Enhancement Grant.”

To apply for a Façade Enhancement Grant, the building owner should meet with Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart to discuss how the program works and obtain an application. Once the application is submitted, reviewed and deemed complete and without issues, the Architectural Board of Review will consider it before approval. Since the program’s inception in 2014, 65 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of nearly $2.2 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program

This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year.  For more information, visit http://www.senecasuccess.com (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.com.

Chamber to hold cybersecurity program

cybersecurity.jpgThe Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services will hold a cybersecurity program in the Community Room at 19 W. Market St., Suite B on Wednesday, January 23 at 7:30 a.m.

How much is your business dependent on the Internet?

Are you satisfied with your online safety posture?

Who do you trust for the security of your online services?

Do you know what to do when a security incident or breach hits your business? Do you have a plan?

You don’t process sensitive government data or have valuable trade secrets, but you still have flow of cash to run your business. Do you know that cyber criminals are after it?

Join us to learn about basics of cybersecurity practices for small business owners and managers.

The program will consist of following topics:

Importance of cybersecurity for small business, basic protection measures, resources and tools for small businesses, sample tool for assessment of cyber risk score.

Tiffin University’s Ali I. Yurekli, PhD, CISSP, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity, School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences will be the speaker for the morning.

This program is free and business owners are encouraged to attend.  Please RSVP by January 17th.  Send an e-mail to Deb at dmartorana@tiffinchamber.com or call 419-447-4141 or online:  tiffinchamber.com/calendar/2019/01/23/cybersecurity-program.

2019 small business seminar schedule set

2014_03_24 - BillAuxter

Small Business Development Center Director Bill Auxter

Bill Auxter, Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College, hosts a free, monthly Small Business Basics seminar at the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. On average, Bill works with more than 150 small businesses each year, which includes pre-ventures, start-ups, and existing businesses.

The Business Basics seminar is a two-hour session designed to answer questions about starting, buying or expanding a small business. Participants are walked through the basics of name registration, licensing, taxes, advisors, business entities, employees, insurance, financing, business planning and more.

The seminars take place at the Seneca Regional Chamber and Visitor Services’ Community Room from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. on the following 2019 dates:

  • January 9
  • February 13
  • March 13
  • April 10
  • May 8
  • June 12
  • August 14
  • September 11
  • October 9
  • November 13

To register, contact Bill Auxter at 419.559.2210 or bauxter@terra.edu. Click here for more general information.

Code-A-Thon teaches teens tech skills

We connect the dots

The Sandusky County Engineers Office is partnering with Microsoft locally to host a free STEAM outreach event January 25-27, 2019 at Terra State Community College in Fremont, Ohio.

The Back to School Code-A-Thon is a FREE 48 hour program that gives students an opportunity to use technology, research, and collaborate to address issues and problems confronting the human race on a global scale. Students will work together to learn to code HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, while learning to use tools like GitHub to build a website that reflects their ideas and commitment to problem solving. Prizes are available for the teams that create the top three projects in their location! This is an international event, and students will be able to speak, work, and learn with other students around
the world via live video, web, and telecommunication technology! Returning students will have the opportunity to learn more advanced JavaScript, and advanced Web Development using React.

• Learn web development in a collaborative environment
• Meet students from around the nation
• Find solutions to real global problems using technology

This event will occur simultaneously with other locations internationally and a maximum of 50 kids locally will be taught basic coding skills using web-based software that they can continue to access post-event.

Locations Include:
New York: Westbury, WCTD
Pennsylvania: Darby, Penn Wood Middle School,
Ohio: Fremont, Terra State Community College
North Carolina: Charlotte, Queens University

This program is open to any student 13-18 years-old with a willingness to learn, work collaboratively, and who has a desire to address real global issues for the betterment of all mankind. If you are such a student, please join us for this event. Students will stay on
site throughout the 48 hour program. You may select your location when you register.

For information about the event visit http://we-connect-the-dots.org or contact the team via email events@we-connect-the-dots.org or by calling (631) 468-7475. Slots are still available for students, volunteers, and sponsors.