TSEP hosting free webinars for small businesses

TechCred Webinar on Jan. 21, SBA Webinar on Jan. 29

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 14, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is announcing today that it is hosting two webinars in January for small businesses seeking funding. The webinars are free, but registration is required.

TSEP, in partnership with the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, will present a webinar on TechCred at noon Jan. 21, 2021. Program presenters are Lu Cooke, NW Ohio Liaison for Lt. Gov. John Husted, and Tori Atkinson, Workforce and Apprentice Program Manager at Northwest State Community College. To register for the webinar, click here or visit tinyurl.com/techcredwebinar.

TechCred, through the Ohio Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, helps businesses upskill their current and incoming workforce with tech-focused credentials. Businesses can receive up to $2,000 for each tech-focused credential earned, up to $30,000 per employer each application period. The current round closes Jan. 29 and the next round is expected to open in March.

In addition, TSEP is announcing a webinar update on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s new programs in Congress’ COVID-19 Relief Package, including the renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program, will take place at 10 a.m. Jan. 29, 2021.  To register for the webinar, click here or visit tinyurl.com/sbaupdatewebinar.

The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act was signed into law Dec. 27, 2020, and included the opening of a third round of PPP loans as well as other assistance programs. SBA representatives Deborah Callen and Timothy Ensch are to provide an overview to these new programs and answer attendees questions during the webinar.

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.org.

Downtown Tiffin earns national accreditation with Heritage Ohio for fifth year

Tiffin recognized as a National Main Street Community

TIFFIN, OHIO – Jan. 12, 2021 – For the fifth year, 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 historic 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 2016-2020.

Downtown Tiffin’s revitalization efforts continue to be validated and recognized throughout the state. Since becoming a Main Street Community in 2015, 55 new businesses have located in Downtown Tiffin and nearly $33 million in investment has occurred in the downtown.

In October, Downtown Tiffin was presented with two statewide awards by Heritage Ohio, Best Downtown Placemaking for the Frost-Kalnow Amphitheater at the East Green and National Corner and Historic Farmstead of the Year for Winterberry Farm. Since 2017, Downtown Tiffin has received six additional awards and one honorable mention from Heritage Ohio.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was glad to see Downtown Tiffin recognized. “I’m honored that Downtown Tiffin has received its accreditation for the fifth year. Especially during this difficult year, I’m proud of our business and building owners and the hard work of Amy Reinhart, Director of Downtown Revitalization for Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership,  and members of the downtown development committees.”

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. For more information, click here.

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

SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance

Just received this out of DC…

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13.  The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.

This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

“The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”

“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”

Key PPP updates include:

  • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
  • The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
  • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. 

A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:

  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

The new guidance released includes:

For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares

City, county grant programs aid 186 businesses, organizations

Tiffin, Seneca CARES programs distributed $1.2 million

TIFFIN, OHIO – Jan. 7, 2021 – On behalf of the City of Tiffin, Seneca County, and several townships and villages, the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that $1.2 million in CARES act funding was distributed to 186 businesses by the end of 2020. TSEP thanked the City of Tiffin; Seneca County; the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs; and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant and townships for their contributions to the Tiffin CARES and Seneca CARES small business relief grant programs. 

The programs made up to $10,000 in grant funding available to for- and non-profit businesses in Tiffin and rural Seneca County and had the goal of providing financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tiffin CARES program opened Sept. 30 and the Seneca County CARES program, open to all businesses in Seneca County including the cities of Fostoria and Tiffin, opened Oct. 28.

In total, the City of Tiffin contributed $574,000, and Seneca County contributed $390,000, with an additional $205,000 provided by Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant townships and the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs. Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership administered the programs on behalf of the City of Tiffin and Seneca County Board of Commissioners. The Fostoria Economic Development Corporation also had an additional program for Fostoria businesses funded by Seneca County.

TSEP reports that of the businesses that received funding, 81 businesses are in Tiffin and 105 are in rural Seneca County. Participating businesses reported an average of 45 percent decline in revenue when comparing a three-month or longer period from 2019 to 2020. Significantly, more than 700 people are employed at these small businesses.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with the program, saying, “Although we know this doesn’t make up for all of the damage, we were glad to be able to do something to help our small businesses using the federal CARES money. I appreciate Tiffin City Council’s support for this important initiative.”

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner strongly supported the program. “I am glad we were able to help both non-profit and for-profit businesses throughout all of Seneca County during this difficult time. I appreciate the many townships and villages also contributing some of their federal funds to make a difference.” 

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.org.

Top 10 community project proposals made public

Dream Big, Tiffin process asks residents to provide their feedback through January 22

TIFFIN, OHIO – Jan. 6, 2021 – On behalf of the City of Tiffin, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) is excited to announce that the top ten community development project proposals submitted in the fall Dream Big, Tiffin initiative have been posted online will be reviewed by a committee of community development leaders at the end of this month. TSEP is asking the public to go to dreambigtiffin.com to provide their feedback through January 22.

In the fall of 2020, for the first time in the city’s history, anyone was able to submit proposals and ideas via a new online portal at TSEP’s website. When the two-month open submission period was over, ten full project proposals with details and budgets had been submitted in the areas of Quality of Life (arts, parks, recreation), Health & Human Services, and Education & Training. In addition, 34 ideas were submitted for consideration to be developed into proposals.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “I am thrilled to be entering the next phase of this initiative and to get the feedback of the community on these great project ideas. No other community in our region right now is pursuing such an innovative strategy to engaging area residents and stakeholders in community development.”

Following the public feedback period, two separate committees or “panels” in each area will evaluate and classify each of the project proposals as “priority,” “recommended,” or “reviewed” based on a number of factors and criteria, including impact, feasibility, maturity, sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and public support.

The panels’ recommendations for prioritization will then be taken to a larger Tiffin Community Development Committee, which will finalize the classifications and the overall project list and then share those recommendations with local and state elected officials, as well as foundations and other sources of grant funding. TSEP will provide support by assisting high priority projects in obtaining funding as well as further developing project ideas into project proposals.

State Senator Bill Reineke strongly supports the Dream Big, Tiffin process, saying, “I appreciate that the community is working collaboratively to identify, develop, and prioritize the most important projects. This work is very helpful to me as I work hard to bring more state resources back to the district.”

Whereas economic development focuses primarily on for-profit, private investment and job creation, community development focuses mostly on public facilities, services, and programs to improve the community’s quality of life, health and wellness and educational resources.

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, formerly SIEDC, has been involved with community development inside the city of Tiffin since 1990, originally with housing programs and over the last couple of years as the administrator of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and manager of the downtown Main Street program. The “Dream Big Tiffin” program seeks to increase community engagement, identify and develop more and better project proposals, secure more funding, and thereby improve the quality of life in Tiffin.

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.org.

Ballreich’s Snack Food Company to invest in new machinery and equipment

JobsOhio Inclusion Grant to assist equipment purchase, future growth

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 6, 2021 – Today, Ballreich Snack Food Company has announced it will purchase new machinery with assistance from a $25,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant that will allow it to continue to expand the 100-year-old business. Ballreich’s employs 75 people in Tiffin, at its plant at 186 Ohio Avenue.

The grant is being used to support Ballreich’s investment of $175,000 over the next year, which includes $100,000 in machinery and equipment costs and $75,000 in building costs. Ballreich’s worked with Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and Regional Growth Partnership in Toledo to secure the grant.

Ballreich’s started in 1920 by Fred and Ethel Ballreich, who famously came up with the term “marcelled” for

the name of the waves in the chips based on the popular hairstyle of the time. Fred’s brother, Carl, and his

wife Emma joined the company after working at the Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan. In April 2019, a group of local business people purchased the company. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Ballreich’s announced three new flavors in July — Honey Butter, Sweet Thai Chili, and Smoked Cheddar.

The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant became available in early July and provides financial support for eligible projects in designated distressed communities and/or for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state.

“Thank you to JobsOhio and Regional Growth Partnership for helping us secure this grant which will go a long way to helping us continue to expand our business,” said Tom Miller, President of Ballreich’s Snack Food Company.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “I’m excited to see that Ballriech’s is continuing to invest in its company and grow. I’m proud that Ballreich’s is going into its second century making great snacks here in Tiffin, Ohio.”

For more about Ballreich Snack Food Company, visit www.ballreich.com, call (800) 323-CHIP or find Ballreich’s on Twitter @Ballreich_Chips and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BallreichsPotatoChips/.

About Ballreich’s Potato Chips

Ballreich’s Potato Chips is a snack foods company that was started in 1920 by Fred and Ethel Ballreich. Today, its products include the classic “marcelled” chips in a variety of flavors, pretzels, popcorn, tortilla chips and potato sticks which are distributed to customers throughout Ohio, lower Michigan and eastern Indiana. For more information, visit www.ballreich.com.

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.org.

Centricity Automation moving production to Tiffin

Company started in 1992 in Ohio

TIFFIN, OHIO –– January 4, 2020 –– Centricity Automation LLC, a leading manufacturer of general automation products, has announced that it is now under new ownership and will be moving its operations to Tiffin, Ohio, at the Northstar Industrial Park. The company was founded as Centricity Corporation in 1992 in Girard, Ohio. The company’s address is 25 Heritage Drive.

Centricity features six patented product lines for the aerospace, automotive and advanced manufacturing industries throughout North America. Centricity will employ two people in Tiffin at the start, and expects to increase employment and invest in the business in the coming years.

Colin Arnold will be leading the new company as President. He comes to Centricity with 10 years of experience in the automation business.

“There is a lot of opportunity in bringing this company to Tiffin, and we are excited to see Centricity grow for many years to come,” Arnold said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “I am excited to welcome Centricity to Tiffin and hope for their continued success. Even in the midst of this global pandemic, I’m proud that Tiffin continues to be a place where companies want to locate and grow their business.”

For more information on Centricity and its family of products, call (419) 307-5389 or visit www.centricity.net.

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.org.

Ballreich’s names Tom Miller as new President

Miller has 30 years of experience in manufacturing

Press Release via Ballreich Snack Food Company

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 17, 2020Ballreich Snack Food Company, LLC, has announced today that Tom Miller has been named President of Ballreich Snack Food Company, effective in December 2020. Miller has served as General Manager/Vice President of Operations for the organization since earlier in 2020 and his role will now be expanded to that of President.

Tom has more than 30 years of experience in the manufacturing arena and previously worked in the glass and plastics industries supplying food manufacturers. His strong operational expertise and business acumen are key to continuing Ballreich’s resurgence in the snack industry.

“Ever since Tom has joined our team, he has done an excellent job of engaging our team members and providing them the tools and knowledge necessary for our continued growth. His leadership skills and respect for our team and the 100-year-old Ballreich brand has been impressive and we are proud to have him lead our organization” said Steve Dandurand, current Ballreich Snack Food Company President.

Miller replaces Dandurand, who will be joining the Board of Directors and will serve as the financial liaison between the investor group and management. Dandurand has served as President and will continue to lead a group of local investors who came together to purchase the company in April 2019.

“I could not be more proud to be serving as the next President of Ballreich’s and keep the 100-year-old tradition of making this great product right here in Tiffin, Ohio. Thanks to Steve and the entire Board of Directors for putting their faith in me as we continue to position the company for growth and success for years to come,” Miller said.

In other Board changes, Don Mennel will be turning over the Chairman role to Hal Hawk effective January 2021. Mennel has chaired the Board since April 2019 and was instrumental in getting the new company organized. Duane Jebbett also is completing his term on the Board and will be replaced by Steve Schult, retired tax partner of Gilmore, Jaison, Mahler, LTD.

About Ballreich’s Potato Chips

Ballreich’s Potato Chips is a snack foods company that was started in 1920 by Fred and Ethel Ballreich. Today, its products include the classic “marcelled” chips in a variety of flavors, pretzels, popcorn, tortilla chips and potato sticks which are distributed to customers throughout Ohio, lower Michigan and eastern Indiana. For more information, visit www.ballreich.com.

OCECO approved for $50,000 JobsOhio grant

Inclusion grant funding to go toward machinery purchase, adding 8 jobs

TIFFIN, OHIO – December 10, 2020OCECO, located in the Airport Industrial Park, is announcing today that it has received a $50,000 Inclusion Grant through JobsOhio which is to be used to purchase a CNC machine to to modernize their business and improve safety. OCECO has nine employees and will be adding 8 new jobs with this investment.

The CNC machine, estimated to cost $117,000, is part of OCECO’s investment of $237,805 into the business over the next four years in new machinery and equipment. In 2017, CEO Keith Ricker and CFO Mike Ruhe purchased the business with plans to expand its operations.

Founded in 1921, OCECO is a fabricator of high quality safety equipment for flammable liquid storage and wastewater gas disposal systems. They supply airports and energy companies like Marathon and Exxon Mobile and also do a large amount of business with municipalities, food production, and factory farms. Key products include fittings, flame arrestors and gas purification systems. They operate out of a 38,000 square foot facility in the Airport Industrial Park.

The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant became available in early July and provides financial support for eligible projects in designated distressed communities and/or for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state. Eligible companies may apply for up to $50,000 in grant funding through the program.

Keith Ricker said, “Thank you to JobsOhio for providing us this grant which has allowed us to better serve our current customers, as well as grow and gain additional business.”

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “It is great to see a business in Seneca County able to take advantage of this program and bring these valuable grant dollars back to our community. Congratulations on OCECO’s continued success.”

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.org.

OmniTRAX Pledges 120,000 Meals to Northwest Ohio Communities

 Northern Ohio and Western Railway Employees Volunteer to Support Foodbank’s Growing Needs

Press Release via OmniTRAX

Pictured from left, Tommie Harner, West Ohio Food Bank, CEO; Nick Dutro, Tifffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, Development Manager; Ean Johnson, OmniTRAX Vice President of Economic Development; Gord Anutooshkin, OmniTRAX Chief Operating Officer; Catherine Gase, Fish of Tiffin; Kelli Dunn, OmniTRAX Vice President of Operations; and Nate Mazo, OmniTRAX General Manager

TIFFIN, OHIO — December 7, 2020 — OmniTRAX, Inc. and its affiliate Northern Ohio and Western Railway (NOW) are funding 120,000 meals to help West Ohio Food Bank serve Northwest Ohio while pledging volunteer employee support to help feed the hungry. OmniTRAX COO Gord Anutooshkin joined local officials at the food bank’s office today to share the company’s commitment to the region. 

“As the people of Ohio continue to wrestle with the economic and public health challenges from the pandemic, food insecurity is a serious problem,” said OmniTRAX COO Gord Anutooshkin. “The communities we serve are important to us and by contributing our time and resources, we can help West Ohio Food Bank battle local hunger and serve more people in need this winter.”

A Feeding America partner, West Ohio Food Bank serves eleven western Ohio counties.

“The need throughout our communities continues to grow and we are thankful for this contribution to help us serve our neighbors and fulfill our mission,” said West Ohio Food Bank’s Jason Aldrich.

Northern Ohio & Western Railway operates trackage southeast of Toledo, extending from Woodville to Tiffin, Ohio. The communities served by NOW are within the I-75 corridor and have a significant and growing industrial base, along with a plentiful supply of developable land. NOW works closely with the economic development agencies of Seneca and Sandusky Counties to attract new industries.

“OmniTRAX’s commitment to help the food banks serving our community is inspiring and their kindness will be welcomed by many families, especially during these challenging times,” said Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner. “Our community food banks do important work to help those in need, and we are heartened to see this display of generosity.”

About OmniTRAX, Inc.

As one of North America’s fastest growing railroad and transportation management companies, OmniTRAX’s core capabilities range from providing transportation and supply chain management services to railroad and port companies, to providing intermodal and industrial switching operations to railroads, ports and a diverse group of industrial companies. Through its affiliation with The Broe Group and its portfolio of managed companies, OmniTRAX also has the unique capability of offering specialized industrial development and real estate solutions, both on and off the rail network managed by OmniTRAX. More information is available at omnitrax.com.

About The Broe Group Based in Denver, The Broe Group and its affiliates form a privately-owned, multi-billion-dollar real estate, transportation, energy and investment organization with assets owned and managed across North America. Together, Broe managed companies employ more than 1,000 people and support employment of thousands of others through operations such as its Great Western Industrial Park in Northern Colorado. Its transportation affiliate, OmniTRAX, Inc., is one of North America’s fastest growing railroad and transportation management companies specializing in: management services, railroad and port services, intermodal solutions and industrial switching operations. Its energy affiliates include Great Western Petroleum, LLC, the largest private operator in the third most prolific U.S. basin. Broe Real Estate Group acquires, develops and manages office and industrial properties, medical office buildings and multi-family communities across the country, including premier assets in many of the most desirable markets. The Broe Group also has multiple investment affiliates, including Three Leaf Ventures, which is focused on innovative healthcare technology start-ups. For more information, visit broe.com.