Downtown Tiffin Christmas Walk set for Dec. 5

Visit Downtown Tiffin for holiday events throughout November and December

TIFFIN, OHIO – November 17, 2020 – A holiday tradition returns with the Downtown Tiffin Christmas Walk, set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the season in beautiful Downtown Tiffin, strolling from business to business gathering holiday themed treats.

To maintain social distancing, walkers may start anytime and at any stop you wish — there is no registration on the day of. Most businesses will have tables set up outside their stores the day of the walk. Tickets are limited to 200 and cost $25 and are available at Simply Susan’s, cash or check only, please. At that time, walkers will receive a map and a bag. This year, ticket prices will used to support participating businesses. The event is sponsored by Croghan Colonial Bank.

Walkers are asked to wear masks when in doors and to maintain social distancing. For more information about the event, find Downtown Tiffin Christmas Walk on Facebook.

In the case of a business shutdown, the event will be postponed for a later date.

In addition to the walk, other holiday items are going on throughout November and December:

  • Mix, Mingle and Jingle, Nov. Third Thursday – Nov. 19 in Downtown Tiffin. Holiday open houses.
  • Holiday Window Contest – Nov 28-Dec 12 in Downtown Tiffin. Winner announced at the Holiday Movie Dec 13. Tiffin Community Foundation is asking everyone in Seneca County to “Be A Light,” and to shine lights during the holiday season. For those who do not have Christmas lights or can’t afford additional electric costs, the Foundation has purchased more than 1,000 battery-operated window candles for anyone who wants to “Be A Light.” Candles are available at Tiffin Community Foundation, 31 S. Washington St. Downtown businesses will be participating by decorating their windows in bright lights and color. Visitors are asked to choose their favorite window between Small Business Saturday thought Dec. 12, and place their votes at the red ballot box at the Seneca County Justice Center.
  • Tree Lighting — 5:15 p.m. Dec. 4. This event has gone virtual to allow for social distancing. For more details when they are announced, follow Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services and Destination Seneca County on Facebook.
  • Free Holiday Movie – 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec 13 at The Ritz Theatre. See a special free screening of “Home Alone” at The Ritz Theatre. Tickets are free, but are limited to maintain social distancing. For more information and to get tickets, find Free Holiday Movie – “Home Alone” on Facebook.

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.

Slate Real Estate moving to Downtown Tiffin

Company purchased, renovated 300 S. Washington St.

TIFFIN, OHIO – Nov. 11, 2020Slate Real Estate LLC has announced that it is moving to Downtown Tiffin at 300 S. Washington St., Tiffin, and after extensive interior and exterior renovations, hope to be open in December.

Slate Real Estate LLC was founded in January 2016 by mother and daughter-in-law partners and owners Marcia and Britny Focht. Slate provides commercial, land and residential realty services in Seneca, Hancock, Wyandot, Sandusky, Crawford, Erie and Huron counties and specializes in providing home staging services. In addition to Marcia and Britny, Slate’s Realtors include Mike Martin, Sara Wingart and Paula Granata.

“Our business has succeeded thanks to community support, and we are so grateful,” said co-owner Britny Focht. “We were drawn to the downtown location because of the traffic exposure the building had as well as wanting to be a contributing part of the revitalization of the downtown area. We are fortunate that we’ve been able to give this building the attention it deserves and re-open it as something new.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “I am excited to see that Slate Real Estate is growing and has decided to purchase and renovate a building in Downtown Tiffin. Congratulations to Marcia and Britny on making it to nearly 5 years and continuing to invest in Tiffin.”

For more information, visit www.slaterealestate.net or find Slate Real Estate, LLC on Facebook. Slate Real Estate is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

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.

Handshoe Cakes and Cookies announces new storefront location

Company invested $25,000, added 2 employees

REPUBLIC, OHIO – November 10, 2020 – Having been in business more than 20 years, Lisa Handshoe, owner of Handshoe Cakes and Cookies in Republic, has announced that she has opened the doors of her new and improved storefront location, 6085 E. SR 18.

Handshoe Cakes and Cookies specializes in cakes and cookies, including gluten-free and sugar-free options. The new space, which opened Oct. 5, was a $25,000 investment and provides additional space which has allowed the company to hire two employees, to provide coffee and hot chocolate and to sell additional items from other local entrepreneurs.

Since opening in 1999, the business has grown from baking 2-3 cakes a week to more than 18 cakes a day during graduation season and 500 dozen cut out cookies during the holiday season. Lisa continues to make time to set up at Tiffin Y-Wives, Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Seneca East local schools; donate to community events and has sent 29,000 cookies to men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces through the Project Cookies from Home initiative she started 3 years ago.

“I’m excited to be able to announce our expansion and to have people see what we have to offer here,” said owner Lisa Handshoe. “Thank you to everyone who has been part of our story and helped us grow over the years.”

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “I’m happy to congratulate Lisa Handshoe and Handshoe Cakes and Cookies on their announcement and growth in Republic. I hope for their continued success for years to come.”

To celebrate the new space, a ribbon-cutting ceremony has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12.

For more information, find Handshoe Cakes and Cookies on Facebook or visit the store, 6085 E. SR 18, 12-5 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.

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.

Terra hosting free workshop on business referrals

Information via Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College

The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College is sponsoring a free interactive virtual workshop to show businesses how to generate consistent high quality business referrals.

The next workshop in the series is 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020.

The Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Program is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC Program is also funded in part by the Ohio Development Services Agency. This program is being facilitated by BNI Northwest Ohio. All services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

View the registration form here. For more information or to register, contact the Kern Center at kern@terra.edu or (419) 559-2464.

TH Plastics to locate in Tiffin Spec Building

Building expansion to be completed by summer 2021

TIFFIN, OHIO – Nov. 9, 2020 – Today, TH Plastics, Inc., a custom plastic injection molding company that supplies to the appliance and automotive industries, has announced plans to locate a production plant at the Tiffin Spec Building, 680 Tyber Road, located in the Eagle Rock Business Park.

The facility will be expanded to 112,000 sq ft of manufacturing and warehouse space to support the appliance industry in Ohio. TH Plastics has two other facilities in the area, one in Findlay (2010) and one in Bowling Green (2013) that manufacture and assemble products for a variety of customers in the Midwest. Construction is scheduled to be completed in summer 2021 and production will begin shortly after. TH Plastics was founded in 1974 by Ted Haas in Mendon, Michigan, which is the site of the company’s headquarters and first manufacturing plant. 

Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, the Regional Growth Partnership and JobsOhio worked closely with TH Plastics to secure the project, which will receive Roadwork Development (629) assistance from Development Services Agency and Ohio Department of Transportation Jobs & Commerce funds. Local incentives include the City of Tiffin’s New Jobs Program, property tax exemption through a pre-exiting Community Reinvestment Area and OhioMeansJobs-Seneca County is offering up to $330,000 in potential workforce development grants. These incentives are contingent upon approval of Tiffin City Council.

The spec building was constructed in 2018 by Clouse Construction in coordination with Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, then Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., on an 11.3-acre site that had been owned by the City of Tiffin. Previous speculative industrial building initiatives by SIEDC include the building that now houses MBDS, 981 Tyber Road, built in 2006, and the Quick Tab II facility, 241 Heritage Drive, built in 1994.

“I am excited to be able to welcome TH Plastics to Tiffin and Seneca County,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz. “Even in the face of this pandemic, Tiffin continues to be a city that companies are coming to and growing in, and I could not be more proud to represent this resilient community.”

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.

Local company partners with county and state government for apprenticeship program

The program will lead to benefits for employer and employees

Press Release via OhioMeans Jobs Seneca County

Tiffin, OH – Nov. 9, 2020 – OhioMeansJobs Seneca County officials announced today a partnership with Custom Glass Solutions, in Upper Sandusky and Fostoria, that is to lead to an apprenticeship program that will benefit the employer and its employees.

An application from CGS was approved for a $375,000 Incumbent Worker Training Program to occur from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2021. The program was funded by OMJ Seneca County, OMJ Wyandot County and the Greater Ohio Workforce Board.

Carol Kern, the business services consultant for OMJ Seneca County, said the program is a way to “train the internal trainers” to fully train each worker as the company works toward its goal of having every occupation become a State Registered Apprenticeship in the next three years.

“Our 500-plus employees are our greatest asset and the engine that drives our business,” says Deana Piekos, Director of Human Resources at CGS. “Our partnership with OhioMeansJobs provides resources and an infrastructure to help us continue developing a world-class workforce. By raising the level of capability of our people, we give ourselves a competitive advantage as we pursue aggressive growth initiatives.”

CGS has worked with Proactive Technologies to analyze each targeted job using CGS’s subject-matter experts.  The “best practice” task processes data collected and processed to provide structured worker development materials and training tracking capabilities.  Each trainee is provided with a customized on-the-job training checklist binder to put them on the path to full job mastery.  Trainees will receive credentials for completed related technical instruction and for completing the structured on-the-job training to mastery, which will lead to other credentials, such as the apprenticeship certificate. 

Kern applauded CGS for working to improve its workforce, adding that the apprenticeship program would be beneficial to the employees, the employer and the community.

For the company, it leads to more productive and efficient employees, which means the company can take on more work. For the workers, it gives them a broader range of capabilities for their job and also can lead to wage increases, which are tied directly to learning new skills and applying them to the tasks they are expected to perform.

“It provides incentives to the employee to improve and increase their pay, while the apprenticeship program also provides them a portable credential that they can take anywhere in the US,” Kern said.

John Trott, the executive director of the Greater Ohio Workforce Board, said the board is excited to partner with OMJ Seneca County on this “incredible” program.

“OhioMeansJobs Seneca County along with Seneca County DJFS and its commissioners represent the pinnacle of local innovation and workforce services that the Greater Ohio Workforce Board, Inc. asks of its member counties,” he said. “By focusing on vital growing businesses like Custom Glass Solutions and promoting high-level skilled workers, Seneca County leads the way in local economic growth.”

Kern said the state has emphasized apprenticeship programs as a way to increase the number of well-trained, highly-skilled employees.

“This project at CGS will lead to almost 500 employees becoming registered apprentices,” she said, adding that the model could be replicated.

Kern said since Nov. 8-14 is National Apprenticeship Week, it’s a great time to promote these programs.

Seneca County helped facilitate with Morgan Advanced Materials to have the first GOWB-sponsored program in Ohio.

“Right now, I’m working with Morgan, Mennel Milling and Grammer who have a combined total of 17 apprentices,” Kern said, while also noting that Webster Industries has a state-registered apprenticeship program.

About Custom Glass Solutions

Custom Glass solutions is North America’s leading producer of large format, laminated glass systems. CGS has been operating since 1974 in Upper Sandusky and expanded operations in Fostoria in 2019. The company employs about 350 people in Upper Sandusky and 120 in Fostoria. Since 2019, the company has already expanded its Fostoria plant by 27,000 square feet.

JAM’s Monthly Markets coming to Downtown Tiffin

Monthly event brings vendors, artists

TIFFIN, OHIO – Nov. 5, 2020 – After the success of the vintage markets in Tiffin in 2019 and 2020, Jami Fadley, owner/designer at JAM’S Creations, is opening a new business to bring together small businesses, boutique vendors, artists and crafters for a unique shopping experience. JAM’s Monthly Markets, 147 Madison St., Suite B, will take place every third Thursday weekend, Thursday through Sunday, along with three large vendor events throughout the year — JAM’s Holiday Open House, JAM’s Spring Market and The Heritage Vintage Market (taking place during the Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival).

JAM’s Monthly Markets begin Jan. 21-24 and each market will have a special theme. As well as consignment vendor booths, the markets will have designated areas for non-profits to set up each month.

JAM’s Holiday Open House will serve as a kick-off event from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 5 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 6. There are more than 60 vendors registered for the event, which also includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 5. The event will be in complement to the Downtown Tiffin Christmas Walk on Dec. 5.

“I wanted to create something that brought together creative people and gave them an opportunity to sell directly to customers in a fun, open environment,” Jami said. “I think this is a perfect fit for Downtown Tiffin.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “Congratulations to Jami Fadley on her new business and bringing this unique idea to Downtown Tiffin.”

For more information, find JAM’s Holiday Open House, JAM’s Monthly Markets, or JAM’s Creations on Facebook. JAM’s Creations is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

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.

Webinar to provide information on exports

Information provided by Ohio Development Services Agency

Ohio Development Services Agency and The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association are hosting a free webinar at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, about services and funds available to increase exports.

95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. Exporting is a great way to diversify your customer portfolio, limit dependency on one market, and create new sales opportunities. This webinar will help you assess your company’s readiness to enter your first market, expand into additional markets, or take on more challenging, high-growth export markets.

In this webinar, attendees will learn about the multiple programs available to help and guide Ohio companies through the export process and recognize their global potential.

Topics covered in this seminar:

  • Export advising through no-cost, confidential counseling
  • Grants to help grow your exports
  • Trained college interns
  • Market research
  • Business-to-business matchmaking

For more information or to register, click here.

Employers asked to complete credential survey

Help determine which industry-recognized credentials are on Ohio’s list

Information provided by Ohio Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation

The Ohio Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation request employers assistance in the industry-recognized credential review process for Ohio’s high school credential list. A survey has been developed to gather feedback that will be used in determining which credentials are valuable in their respective industries. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Students benefit from learning job-specific skills that can be used to verify skill mastery and educational attainment. Industry-recognized credentials are also valuable to employers, allowing them to validate the knowledge and skills of potential employees and saving valuable time in assessing the competency of job applicants.

The process to review industry-recognized credentials requires business and industry representatives who 1) possess knowledge of the career field and 2) have some understanding of human resource and hiring needs. Reviewers are not required to have prior knowledge of the review process or experience with the list of industry-recognized credentials.

For information regarding the survey or review process, please contact the credential team at IndustryCredentials@education.ohio.gov.

The survey will remain open through November 6, 2020.

State announces $125 million program to help small businesses

Information via Ohio Development Services Agency

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced Oct. 23 a $125 million grant program to help small businesses that have been harmed by the effects of COVID-19.

The grants will provide $10,000 to small businesses in Ohio with no more than 25 employees. The program will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

Eligible businesses that are approved to receive grants can use the money for a variety of expenses, including mortgage or rent payments; utility payments; salaries, wages, or compensation for employees and contractors; business supplies or equipment; and other costs.

To ensure the grants are spread throughout the state, $500,000 will be set aside for businesses in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. As businesses in each county are approved for funding, the $10,000 grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. When a county’s allocation is depleted, businesses in that county will be eligible to receive grants from the remaining funds in the overall grant program. If businesses in a county do not deplete the county’s allocation within 21 days after the application period opens, the remaining funds will become available to businesses statewide.

“Small businesses and their employees are an important part of the fabric of life in Ohio, and these funds will help sustain them now so they are with us for years to come,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Development Services Agency.

The application opens November 2 at businesshelp.ohio.gov. Funding for the program is contingent on approval by the Ohio Controlling Board.

Additionally, the state of Ohio has created a $37.5 million fund to help bars and restaurants that have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will provide $2,500 grants to eligible liquor permit holders in Ohio.

The application for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund will be available at businesshelp.ohio.gov starting Nov. 2. Businesses applying for funding will be required to establish a registration ID with the state of Ohio. To create a new OH|ID, which provides users with secure access to State of Ohio services and programs, click here.

Permit holders may apply for the liquor assistance funding as well as the Small Business Relief Grant. Funding for the program is contingent on approval by the Ohio Controlling Board.