Local businesses in Seneca County drive the economy. Research shows they create most of the new jobs and make most of the new investment. They support hundreds of other local businesses and causes. In order to help these businesses grow, economic, workforce, and downtown development organizations came together with chambers of commerce to develop and execute a proactive strategy we call the INSIGHT Program.
The core INSIGHT Team is made up of the following people:
- Bill Auxter, Director, Ohio Small Business Development Center
- Karen Bowers, Director of Development, SIEDC
- John Detwiler, President & CEO, Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Beth Hannam, Coordinator of Corporate Training, Terra State Community College
- Carol Owen-Kern, Business Services Consultant, Ohio Means Jobs – Seneca County
- Amy Reinhart, Downtown Development Coordinator, SIEDC
- Renee Smith, President, Fostoria Economic Development Corporation
- David Zak, President & CEO, SIEDC
The main idea is to reach out to 1,000 businesses in Seneca County a year, explain what we’re doing, and see if we can help them take advantage of the 200+ government and nonprofit programs. We’ll also seek input on how government can better help businesses. An INSIGHT Team member or Outreach Partner (e.g., a Chamber ambassador or downtown committee member) will ask one or more of the following basic questions:
- I – Information – Would you like to receive a monthly newsletter on the incentive and assistance programs?
- N – New Business – Are you a new business?
- S – Space – Will you need more space or different space to operate in?
- I – Invest – Will you invest more money into the business?
- G – Government – How can local or state government help you more?
- H – Hire – Will you hire more people?
- T – Train – Will you train any existing or new employees?
The Information question ensures we stay connected to businesses, and the Government question provides information provides wanted input to create a more business-friendly climate. The other questions help the team connect businesses to 121 of the 200+ resources. An additional set of questions (International, Networking, Services, Infrastructure, Government Sales, Housing, Technology) can connect businesses with another 53 of them. The information gathered is kept confidential by SIEDC, a private organization, and is only used to help the businesses. If a business answers yes to one of the INSIGHT questions, someone from the Team will follow-up within a couple of weeks to determine next steps. During the year, we’ll also follow-up to ask for feedback from companies on the experience as well as the value added.
If you have any questions or concerns as a participating business or a partner, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the INSIGHT Team members above, including David (cell 419.912.1150), Karen (office 419.447.3831 ), or Amy (cell 419.419.5517) at SIEDC.
Team & Outreach Partner Resources: