Resources

Hopewell Township Community Reinvestment Area #3

Hopewell Township’s Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) #3, may have a misleading name, as there is only one CRA in Hopewell Township. This CRA was established prior to the 1994 change in state law; such a CRA is often referred to as a “pre-1994” CRA. Please refer to the
main article on CRAs for general information. This article provides information on the benefits and process for obtaining a CRA tax exemption in Hopewell Township’s CRA #3.

Benefits – Fixed

In a pre-1994 CRA, the benefit levels are fixed and not subject to negotiation or approval by any legislative body. They are as follows:

  • Renovation of residential property (two units or less) – 10 years, 100 percent
  • Renovation of residential (more than two units), commercial or industrial property – 12 years, 100 percent
  • New construction of residential, commercial, or industrial property – 15 years, 100 percent

Process

  • Step 1 – Contact Nick Dutro at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328 Nick can verify the project is in the CRA and help determine if there are any other resources that can help the project.
  • Step 2 – Draft and send a quick “letter of intent.” Once Step 1 has been completed, an email and/or letter should be sent to Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins at jadkins@seneca-county.com. It needs to identify the parcels involved, amount of investment, business doing the investment, and timing.
  • Step 3 – Complete the project.
  • Step 4 – Fill out and submit application to
    Seneca County Auditor Julie Adkins at jadkins@seneca-county.com. She will then review the application for eligibility and completeness, and then verify the project has been completed. If the project is eligible and the application is complete, she will issue a letter notifying the applicant that the project (property improvements) will be exempted.

Program Contact

For additional information or questions, please contact Nick Dutro, Downtown Main Street Manager at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Area #5

Diverse Development received a 50 percent, five-year CRA tax exemption.

Tiffin Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) #5 is located in the West Market Street area in Tiffin. It is a CRA established after the major overhaul of state law in 1994. Such a CRA is often referred to as a “post-1994” CRA. Please refer to the main article on CRAs for general information. This article provides information on the benefits and process for obtaining a CRA tax exemption in Tiffin CRA #5. You can find the legislation and map here – legislation, map.

Benefits are Negotiated

In a post-1994 CRA, the benefit levels are negotiated and subject to approval by the Tiffin City Council. The maximums allowable by the city statute are as follows:

  • Renovation of residential property (two units or less) – maximum of 10 years, 100 percent
  • Renovation of residential (more than two units), commercial or industrial property – maximum of 12 years, 100 percent
  • New construction of residential, commercial, or industrial property – maximum of 15 years, 100 percent

There are currently three Tiffin CRA #5 agreements and all three were for new construction (two commercial, one residential). They were 50 percent agreements for five years and each had compelling circumstances (e.g., an existing structure with asbestos had to be remediated, demolished, and removed prior to new construction.)

Process

  • Step 1 – Prior to starting the project, contact Nick Dutro at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328 Nick will discuss and assess the overall project, gather information, and prepare a Project Summary for the company’s review.
  • Step 2 – Based on the approved Project Summary, he work to prepare an offer (of incentives and assistance) letter. If the project is eligible for CRA and deemed appropriate, Nick will then work with the local negotiation team to confidentially discuss the project and determine the percentage and term. He will also determine any needed additional steps before an offer (of incentives) letter can be prepared.
  • Step 3 – The offer letter is prepared and submitted to the company.
  • Step 4 – If the company accepts, an action plan is developed and submitted to the company to (1) obtain official approval for the exemption as well as (2) communicate publicly (official approval meetings are public meetings, and local media is always present).
  • Step 5 – Once the company approves, the action plan is set into motion. Once the prospective project is made public, the County Auditor and City Engineer will be notified.
  • Step 6 – Any additional paperwork needed to finalize the exemption will be completed (e.g., execution of legal agreement with the City of Tiffin).

Program Contact

For additional information or questions, please contact Nick Dutro, Downtown Main Street Manager at TSEP, dutro@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.767.0328

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.

Oliver named state director of the year

Press release provided by the office of the Seneca County Commissioners

KathyOliver.jpgSeneca County Department of Job and Family Services Director Kathy Oliver was named Ohio’s DJFS Director of the Year Friday by the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association.

Oliver, who has been the county’s director since June 2003, was given the award Friday at the OJFSDA Annual Recognition Banquet in Columbus.

“It is an absolute honor and blessing,” Oliver said. “There are so many talented, skilled and innovative directors in Ohio. I consider myself fortunate to get to work with them on various committees, task forces and work groups.”

The award recognizes a director who, through dedicated efforts throughout their career, exemplify the professional qualities and achievements of an outstanding director. OJFSDA received nominations for director of the year through the end of October.

As part of Oliver’s nomination, other directors and staff members recognized Oliver for her hard work. The letter she received informing her that she was selected as director of the year states, “your commitment to the residents of your county, as well as your involvement in the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association, is greatly appreciated. Your peers described you as open, kind, hard-working and a steadfast advocate for the well-being of your customers. It is fitting and with great honor that we recognize you for all your dedication to your agency, community and the entire job and family service system.”

Oliver credited DJFS staff for allowing the department to succeed.

“We are successful because of our staff’s commitment to helping individuals and families with the services we provide,” she said. “We have skilled, talented and trained staff. We are fortunate that we have an excellent workforce who constantly adapts to new rules and regulations to provide the best service possible. We also work with amazing community partners that are interested in finding solutions and implementing best practices.”

Ginger Mack, of Seneca County DJFS, said she was happy Oliver received the recognition.
“Kathy is a respected leader in our agency, community and the state,” she said. “I don’t know anyone who is more deserving of this award.”

Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas said Oliver deserves the award.

“Seneca County is proud to have Kathy Oliver leading our JFS agency,” he said. “Her guidance has led to best practices being implemented across our system, this is reflected in recent outstanding audits from the state of Ohio. We are thankful that she continues to serve some of our most in need populations.

Oliver said many changes and improvements have been made during her time as director.

“We started electronic imaging shortly after I became the director,” she said. “That project freed up space for offices for our staff instead of having file rooms. We also created an agency database that holds all types of documents, guidance and rules for ease of our workers to quickly find what they need to do their job.”

Oliver also said two call centers have been implemented to provide better customer service.

“There is a call center for public assistance and one for child support. Both have less than a minute wait time. We have also implemented a human resources software, which allows us to efficiently process payroll and electronically submit it to the auditor’s office,” she said.

Oliver said 2018 has been a busy year for Seneca County DJFS.

“We are implementing state-wide imaging solutions for public assistance, child care, child protection and child support,” she said. “Also, we completed the transition to the state-wide public assistance system called Ohio Benefits. We have been part of many committees locally and in the state to better serve our families in Seneca County, by creating sound policy, systems and solutions. We continue to develop leaders within our staff by participating in Seneca County Leadership with some of our staff.”
Oliver said other strides are being made in the child support program, in the workforce program and in several others.

“In the child support program, we are in the process of preparing to implement new state legislation which provided technical fixes and update to the child support guideline,” she said, adding that the changes will be implemented in March 2019. “In the Workforce program, we just completed work as part of a team with economic development, the chamber, local employers, community partners and Tiffin University for the 2018 manufacturing showcase event. Over ten schools and 750 students participated in learning about jobs in manufacturing here in Seneca County. We were also one of the first apprenticeship programs with employers in Ohio as part of Area 7. We continue to assist individuals with training and on-the-job training needs.”

Oliver also said many families have been helped with winter clothing through a partnership with local retail stores.

“We have also been able to help families with training, car repairs, gas vouchers, heating and other services to help families who are eligible,” she said.

Heidelberg Announces USDA Rural Development Loan

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Heidelberg University LogoTIFFIN – Heidelberg University is proud to announce the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a $36.5 million low-interest Rural Development loan to support a variety of campus initiatives directed at improving the student experience. The loan is designed to refinance existing debt to better position Heidelberg for long-term economic expansion and improve student housing, student learning facilities and student recruitment operations. Construction will begin soon on the restoration and renovation of historic France Residence Hall to integrate a living and learning community for approximately 70 female students and faculty. Several classroom spaces will also be improved to support new and existing academic programs.

President Rob Huntington states the USDA award is critical for success, “This loan assists our effort to make Heidelberg more financially stable, address student learning needs and greatly enhance student living and engaging spaces.” He adds, “Nearly $20 million dollars will be invested to drive our Academic Strategic Plan, support a living and learning community and create a unique greeting for the Office of Admission that will set the tone for an exceptional and persuasive visit experience for prospective students and their families. We are tremendously grateful to all elected officials in the city of Tiffin and Seneca County who continue to help us process this USDA loan. The loan helps us to restructure our debt and to renovate living and learning spaces on campus to better position Heidelberg in the very competitive higher education marketplace.”

The addition and upgrades to over 300 residential units is a major element in Heidelberg’s Residential Living Plan Vision. Chris Abrams, Dean of Student Affairs, states, “New student townhouse apartments will offer housing options and lifestyle flexibility for upper-class students. The improvements to France Hall and Miller Hall will provide students with modern amenities to help integrate living and learning opportunities.”

The Student & Community Welcome Center will create a “front door” at the East Market Street entrance to the campus. This 10,000-square-foot, two-story facility will house the Office of Admission and become home for the new Town Gown Bookstore. As part of Heidelberg’s Strategic Action Plan, which focuses on transformation, improvement and growth, the University aspires to not only maintain the current undergraduate population but to grow beyond it. The new bookstore will be open and inviting to the entire Tiffin community. Simultaneously, Heidelberg will move the Owen Academic and Career Support Center to the location of the current bookstore to create a larger and more accessible space to support student success.

Kathy Geier, Heidelberg University’s Board Chair agrees, “As Heidelberg University continues to grow, this loan positions us to provide quality facilities and programs for students and faculty. Refinancing, with a better interest rate on our debt, will result in savings. President Huntington and his team did an outstanding job over the course of the last 18 months to secure this loan and Heidelberg’s future.”

ODSA offers global trade missions to grow businesses through export

ohio export assistance

The Ohio Development Services Agency has released a list of three global trade missions scheduled for early 2019 as part of their Export Assistance programming, in partnership with Small Business Development Centers.

From the ODSA:

Ohio companies exported more than $50 billion in products and services in 2017. The Ohio Development Services Agency wants to help you open foreign markets for your business.  The agency is partnering with regional Small Business Development Centers to offer three trade missions in March and April 2019. Register now to make sure you don’t miss out on these unique opportunities.

Upcoming Trade Missions:
Thailand-Vietnam Trade Mission
March 22-30
Registration Deadline: January 11, 2019
Mission Participation Fee: $1,000

Target markets include, but are not limited to, industrial or electrical machinery and equipment, automotive parts and accessories, iron and steel products, optic and medical equipment, plastics products, chemicals and hardwood lumber.

Brazil-Colombia Trade Mission
March 23-30
Registration Deadline: January 22, 2019
Mission Participation Fee: $1,500

Target markets include, but are not limited to, construction equipment for public roads and airports, transportation services and mass transit systems.

Germany Trade Mission
April 1-10
Registration Deadline: December 7, 2018
Mission Participation Fee: $1,500

Target markets include, but are not limited to, technology/med-tech, energy systems, innovative supply solutions, consulting, metalworking and instrumentation. This mission includes participation in Hannover Messe.

Mission participation fees include resources to support your business in foreign regions:

  • In-advance market research – to prepare your business for the countries’ markets and buyers.
  • One-on-one business matchmaking – for in-person networking and business opportunities.
  • Extensive in-country assistance – including logistical and translation assistance.

For details and to register, email Thien Bui at  Thien.Bui@development.ohio.gov

Bus route plan moving to Phase II

SCAT logoToday, the Seneca Regional Planning Commission held its first meeting for the second phase of a city-wide public bus plan, in partnership with the Seneca Crawford Area Transportation, the City of Tiffin, and Seneca County. The plan would include stops throughout Tiffin, running on a continuous loop. The purpose of the Phase II study is to determine cost and route design. SCAT has contracted with RLS & Associates, a transportation management and consulting service out of Dayton, OH, to perform the Phase II study. The plan is fully funded, and will develop over the next nine months.

A Phase I feasibility study completed by Heidelberg Business Institute (HBI) in 2015 determined a need in the community and estimated the demand for a flex-route bus service in the city of Tiffin. One goal of adding a flex-route service is to spur economic development by making local businesses more accessible to people with limited transportation options.  Likely users of a flex-route bus service include college students, the elderly, and people with limited incomes.  Another goal of additional bus service would be making it easier to attract and retain employees who find it difficult to afford and maintain their own personal vehicle.

RLS & Associates, along with the Steering Committee of the group, will be reaching out to the community for input over the coming months.

About SCAT
Our mission is to serve the public of Seneca and Crawford Counties by providing a safe, reliable, affordable, and efficient public transportation system. SCAT is a door-to-door, curb-to-curb transportation organization that provides local as well as out-of-county trips to the public of Seneca and Crawford Counties. We provide transportation for all needs such as medical, social, shopping, bank service, veterinary, etc. We are a non-profit organization. Our hours are Monday through Friday 5 AM to 6 PM. We provide transportation for all needs such as medical, social, shopping, bank service, veterinary, etc.

2018 Outstanding Business Award – Zeis Companies

The 2018 Outstanding Business Award was presented to Zeis Companies for their business growth and exemplary community service.

Zeis Companies started in 1984, in the cabinet resurfacing business. The business grew into fire restoration services, and then sub-divisions and homes. Just this pass year, Zeis Companies was able to bring all of their operations under one roof in a new building N. SR 53. The building includes a showroom, a full shop for custom trim work and other pieces, as well as storage.

Zeis Companies is not just an asset to the community for the remodeling and restoration services they provide, but also for their community involvement and charitable works. Zeis was asked to assist in two Extreme Makeover: Home Edition builds, which inspired them to create the Extreme Build for Habitat for Humanity in 2011. Over the course of a day, volunteers are able to frame up and enclose an entire house. They have done four such builds since launching the program. They are also working with Habitat for Humanity to establish a ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Rich Zeis accepted the award on behalf of the company and all of its employees.

 

 

Outstanding Business Award criteria:
The business must be able to demonstrate leadership in their particular field. The business must be able to show the involvement of its owners, managers, or employees in community affairs. The business must be able to demonstrate generosity of time, talent, and money to local charities or non profit programs. The business must be able to show initiatives taken to improve the quality of life in the community. The business must be able to show activities that improve the community.

City seeks input for community development grant projects

cdbgPublic meeting to be held May 4

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 30, 2018 – The city of Tiffin will hold a public meeting Friday, May 4 at 9 a.m. at the SIEDC office for residents to discuss possible projects and submit ideas for inclusion in the Community Development Investment Strategy (CDIS) for the 2018-2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

The city intends to apply to the Ohio Development Services Agency for funding under the CDBG Small Cities Program, a federally funded program administered by the state. Tiffin is eligible for approximately $150,000 for Fiscal Years 2018-2019 CDBG funding, providing the city meets applicable program requirements.

The city invites members of the public to discuss community development ideas and possible projects to be included in the CDIS, a document that guides community development efforts for the city, in a visioning session at the SIEDC office, 19 W. Market Street, Tiffin, OH from 9:00 a.m to 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018.

Idea submission applications are available in print at the SIEDC office, the mayor’s office at 51 E. Market Street, and online at www.senecasuccess.com. Applications will also be available during the meeting.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) 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.senecasuccess.com.

SBA seeking Emerging Leaders for training program

emerging leadersThe U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking 15 applicants for its Emerging Leaders Initiative to be held in Tiffin later this year. This is the first time the program, a seven month course for entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level, is being offered in a community of this size.

The training program is provided at no cost to the participants, and the StreetWise Steps™ to Small Business Growth curriculum gives small business owners an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience through a combination of executive education, practical tips based on real-life business experience, and advice from business leaders that can be readily applied.

From the SBA:

Emerging Leaders Initiative provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small, poised-for-growth companies that are potential job creators.  This intensive executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time. It also provides opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local leaders, and the financial community.

Participants are given the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend specialized workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and the financial community. The Initiative incorporates a curriculum that is research-based and nationally scalable, enabling participating businesses to engage in focused development and expansion strategies, including options for accessing new capital and securing government contracts.

Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained over 5,000 small business owners, creating over 6,500 jobs, generating over $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3.16 billion in government contracts.

Given the success of SBA’s Emerging Leaders, the SBA has expanded the initiative to include 60 locations to help growing entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Interested candidates can apply here, or contact Tom Sangrik at (216) 522-4198 or thomas.sangrik@sba.gov.

Additional information about the program can also be found in this FAQ.