Resources

Businesses, farmers, entrepreneurs invited to explore Chinese consumer opportunities at Gateway ’17

AlibabaThe Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce would like to send a delegation to this event. If you are interested in attending call the SIEDC office at 419.447.3831. From Alibaba’s press release:

Alibaba Group is hosting Gateway ’17, an inaugural conference to help U.S. businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs explore growth opportunities and reach millions of Chinese consumers. Gateway ’17 will take place at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan on June 20-21, 2017.

Gateway ’17 is expected to attract more than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. The event will include keynote speeches from leading entrepreneurs, including Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, as well as category breakout sessions, business solutions sessions and marketplace networking opportunities.

With incomes rising in China, the Chinese middle class continues to grow as does consumer demand for access to high-quality products from the United States. Alibaba helps U.S. businesses by connecting them to Chinese consumers and empowering them to grow their businesses by accessing the China opportunity.

“China is an important and viable market for a wide range of products and services. This event will open doors for Michigan businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs by helping them identify and enter into new relationships there,” said Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan. “By participating in Gateway ’17, Michigan businesses will have a unique opportunity to reach new customers in the fastest-growing economy in the world, and we encourage all companies looking to expand into exporting to attend this event.”

“A company with the reach and influence of Alibaba could have chosen any city to host its first conference and we are thrilled they picked Detroit,” said Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit. “This represents a great opportunity for Detroit’s small business owners and entrepreneurs to have access to Alibaba’s global network.”

About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.

Additional Information:

Obtaining a liquor permit

Department of Commerce SealThinking about starting a business that involves liquor sales, or adding liquor sales to an existing business? Here are some of the basics of filing for a liquor permit in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Commerce Liquor Control Division is the state agency responsible for liquor licensing.  They issue new licenses and annual renewals, as well as transfers, for the 25,000 private Ohio businesses that are alcohol manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and organizers of special events where alcohol is sold.

There are several different types of liquor permits depending on use, and a limited number of each type of liquor permit is available to each county/city based on population. A complete list and explanation of what is covered under each specific permit can be found here. You can check the availability of the permit you would like to request here, and search the database of permit holders here.

Once you have determined which permit you will need and its availability, you can fill out an application. There are two applications: new bar, restaurant or carryout (application here) and all other types of permits (application here). The Division provides a complete guide to the application process here.

Special permits available in downtown Tiffin:

In 2013, the City of Tiffin established a Community Revitalization District with the Division of Liquor Control, which created 15 liquor permits available within the downtown Tiffin district. These D-5L permits are restricted to the approved district and carry several requirements, the most notable of which is that the establishment be a retail food or food service business, serving beverages by the glass for consumption on premises, and whose food/meal receipts total at least 75% of sales. The addresses included in the district can be found here, and the requirements, as stated by the Ohio Revised Code, here.

Tiffin U., Heidelberg partner to offer tuition discount program

Tuition Discount_flyer_v2Incentive would benefit SIEDC, Chamber member organizations

<Joint press release issued by Tiffin University and Heidelberg University.>

Employees who work for organizations or companies that are members of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services or Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corp. soon will have an incentive to pursue higher education in Tiffin.

Tiffin University and Heidelberg University are partnering to offer a tuition discount of up to $200 for graduate and undergraduate coursework for students who are employees of Chamber or SIEDC members.

The employees would be required to meet the academic requirements, be accepted for admission at Heidelberg or Tiffin University, and enroll in courses, according to a joint statement by Jeremy Marinis, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at TU, and Doug Kellar, vice president for Enrollment Management at Heidelberg.

At Heidelberg, a $200 per-credit-hour discount can be applied to all undergraduate degree programs and Master of Business Administration degree courses. Tiffin University is offering a $200 per-credit-hour discount for Tiffin campus undergrad programs and a $100 per-credit-hour discount for graduate degree programs, online and off-campus bachelor’s degree programs.

The tuition discount will remain in place until students graduate, transfer or withdraw. The agreement takes effect in May.

The tuition discount partnership is another in a growing number of ways Heidelberg and Tiffin University are partnering together to elevate both institutions and the community. HU and TU come together every August for the Around the Town event to introduce new students to local businesses and organizations they will encounter during their time in Tiffin. The schools have partnered on job fairs, international events and community service projects, most recently joining efforts to collect food for the Salvation Army in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The partnership was announced during SIEDC’s annual meeting Thursday (March 23). Additional information about eligibility and other requirements is available on the Tiffin University website at www.tiffin.edu/local-benefit or the Heidelberg website at www.heidelberg.edu/community-discount.

Tiffin University President Lillian Schumacher:
“Tiffin University has always been committed to providing an affordable, professionally focused education, and is so glad to be partnering with Heidelberg and our local community. We believe this partnership and discount will help expand learning opportunities to the Tiffin community.”

Heidelberg University President Robert Huntington:
“This partnership is a win for everyone involved. We are pleased to provide greater access to high-quality education and strong professional preparation for the members of our community, and we’re happy that we can share that goal with our friends at Tiffin University.”

David Zak, President and CEO, Seneca Industrial & Economic Development Corp.:
“A well-educated workforce provides a strong foundation for economic success, which is a great boost to SIEDC’s economic development efforts. This partnership and offer of reduced tuition will be a great incentive in our ongoing efforts as we recruit new businesses to Tiffin and Seneca County and help established businesses expand.”

John Detwiler, president and CEO of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce:
“Our member organizations are appreciative of our two local higher education institutions stepping forward with this offer for their employees,” Detwiler said. “This tuition discount partnership is yet another resource available locally and a terrific way that local employers can invest in their workforce.”

NCOESC is Awarded Grant for Public Safety Services

Press release from NCOESC:ncoesc

The North Central Ohio Educational Service Center (NCOESC) was awarded a $163,000 grant from Ohio’s Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program. The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA), along with the Local Government Innovation Council, informed NCOESC that the grant application was approved.

The IT Safety Project includes computer equipment and new fiber lines to enhance the safety of our local communities. The collaborative partners include NCOESC, North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments (NCORcog), Seneca County, the City of Tiffin and the villages of Attica, Bettsville, Bloomville, Green Springs, New Riegel and Republic.

The Local Government Innovation Council provides funding in two ways: Local Government Innovation Program (LGIP), which offers loan assistance to communities for plans, and projects that create more efficient service delivery at the local level; and Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program (LGSC), which offers communities assistance to enhance public safety. Together, these programs assist communities with shared services and efficiency projects in all aspects of operations.

NCOESC and NCORcog were also successful with a $100,000 grant to conduct a feasibility study regarding Information Technology Connectivity. After the review of the study, a $500,000 no-interest loan was awarded to subsidize the implementation of the study.

According to David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program, provides opportunities to enhance public safety. Goodman stated, “Communities are working together to improve their safety service and save taxpayers money.”

NCOESC’s Superintendent/CEO, Dr. Jim Lahoski, was very pleased that this grant opportunity will provide additional revenues to the community. Lahoski stated, “The efforts made by NCORcog Director, John Davoli, along with NCOESC Information Technologists Kathy Mohr and Brian Rupp, demonstrate a wonderful spirit of cooperation between the NCOESC and many political subdivisions of Seneca County.” He further expressed appreciation to local law enforcement officials that provided vital information to complete the successful application.

Director Davoli stated, “This grant will provide collaborative opportunities to work with officials from Seneca County, the City ofTiffm, all Seneca County villages and SIEDC.” Davoli indicated that the next step will be to meet with all the partners and to set a timeline for the work to begin the initial phase and that NCOESC will continue to pursue additional funding to complete the project.

The Local Government Safety Grant Program is a highly competitive grant that had over 400 applicants in this second round with only 10% of the applications funded.

Small Business Seminars held monthly in Tiffin

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 2017 dates:

  • January 11
  • February 8
  • March 15
  • April 12
  • May 10
  • June 14
  • August 9
  • September 13
  • October 11
  • November 8

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

First annual Local Job Fair set for March 10

job_fair_imageThe Tiffin City Schools Business Advisory Council is sponsoring a job fair on March 10 at Tiffin Columbian High School. The primary purpose of the fair is to assist high school seniors who don’t plan to attend post-secondary classes in the fall.  It is also an opportunity for those who do plan to continue their education to learn about employers who will have a need to hire individuals with the skills they will be learning.  In addition, this event will get 8th graders thinking about their futures and give them the opportunity to learn about local career opportunities and the skills and education they will need to succeed.

The agenda is as follows:

10-11am:  8th graders from the Tiffin Middle School will meet with the employers

11am-12pm:  Lunch

12pm: Columbian seniors will arrive

1-2:30pm:  High school seniors from 10 other area schools will be in attendance

2:30-4pm:  Heidelberg and Tiffin University students have been invited and community residents will also be able to attend

There is space for approximately 50 tables and to date 30 Seneca County employers have responded to express an interest in attending.  To reserve a table, contact Pat Smith at Tiffin City Schools at 419-447-2515.

Students should bring a resume and be prepared for a brief introduction interview.

The Business Advisory Council is committee of the Tiffin City Board of Education and is comprised of people from industry, retail, public relations and journalism, medical fields, construction, government agencies along with parents and educators from elementary through higher education. Members look at the trends in the community, employment needs, and other issues to develop a plan that helps students become career ready.  Together they develop curriculum and/or study existing curriculum and activities that would teach necessary skills, career awareness, and economic knowledge while preparing the students to be good citizens. Meetings began in February 2016 and accomplishments include:

  • Implemented the REACH program for the TCS 4th-6th graders
  • Created student advisory committees at the middle school and high school
  • Have plans for Camp Invention this summer
  • Have plans to implement the STRIVE program for high school students at risk to not graduate (Coordinated with the Tiffin Rotary Club).

Seminar: How Industrial Technology Disrupts American Manufacturing

image001The Findlay-Hancock County Economic Development is hosting a Smart Factory Breakfast Seminar Presented by FORCAM, Inc. titled How Industrial Technology Disrupts American Manufacturing.

The event will be held at Owens Community College (3200 Bright Road in Findlay) in the Education & Wellness Building/Tiered Classroom on Tuesday, Feb. 2. Networking and breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the presentation from 8-9 a.m. Sponsored by FORCAM, the event is free of charge.

The presentation is geared specifically to the CEO, COO and CFO level and covers the following topics:

  • How to reduce waste, downtimes, cycle times
  • How to increase productivity with a fast ROI
  • How to measure production floor productivity today
  • How to increase capacity on all assets
  • How to build a smarter, more economical and leaner production environment
  • How to use OEE as a Key Performance Indicator in American Manufacturing

Invited Experts:

To register online, click here. For more information download the flier.

 

 

Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program: A step-by-step guide

The downtown Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program was launched in 2014 to spur downtown revitalization by providing financial assistance for outside, street-facing building repairs. Eligible projects can receive a reimbursement of up to $10,000 in matching funds. Below is a step-by-step guide to the program.

Application process

The building owner should meet with SIEDC’s Downtown Main Street Manager, Amy Reinhart, to discuss how the program works and obtain an application. The application needs to be submitted and approved before any work has begun.

The building owner must include the following upon submission of their application:

  • Façade Enhancement Application
  • Architectural Board of Review Application  (See ABR Guidelines)
  • W9 form for City to open purchase order.
  • A minimum of two quotes from contractors on the work to be performed (if project is over $3,000 total).
  • Pictures of existing conditions.
  • Pictures or catalog cuts for the items to be purchased (awnings, doors, windows, etc.). If window replacement is recommended, a catalog cut along with dimensioned drawings of the window to be installed are required.  This will include the size of the window, any muntin bars as well as the depth and height of the frame around the window and at any corners where the windows connect.
  • If painting, the historic paint colors must be used. Please provide color samples from the historic line.  This can come from any paint company that provides a historic line, but Sherwin Williams and Ace Hardware do provide a paint discount for any building owner who receives façade approval.
  • A detailed description of the project

Applications are reviewed in the order they are received. Due to the first come first serve nature of the funding, incomplete applications will not be accepted.  When the funds run out, the program ends for the calendar year.  When determining the City budget, Council will determine if funding will be renewed for the following year.

Once the application and all above mentioned items are compiled, they should be brought to the Main Street Manager.  She will review the applications for completeness and determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed prior to submission of the application to the City.  She will work with the Chair of the Architectural Board of Review and the City Engineer’s office to determine if any additional items need to be addressed.

Once the application is reviewed and deemed complete and without any issues, the Main Street Manager will submit the application and attachments to the City to be added to the Architectural Board of Review Agenda.

Architectural Board of Review meetings take place the first and third Tuesday of each month at 3:30 in City Hall.  The owner or a representative must be present at the meeting to answer any questions that may come from the application.  The number of applications reviewed at the meeting is determined by the Chair due to the intensity of the application reviews.  To be considered for the upcoming meeting, all information must be turned in one week prior to the meeting, so proper distribution of materials can take place for Board members.  Additionally, the meeting agenda must be listed in the newspaper as it is required for all public meetings.

Beginning the project

Once the Architectural Board of Review has approved the application, work may begin on the project.  The owner will receive the certificate of appropriateness in the mail following the approval.

If any part of the project changes at any time during the work, the owner must contact the Main Street Manager for a change form.  The changes must be approved by the Architectural Board of Review, as this is a change to a contract that the owner entered into when receiving approval from the City for the funds.

Completing the project

The owner has until December of the following calendar year to complete the work.  For example: if a project is approved in March of 2016, the owner will have until December of 2017 to complete the work.  If the owner is approved in December of 2016, the work must be completed by December of 2017.

Once the work is complete, the owner will submit paid receipts from the contractor to the Main Street Manager.  The manager will complete the final inspection forms and submit those to the City Finance Director and City Engineer’s office along with the paid receipts.  The City Engineer will complete the inspection and sign off.  He will then send it to the City Finance Director who will complete the check and send it to the owner.  The check will be made out to the name on the W9 form only.

For examples of projects that have received grant funding, click here.

For all questions and guidance through the process contact:

Amy Reinhart
Downtown Main Street Manager, SIEDC
419.619.5517
reinhart@senecacounty.org
M-Th, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Downtown Facade Enhancement Grant Program: 2014-Present

The downtown Tiffin Facade Enhancement Grant Program was launched in 2014 to spur downtown revitalization by providing financial assistance for outside, street-facing building repairs. Eligible projects can receive a reimbursement of up to $10,000 in matching funds. Since its inception, the City of Tiffin has invested $250,000 in 37 projects, for a total reinvestment in downtown revitalization of nearly $1.2 million.

Here is a recap of the program’s impact, by year, from 2014 to the end of 2016:

2014

The City of Tiffin set aside $50,000 for the Facade Enhancement Grant program. Ten projects were approved, for a total investment of $110,000. View 2014 project list.

2015

Following the successful launch of the program, the city set aside $100,000 for Facade Enhancement in 2015. There were 16 grant approvals, resulting in a $700,000 investment in downtown Tiffin. View 2015 project list.

2016

In 2016, the Facade Enhancement Program was in high demand. The city once again set aside $100,000 for the grant program, and the funds were exhausted halfway through the year. Eleven projects were approved for grant funding, totaling $323,000 in downtown reinvestment. View 2016 project list.

2017

In 2017, the city allotted another $100,000 to the Facade Enhance Program with record results. Just four months into the year, the funds were depleted on 16 projects totaling a $266,000 investment. View 2017 project list.

The program is a first-come, first-serve reimbursement grant program for exterior improvements to buildings in the downtown historic district. It will provide a 50% match up to $10,000 per project for eligible exterior improvements. In order to qualify, a property goes through the standard Architectural Board of Review (ABR) Process using the current ABR Guidelines. During the initial Discussion phase, Downtown Development Coordinator Amy Reinhart will determine if Facade Enhancement funding is still available and if the project qualifies. She will then guide the business through the process.

Please see the Program Guidelines for all the rules and regulations and/or contact Amy Reinhart (419.619.5517, reinhart@senecacounty.org) with any questions you may have.

A step-by-step guide can be found here.

Regional Planning seeks proposals for transit plan

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City of Tiffin and Surrounding Area Bus Transit Development Plan PHASE II

Request for Proposals

Seneca Regional Planning Commission is soliciting competitive proposals from qualified firms to provide consulting services to produce a Bus Transit Development Plan PHASE II for the City of Tiffin and surrounding area, located at 109 S Washington St, Suite 2002, Tiffin, OH  44883.

Six (6) copies of the proposal will be accepted at Seneca Regional Planning Commission, 109 S Washington St, Suite 2002, Tiffin, OH  44883 no later than 2:00 PM EST on Friday February 3, 2017.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) document may be obtained at www.senecarpc.org or by contacting Charlene Watkins, Executive Director, at cjwatkins@senecarpc.org (Phone 419-443-7936 ext 123).

Any questions regarding the RFP can be directed in writing to Charlene Watkins at cjwatkins@senecarpc.org or at the Seneca Regional Planning Commission address listed above.  Seneca Regional Planning Commission reserves the right to reject any or all proposals submitted.