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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.

Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Program opens

Businesses can apply for grants up to $10,000

TIFFIN, Ohio – Oct. 23, 2020 – Seneca County announced that the application process for the Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Program, which provides small businesses in Seneca County, including the cities of Fostoria and Tiffin, with financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is to open next week. For businesses in Tiffin and Seneca County, the program opens at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, and close at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. For business in Fostoria, program guidelines and restrictions will be available on Monday, Oct. 26, and applications will be available on Friday, Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. The program was approved by the Seneca County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 22, and is being administered by the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and Fostoria Economic Development Corporation. $500,000 is being allocated to the program.

Each applicant business must complete the online application during the application period; paper applications will neither be available nor accepted.

  • For Tiffin and Seneca County businesses, applications can be found at senecacares.com. Businesses with between two and 30 employees are eligible for grants up to $10,000 and businesses with less than two employees are eligible for grants up to $5,000. After funds are allocated for businesses in rural Seneca County and non-profit business in the City of Tiffin, Tiffin businesses who received $6,000 and $3,000 under the Tiffin CARES program will be eligible for up to an additional $4,000 and $2,000 respectively. Announcements of funding are to be made on or before Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. If there are more eligible requests than available funds, the winners will be drawn by lottery.
  • For businesses in Fostoria, applications will be available at fostoriaedc.org. Businesses with between two and 30 employees are eligible for grants up to $10,000 and businesses with less than two employees are eligible for grants up to $5,000. Announcements of funding are to be made on or before Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. If there are more eligible requests than available funds, the winners will be drawn by lottery.

Several townships and villages throughout the county also have chosen to dedicate additional CARES Act funding toward their local businesses. These include Hopewell Township, Clinton Township, Eden Township, Bloom Township and the Village of Bettsville.

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “We felt it was necessary to distribute funding to those who are specifically affected right now. We are thinking of the waiters and waitresses, theater employees and people who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. We need to make sure we positively affect as many people as possible.”

For additional information and program guidelines for Fostoria businesses, visit fostoriaedc.org or email president@fostoriaedc.org. For information on the general program and guidelines, visit senecacares.com or email senecacares@tiffinseneca.org, where responses are typically provided within one business day and posted to a Frequently Asked Questions page at senecacares.com. Additionally, a series of public, online meetings are planned. Login at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/339384213, or call (872) 240-3311, Access Code: 339-384-213. These will be recorded and made available for viewing at senecacares.com. Meeting times are:

  • Monday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 29 at noon
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.

Hair Studio 47 completes renovation of beloved building

Hair salon hosting open house, ribbon cutting on Oct. 29

TIFFIN, OHIO – Oct. 22, 2020 – Having been in business for almost a year, Hair Studio 47 is announcing that it has completed renovations to their building and celebrating with an open house and ribbon cutting. The building, located at 47 N. Washington St., was the former Carmi’s Hairstyling.

Owner Alicia Smith and hairdresser Tecia Vassalle operate the hair salon for men and women and offer services including cuts, colors, eyebrow wax, perms and chemical treatments and beard trimming.

After purchasing the building in 2019, Alicia Smith and her husband, Ryan, invested into renovations of the interior and exterior. Frank Mangiola, who owned and operated the barber shop, was cousins with Alicia’s father, and she’s glad she can keep it in the family. The building also was the first location of Ralph’s Appliances, now Ralph’s Joy of Living at 33 N. Washington St.

“I am excited to be able to own my business in Tiffin and keep the tradition of this space going for years to come,” Alicia said. “A lot of people remember coming here as a kid to get their hair cut, and there were faithful clients until the end. I’m happy to open the doors back up for a lot of them and new clients, too.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “Congratulations to Alicia and Ryan Smith on opening Hair Studio 47 and celebrating a year of business in Tiffin.”

An open house is 4-6 p.m. at the salon, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. Hair Studio 47 is a member of Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Alicia at (567) 938-9581 or Tecia at (419) 618-4973.

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.

Dr. Chris Sears to build new office on west end of Tiffin

Expects to hire more employees as practice expands

TIFFIN, OHIO – Oct. 19, 2020 – Dr. Chris Sears is announcing that he is building a new office across from the Willows at Tiffin, at 258 Progress Ave., with plans to re-open his office there in late spring or early summer of 2021. The office currently has seven employees, and he expects to hire three more as part of this expansion.

At this new office, Sears will continue to practice primary care and internal medicine in Tiffin. Additionally, he has one nurse practitioner, Charlie Palmer, and expects to bring on up to two more nurse practitioners to work beside him at the new office.

In addition to his private office practice, Sears became the medical director at Tiffin Developmental Center in 2007, has served in the modified hospitalist program at Mercy Health – Tiffin Hospital since 2008, assumed the role of medical director at the Seneca County Jail in 2015, became the medical director at The Willows of Tiffin in 2019 and in 2020 became the Medical Director of the Mercy Health – Tiffin Hospital modified hospitalist program. He also worked in the Stoner Health Clinic at Heidelberg University from 2012 to 2014 and has served as team physician at athletic functions at both Tiffin University and Heidelberg University. Sears is the team physician with Hopewell-Loudon Local Schools athletic program as well as a coach for the wresting team.

“I’m excited to be able to grow my practice and invest in the City of Tiffin,” Sears said.

Tiffin Mayor Aron Montz commented: “Congratulations to Dr. Sears on the new office. It’s great to see people growing their businesses, and especially to see more development in the west end.”

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 4 at 258 Progress Ave., Tiffin, behind The Willows at Tiffin. The projected move in date is May 2021; watch for the Ribbon Cutting announcement in April. Dr. Sears is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

For more information, Call the office at (419) 443-8505.

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.

SBA, USDA hosting webinar for rural businesses

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration Great Lakes Region and U.S. Department of Agriculture will co-host a free webinar about access to capital and resources for small businesses in rural Ohio 10-11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16.

This event is a must for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the agriculture industry in search of information about SBA and USDA lending and small business growth programs.

The goal of this free event is to help improve access to capital for rural small businesses and increase investment opportunities in rural areas.

Featured Speakers:

  • Robert Scott, SBA – Robert Scott serves as the Regional Administrator for SBA’s Great Lakes Region, overseeing the delivery of the agency’s financial assistance, technical assistance and government contracting activities throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
  • David L. Hall, State Director for USDA Ohio Rural Development – David L. Hall is the State Director for USDA Ohio Rural Development. Appointed by the Trump Administration in November 2017, Hall brings more than two decades of expertise to the position, with work encompassing private, quasi-governmental, and public-sector service.
  • Leonard Hubert, State Executive Director, USDA FSA – Leonard Hubert was appointed by the Trump Administration to serve as the state executive director of the Ohio USDA Farm Service Agency in November 2017. Before relocating to Ohio, Hubert spent 15 years working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the Bureau of Animal Industry, as chief of the Agriculture Marketing Service Division, and in the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.

Additional presentations by:

  • Mark Van Hoose, FSA Ohio Farm Facility Loan Program
  • Randy Monhemius, USDA Ohio Business and Industry Program
  • Jerome Jones, SBA Columbus District Lender Relations Specialist

To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/helping-rural-businesses-gain-access-to-capital-tickets-124108516915.

5 Star Maintenance moves to new space

Company employs 24 people in Seneca County

TIFFIN, OHIO – Oct. 12, 2020 – 5 Star Maintenance has announced that it has moved into a newly-constructed office and warehouse at 1796 S. CR 1, just south of Tiffin. The company specializes in real estate development, commercial/industrial roofing, commercial/industrial painting and office remodels, and employs 24 people in Seneca County.

5 Star Maintenance moved into their new location in July, now occupying 10,000 sf of warehouse and office space. The building was constructed by Fitch Properties for $500,000 and 5 Star Maintenance completed the buildout for the office suite.

Owner Charlie Hayward started Charlie’s Property Maintenance in 2004 and did janitorial work, property clearing and painting for residential clients and landlords. In 2007, he changed the name to 5 Star, and shortly after began working in the foreclosure industry, mainly focusing on complete restoration projects in foreclosed real estate, and in 2012 began working in historic restorations and added an in-house roofing division. The company was incorporated in 2017 under Five Star Maintenance & Construction Inc., and made a shift into the commercial and industrial market servicing factories, hotels, offices and malls. Throughout this process, they have developed sister companies that provide other construction related services and a holding company that buys land and other real estate.

“We’ve come a long way since I started my first company, and I’m very excited that we’ve been able to grow and provide improved service for Tiffin and Seneca County and throughout the state of Ohio,” said Hayward.

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “Congratulations to Charlie Hayward and 5 Star Maintenance on their continued growth and moving to a larger facility.”

5 Star Maintenance is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. For more information, visit www.fivestarmaintenanceohio.com or call (419) 443-0414.

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.

Tiffin CARES Grant closes on Monday – 10 reasons to apply now!

The Tiffin CARES Act Small Business Relief Grant program accepting applications right now for businesses with less than 30 employees and less than $2 million in revenue and will be until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12. Here are the top ten reasons why businesses should apply now:

  1. There is still a lot of funding available. There are 56 applications currently eligible for funding, under review or in process. The program is able up to handle another 40.
  2. There is still time. The application period closes at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12.
  3. The online application system is easy. Check your eligibility and apply online in under 10 minutes.
  4. You can save your work. Register, fill out what you can, and come back to it if you need to.
  5. You only have to upload two pieces of paperwork: a signed W-9 and the first page of your 2019 tax return (plus Schedule C). If you don’t have a scanner, you can drop copies off to the TSEP offices at 19 W. Market St.
  6. You can submit an incomplete application before the deadline. If you are still working on getting a piece of documentation or information, go ahead and submit. It “saves your place” in line.
  7. We contact you if there are problems. If you fill something out incorrectly, we will contact you within 24 hours to tell you how to fix it.
  8. We will help fix your application and upload any additional documents or information for you after submittal.
  9. You get responses within 24 hours. You can ask any questions by emailing tiffincares@tiffinseneca.org, and the customer service team will get back to you by the next business day.
  10. Reporting is simple. You only have one simple report to fill out after you receive the grant, and you get four months to do that.

Please email us at tiffincares@tiffinseneca.org, and we will get back to you by the next business day, usually sooner.

Top 10 Reasons To Apply For Tiffin CARES funding now

The Tiffin CARES Act Small Business Relief Grant program accepting applications right now, until October 12 at 5:00 p.m. Here are the top ten reasons why businesses should apply now:

  1. There is still a lot of funding available. There are 56 applications currently eligible for funding, under review or in process. The program is able up to handle another 40.
  2. There is still time. The application period closes at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12.
  3. The online application system is easy. Check your eligibility and apply online in under 10 minutes.
  4. The online application system allows you to save your work – register, fill out what you can, and come back to it if you need to.
  5. You only have to upload two pieces of paperwork – a signed W-9 and the first page of your 2019 tax return (plus Schedule C). If you don’t have a scanner, you can drop copies off to the TSEP offices at 19 W. Market St.
  6. You can submit an incomplete application. If you are still working on getting a piece of documentation or information, go ahead and submit. It “saves your place” in line.
  7. If you fill something out incorrectly, we will contact you within 24 hours to tell you how to fix it.
  8. We will fix your application and upload any additional documents or information for you after submittal.
  9. You can ask any questions by emailing tiffincares@tiffinseneca.org, and the customer service team will get back to you within 24 hours.
  10. You only have one simple report to fill out after you receive the grant, and you get four months to do that.

Lane of Dreams announces grand re-opening

Equestrian business re-inventing itself after losing Tiffin University team

EDEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Oct. 8, 2020 – Lane of Dreams Farm LLC, an equestrian training center in rural Seneca County, has announced a grand re-opening and open house from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 14, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services at 4:15 p.m. Owners Julie Vogel and Claire Johansen are inviting guests to explore the farm at 2502 E. CR 16 and find out more about their services.

Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, Tiffin University cut its collegiate equestrian team in the spring of 2020. As housing and facilitating that team was the main activity of Lane of Dreams, the owners have revamped services and are re-opening their business with a new focus.

Lane of Dreams was opened in 2005 and expanded in 2008 by Vogel and Johansen. The farm’s mission is to share the love of horses and the life lessons that horses teach. The professional instructors have more than 30 years of experience and provide interaction with horses in a safe, fun environment on a working farm. The facility is located on a 50-acre farm with two large indoor arenas and an outdoor arena. Boarding or full- and partial-lease options are available. The barn provides services throughout the year and follows COVID -19 procedures defined by the Ohio Department of Health.

Lesson programs are available for children of all ages and adults. Students can bring their own horse or learn on one of 11 horses owned by Lane of Dreams. Lessons are conducted privately and in groups, and classes run in four-week sessions. Progressive lesson programs include care and feeding in addition to riding. Instructors have experience with teaching beginners through advanced riders in western and English riding including jumping, dressage, reining, ranch riding and trail riding. Between now and Thanksgiving, Lane of Dreams is offering 20 percent off of a first lesson.

Johansen, co-owner of the business, said, “We’re looking forward to getting back to the basics and connecting with new clients.” Co-owner Vogel said, “Sharing the gifts of equine education and growth that it can provide is what we love providing for our community.”

Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas said, “The presence of Lane of Dreams enriches the lives of so many in our area. Their laser focus on safe riding couple with the high quality of love and care for their horses makes it a treasured destination for all. My family has certainly enjoyed their past success and we look forward to their future.”

Lane of Dreams Farm LLC, a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, can be reached at (419) 448-7433. For more information, find them on Facebook or visit lanedreamsfarm.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 www.tiffinseneca.org.

Northwest Career Ready enters second year

It’s exciting to announce that the Northwest Career Ready (NCR) education and workforce development initiative for Seneca and Sandusky Counties is ready to enter its next phase. NCR is part of the national Pathways To Prosperity model launched in 2012 by Jobs For the Future, a Boston-based think tank and facilitator connected to the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The goal is to help high-school students become career ready through work-based learning and other initiatives. Ten states now have regional or statewide programs, including Ohio, where the Central Ohio Compact has been making tremendous progress since 2012. 

The first phase – “Laying the Groundwork” – is coming to an end. Since summer 2019, we finished our Asset Mapping, attended the national conference in Boston, held a launch meeting in both counties, and established three committees around the following three goals:

  1. Work-Based Learning – develop and implement effective work-based learning for all students; 
  2. Leadership & Governance – align career-ready initiatives and create an overarching leadership and governance structure that coordinates efforts; and 
  3. Communication & Buy-In – communicate with and engage educational, government and business stakeholders in the work and foster community buy-in.

In Phase I, Work-Based Learning (WBL) and Leadership & Governance (L&G) took center stage. Three themes have dominated the last twelve months:

  1. Pandemic & Change – the coronavirus pandemic, as well as changes in educational leadership (Tiffin City Schools), Jobs For The Future (our facilitator), and staffing changes (Vanguard-Sentinel) have caused delays but have also driven innovation and partnership.
  2. Strategic Formation – the mission and vision were finalized; WBL strategic plan and initial L&G structure have been developed. 
  3. Funding – funds have been procured by Vanguard-Sentinel, Terra State, and other sources to support a WBL coordinator as well as program marketing.

This (academic) year’s Phase II (“Beginning to Implement”) will have the Communication & Buy-In (CBI) Committee ramping up activity, as the other committees begin to implement what they’ve worked so hard on over the last several months. Three of the focus points for the next 12 months will be the following:

  1. Communication & Engagement – branding and a communication infrastructure with internal updates, external newsletters, and periodic reports will be developed and implemented.
  2. Work-Based Programming – a WBL Coordinator will be hired and the BRAG (Building Readiness After Graduation) program will be strengthened, supported, and scaled.
  3. Coordination & Cooperation – the various stakeholders, business advisory councils, and strategic planning groups will connect, coordinate, and collaborate more.

We look forward to communicating more in the months to come. I try to keep in mind that this is a marathon, not a sprint…and that other successful programs are in their sixth, seventh, or eighth year. We’re excited to start year two.