Harbor Freight Tools to open store at Westgate Shopping Center

Visconsi.jpgPress release by Visconsi Companies, Ltd.

Tiffin, OH – June 8, 2018 – Visconsi Companies, Ltd. announced today that Harbor Freight Tools plans to open a store at Westgate Shopping Center on West Market Street. The new 15,000 square foot Harbor Freight location will join Peebles, Kroger, Pat Catan’s, Dollar Tree, and 14 other merchants at Westgate. A Grand Opening is planned for this summer.

“We’re thrilled to be opening our 34th Harbor Freight Tools store in Ohio and very pleased by the warm welcome we’ve received in Tiffin” said Eric Smidt, President of Harbor Freight Tools.  “At Harbor Freight, we’re all about delivering high quality tools at ridiculously low prices.  We do it by manufacturing our tools at the same factories as the expensive brands, but we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to our customers.  We’ve also invested millions of dollars to build and operate our own state-of-the-art quality test labs to ensure that we’re constantly driving quality at the lowest possible price.  We invite everyone in the Tiffin area to visit our new store at 682 W Market Street and see why if you buy tools anywhere else, you’re throwing your money away.”

About Harbor Freight Tools
Founded in North Hollywood, CA in 1977 and now based in Calabasas, Harbor Freight Tools is the leading discount tool retailer in the U.S. selling in its over 900 stores nationwide and on its website. Harbor Freight Tools stocks over 7,000 items in categories including automotive, air and power tools, shop equipment and hand tools. With a commitment to quality and a lifetime guarantee on all hand tools, Harbor Freight Tools is a favorite of automotive and truck repair shops, government agencies, schools, manufacturers, contractors and tool enthusiasts who want top-quality and great selection and value. The results speak for themselves – with over thirty million customers nationwide and thousands of people switching to Harbor Freight Tools every day. Additional information about Harbor Freight Tools and online sales can be found at http://harborfreight.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/harbor.f.tools and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/harborfreight.

Westgate Shopping Center is managed by Visconsi Companies, Ltd. and owned by affiliate Tiffin Westgate, Ltd. Visconsi Companies, Ltd. is a fourth generation, family-owned developer and manager of retail properties and a provider of real estate advisory services. The company is headquartered in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and manages a shopping center portfolio of over two million square feet. For more information about Visconsi Companies, visit www.visconsi.com.

$3.7M infrastructure improvements slated for development site

Progress Parkway.jpgCity of Tiffin breaks ground on Progress Parkway

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 8, 2018 – The city of Tiffin broke ground today on the first piece of a $3.7 million infrastructure investment at the 60-acre mixed-use development site at the corner of US 224 and South Shaffer Park Drive.

The project will include improvements to US 224, extension of the West Market Street sanitary and storm sewers, a new section of Fair Lane, and the construction, in two phases, of Progress Parkway. The improvements will support the new Trilogy Health Services Senior Living Community announced earlier this year, as well as future development on the site.

Mayor Aaron Montz said the improvements will increase developer interest in the site. “Not only are these improvements going to support the Trilogy project, but they also show developers that we have done our due diligence and are ready for growth.”

The improvements are made possible through a combination of financing. Last year, the Seneca County Transportation Improvement District committee won a $220,000 grant for improvements to US 224, Tax Increment Financing agreements between any business locating on the site and the city will help recoup costs, and Trilogy Health Services will finance the sewer improvements.

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.

Seneca County unemployment at 18 year low

Unemployment April 2018.jpgFor the first time since 2000, the unemployment rate in Seneca County dipped below four percent, coming in at 3.9 percent for April 2018, an 18 year low for the county. In comparison, Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent and the national rate 3.9 percent, according to a May 18 press release from Ohio Job and Family Services.

Many factors contribute to the growth in employment, including the availability and access to jobs. Between 2014 and 2017 alone, Seneca County saw $339 million in business and building establishment and expansion, creating more than 1,400 jobs.

Already in 2018 we have seen several new business announcements, including:

  • Spire Advertising – A satellite office for an Ashland, OH based advertising firm announced in March, opening in June 2018.
  • The Chandelier – A new event space set to open in the former Community Civic Center in downtown Tiffin later this year.
  • Trilogy Health Services – Announced in April, Trilogy is to build a senior living facility that will employ 110, at an estimated investment of $14.5 million.
  • Kiku Fusion Sushi and Steak House – A full-service sushi and hibachi restaurant to locate in the Tiffin Mall later this year.
  • Panda Express – An international chain serving fast-casual Chinese cuisine was approved for a setback to build on the Tiffin Mall site.
  • Senecare – A local pharmacist has started a new business in the Laird Arcade offering one-on-one pharmacy services.
  • Time Staffing – A northern Ohio-based staffing agency opened a branch in Tiffin earlier this year, growing to a total of 9 offices throughout the region.
  • Yoga Chuck Health and Wellness Studio – Longtime yoga instructor Chuck “Yoga Chuck” Burmeister renovated and opened his own studio.
  • The Attic – A new specialty shop in downtown Tiffin, an expansion of a successful Findlay, OH store.
  • Glass N More Store – Another specialty glass shop that opened its fifth northern Ohio location in downtown Tiffin.
  • Stover Veterinary Services – Veterinarian Dr. Amber Stover and her husband launch a mobile vet clinic in early 2018, to be accessible throughout Seneca County.
  • Tiffin Candle Co. – A Tiffin couple has created their own business producing and selling community themed candles with a charitable aspect.
  • Mantra Mind Management – A new consulting business in the Laird Arcade focused on self-discovery, emotional regulation, and vision creation.
  • Wireless Boys – A Boost Mobile retailer opened their doors on W. Market St. in Tiffin earlier this year.
  • Reineke RV – Reineke Family Dealerships purchased and relocated Fort Ball RV to W. Market St. earlier this year.

OSU Extension and USDA partner on Small Business Innovation Research grants

osu extensionThe USDA is seeking new technology and/or creative product ideas from grass roots innovators!  Got a great idea?  The USDA may be interested in funding the research and development of your concept!  Ohio State Extension is partnering with the USDA to promote the accessibility and availability of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants.  OSU Extension will be offering two (2) workshops, one in Northeast Ohio (Lorain County Community College on June 19) and one in Southwest Ohio (OSU Lima Campus) to orient interested innovators, researchers, and practitioners to this grant opportunity and the grant application process.  Registration is open!

 

USDA logo

OSU will support innovators with coaching and mentoring through the grant writing process.  The USDA Request for Applications (RFA’s) are focused on select topic areas, so interested candidates are encouraged to visit the website (see below) to learn more.  If selected for a Phase I USDA SBIR grant, the recipient will receive $100,000 to develop a concept – no strings attached except to report back the results of the research and development.  If the initial phase is successful, additional funding (up to $600,000) is made available to complete the research and bring the solution to the market.  This is not a loan. Innovators own the intellectual property they create and maintain the ownership of their company.  Small businesses (between 1 and 500 employees), including small and mid-sized farms are eligible!

For more information about SBIR grants use this link: https://nifa.usda.gov/program/small-business-innovation-research-program-sbir .

Register for a workshop today using the links below.  Your idea may be a game and life changer!

June 19 (Northeast Ohio):   https://bit.ly/2I7exc6

June 21 (Southwest Ohio):  http://bit.ly/2KktoMO

Senecare offers pharmacy consulting

DOWNTOWN TIFFIN LOGO CMYKKent Zellner, formerly of Zellner’s Pharmacy, is opening a new business in downtown Tiffin focused on personal pharmacy consulting services. Senecare will help customers with Medicare chronic care management, transition of care, pharmacogenomics, medication adherence, disease state management, and general pharmacy consulting.

Zellner said he always preferred the consulting part of pharmacy, as it allowed him to interact more with patients, and as insurance companies are moving toward a system to improve health, his services are needed. “It’s a pretty exciting time for healthcare,” Zellner said. “There is a shift from fee for service to outcome driven care.”

Senecare will work with Medicare on the Chronic Care Management program to provide services to eligible patients, serving as a liaison between Medicare and the patient’s doctors, checking in on medications, and making sure the patient is following up with the correct doctors. They will also assist with transition of care, assuring that a patient is on the right medication and doses after a change in care, for example, a patient returning home after a hospital stay, and medication adherence, making sure patients are taking medications correctly. Disease state management for chronic issues such as diabetes, asthma, cholesterol, and smoking cessation will be available, as well as pharmacogenomics, a DNA sample test that can determine which medications patients would respond to and how they would interact in the patient’s system.

The business is expected to open in the Laird Arcade in downtown Tiffin in mid-late June. Senecare can be reached at 567.220.7207.

2018 Downtown Summit – Recap

Maker:L,Date:2017-8-22,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-YSIEDC celebrated Downtown Tiffin in the fourth annual Downtown Summit on May 16. The program offered a review of the successes of 2017 and a look forward to 2018, as well as a preview of the East Green community park, and award presentations.

Highlights from the program include:

  • Investment numbers: In 2017 we had 20 completed facade projects, 10 new businesses, 41 new jobs, the East Green Amphitheater project and an infrastructure project resulting in a total of $5.1 million invested downtown last year.  We are only in May of 2018 and we’ve already had the completion of the new Seneca County Justice Center and 11 completed city Facade Enhancement Grant projects resulting in $15.9 million already invested downtown this year.
  • Facade numbers: This year (2018), we had 12 approved city facade projects which will result in $570,000 in building renovations.  Since the inception of the program in September 2014, we have had 64 project approvals resulting in nearly $2.2 million of investment in our beautiful, historic downtown buildings.  This program is one of the most successful facade programs in the state of Ohio and was recognized last spring in “Revitalize Magazine” for the success of the program.  We are also scheduled to be recognized in the upcoming summer issue of Cities and Villages Magazine, run by the Ohio Municipal League, for the continued success of the program.  This program has been a catalyst for growth in the downtown. Building renovations help to draw new retail and restaurants (36 new businesses have opened since January 2015), as well as upper floor housing.

East Green

In a video presentation, Andrew Kalnow recapped the progress of the East Green Ampitheater project and unveiled the upcoming seven performance East Green Summer Concert Series. In the video, he also gave the community a sneak peek at Phase II of the project.

 

Downtown Awards

  • The 2018 Business Legacy Award was presented to Diane Hassinger and Jolly’s.
  • The 2018 Downtown Entrepreneurial Award was presented to Zoe Dolch and Spenser Blackiston of Washington Street Outfitters.
  • The 2018 Downtown Development Award was presented to Dave and Angie Spridgeion for The Renaissance of Tiffin.
  • The 2018 Downtown Achievement Award was named for Anne Gase, in a presentation by Brian Bilger. The newly dedicated Anne Gase Downtown Achievement Award was presented to Brent T. Howard.

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2018 SIEDC Award winners

SIEDC AwardThe SIEDC Awards are presented each year at the SIEDC Annual Meeting to recognize businesses and individuals in the Tiffin and Seneca County community. Not every award is given each year, only when the Membership & Events Committee and/or the president or chairperson deem a company or individual deserving of the particular recognition.

This year, the following seven awards were presented. Click the links below for additional information and a video about each award winner.

2018 Special Recognition Award – Assistant City Engineer Matt Watson

The 2018 Special Recognition Award was presented to Assistant City Engineer Matt Watson for going above and beyond his job duties to create a welcoming environment for development in Tiffin.

For the award presentation, SIEDC asked for feedback from representatives of the NRP Group, the developers behind the 52-unit Tiffin Pointe housing development. Their team members praised Watson for his diligence, and named Tiffin the most efficient and professional community they have worked with.

Tiffin City Administrator Dale Thornton also vouched for Watson’s excellence in the workplace. “Matt is an extremely valuable asset to the city and its residents,” he said.

Watson is a 2004 graduate of Tiffin Columbian High School and a 2009 graduate of The Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering along with state accreditation to become a Professional Land Surveyor. Aside from his time at OSU, he has been a lifelong resident of Seneca County and active within the community.

 

About the Special Recognition Award
This award is given by the President or Chairman, at his or her discretion, to any person, business, or group whose service to the community is largely unknown.

2018 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award – Ralph’s Joy of Living

The 2018 recipient of SIEDC’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award was Ralph’s Joy of Living. Ralph’s is a family owned and operated business that has been in the community since 1950 and is currently run by Ralph (the original owner’s son) and Julie Smothers. Though Ralph took over the family business started by his father, he and Julie have made many changes to the business, making them true entrepreneurs in their own right.

Ralph’s Joy of Living began as Ralph’s Maytag, an appliance store, in 1950. When Ralph took over the business he added cabinetry to their offerings and Julie began teaching cooking classes. Then came the Joy of Living. Ralph and Julie expanded into a 6,000 square foot addition and became the only appliance store in the nation with a liquor license, selling all kinds of wine and specialty beer. Finally, in 2016 they added mattresses to the store.

“We are thankful for the community,” Ralph said. “We love Tiffin, we love our customers.”

 

About the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
This award is presented to an individual, business or organization that have exhibited the imagination, initiative, ability, and determination to mix capital and labor together to generate a business that provides employment opportunities and  new investment for the community.