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:

SERVPRO helps businesses stay prepared for emergency

servproSERVPRO, a fire and water damage mitigation service, has a partnership with the American Red Cross to offer Emergency Ready Profiles to commercial businesses at no cost. The profile is a plan that can be accessed by any employee during an emergency, either in a hard copy or on the convenient mobile app, and is intended to minimize damage to the business.

“The program is a couple years old, but there have been so many changes and advancements over the last year – like the app – that we are really pushing businesses to take advantage,” Jacob Elchert, Client Care Specialist with SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties, said. “As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.”

The Emergency Ready Profile is prepared at no cost and includes an assessment of your facility and a folder containing steps employees should take in case of emergency, emergency contact information and property information useful to first responders. SERVPRO of Huron and East Seneca Counties also posts helpful tips and their latest news on their blog.

“We are really all about helping people know what to do and be prepared,” Elchert said.

You can find more information about SERVPRO in Seneca County here.

Employment Law Seminar set for Oct. 7

october-7-seminar-editedThe Mercy Health Tiffin and Mercy Heath Willard Foundations are hosting a US Department of Labor live Continuing Legal Education seminar to answer employment law questions on Friday, Oct. 7 at the Mercy Health – Tiffin Hospital McMullen Conference Center.

The seminar will answer the following questions and more:

·         Can I fire an employee for that?

·         When does the Family & Medical Leave Act apply to my company?

·         What are my obligations as an employer for hiring a teenager for summer employment?

·         Do I have to give my employees a break in the morning and/or afternoon?

·         When do I have to pay overtime?

·         Can I make an employee work a double shift?

·         What happens when an employee is deployed by the military and then comes back and wants the job back after deployment?

The target audience of this seminar is attorneys, CEOs, CFOs, HR and payroll managers. Speakers include field agents from the US Department of Labor, EEOC, VA, etc., and are top notch.

The price of the seminar is only $40. Please pre-register by contacting Bernie Steinmetz at 419.455.7049 or Bernie_Steinmetz@mercy.com. There are only 90 spaces available and pre-registration ends Friday, Sept. 30.

Food Export seminar Sept. 13

food-exportODSA and Food Export is hosting Food Export Helpline Counselor Dennis Lynch as keynote speaker at their seminar, “2016 Food Export Seminar: How to Successfully Enter Foreign Markets & China Outlook” on September 13. The program is structured so that the morning session is educational but after lunch, companies will have an opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with Dennis, Food Export staff, ODSA staff, SBDC Export Assistance Advisors and other partners.

Dennis Lynch works as a consultant for Food Export by helping companies through the Food Export Helpline. He is a wealth of information when it comes to exporting food. Find more information at https://www.foodexport.org/.

The event is in Columbus and there is a registration fee of $50 per person. Please register here by Sept. 8.

 

BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio offers cost-effective energy solutions

Better BuildingsBetterBuildings is a program available through the Toledo-Lucas Port Authority. The goal of the program is to make cost-effective energy practices and technology more accessible to individuals, businesses and governmental entities across Northwest Ohio while also helping transform the way whole communities use energy. Owners of virtually every type of building are eligible for low-cost financing to pay for high-efficiency improvements to their facilities and building systems.

The program offers commercial financing at competitive interest rates with terms up to 15 years for projects that focus on conserving energy and generating savings through equipment retrofits to existing facilities. Financing is structured so that the energy savings will cover the cost of equipment, upgrades, installation and transaction cost, which make these projects “self-funding.” In addition, eligible utility company rebates and other incentives can be included in the financing.

In many buildings energy savings of 20% or more are achievable. To be eligible, projects must be an energy efficient retrofit to an existing building. Some examples of projects that can be financed are lighting, high efficiency HVAC, building envelope, energy management systems and controls, compressed air and refrigeration.

BetterBuildings offers financing for projects that focus on conserving energy and generating savings through equipment upgrades to existing facilities. The following lists some of the energy improvements eligible for upgrades:

  • Lighting and Building Controls
  • HVAC, Boilers and Chillers
  • Compressor, Motors and Drives
  • Refrigeration
  • Waste Energy Recovery
  • Electrical Distribution

Financing for BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio is available through a $15 million start-up grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding was issued in 2010 as part of the Retrofit Ramp-Up project, part of the $80 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio is just one of 25 programs across the nation chosen for participation.

For more information, please contact Teresa Smith, Business Development Manager, tsmith@toledoport.org, Andrea Jones, BBNWO Executive Assistant,  ajones@toledoport.org, or call the BetterBuildings office at 419-243-8251.

“Mission Main Street” provides affordable downtown finance

anchor logoLooking for financing for your small, downtown business? Anchor Financial Services provides a  “Mission Main Street” lending initiative,which aims to provide downtown businesses with long-term, cost-effective financing to help support and stimulate growth.

For-profit businesses operating in one of Anchor’s targeted communities are eligible for $15,000-$250,000 loans with competitive interest rates, for up to 10 years with no penalty for early pay-off. The proceeds of the loan can be used for any business purpose including working capital, inventory, hiring, purchasing furniture and fixtures, renovations, leasehold improvements, and machinery and equipment purchases.

With these affordable small business loans, Anchor hopes to increase and reassert the historic and economic value of downtowns across America, and preserve businesses that convey a community’s identity, heritage and personality.

You can find more information about Anchor and their other loan programs here. For more information about the Mission Main Street program, contact Lisa Wagner at 419.873.8322.

About Anchor

Anchor is a non-profit, U.S. Treasury, and SBA-certified economic development agency whose mission is to support America’s communities through creative lending initiatives within underserved communities. We provide viable small businesses with long-term, cost-effective financing strategies designed to stimulate economic expansion, promote sustainable job growth, and achieve the American Dream. By bridging the government gap, we are building diverse vibrant communities where access to capital is within reach for those committed to entrepreneurship, ideas, and hard work.