Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce

Small Business Saturday Nov. 26

shop-small-logoAfter the large Black Friday sales, shop local and join the community in celebrating Small Business Saturday. This year’s event is set for Saturday, November 26.

Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by American Express to encourage individuals nationwide to support small, local business, and it has been a great success. Last year, 95 million people went out to shop at their local small businesses on the appointed day.

From The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services:

Small Business Saturday is most successful in helping local retail businesses grow their revenues over this key weekend, when public/private coalitions of small business leaders have come together to provide coordination and leadership.

The Chamber is celebrating another year as a member of the Small Business Saturday Coalition and a neighborhood champion. Join us in supporting local businesses by signing up. We encourage all small businesses to sign up for the Small Business marketing and promotional materials. Sign up on the event website.

 

Local leaders launch INSIGHT blitz

Outreach campaign aims to connect with 1,000 businesses

INSIGHT logoTIFFIN, OHIO – June 24, 2016 – The INSIGHT Consortium, a group of local and regional nonprofit business service providers, announced today that they are starting an intensive outreach effort to connect Tiffin, Fostoria, and Seneca County businesses with resources to help them grow and expand. The first phase of the effort is scheduled to run through the end of 2017.

Established at the end of 2014, the INSIGHT Consortium is made up of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. (FEDC), the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services, Terra State Community College, Sentinel Career Center, the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce of Visitors Services, Regional Growth Partnership, the Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Seneca Regional Planning Commission. The mission of the group is to work together to reach more businesses with more resources, and they meet monthly.

The program’s name comes from the main types of resources it seeks to provide (Information, New Business, Space, Investment, Government, Hiring, Training), and the group has identified more than 200 free or subsidized financing, grant, tax credit, consulting and other services that are available. What they want to do is make more Seneca County companies aware of those resources and help them take advantage of them.

The 2016-17 outreach blitz will be conducted by a team of more than 25 individuals, including the INSIGHT consortium members, as well as members of the Tiffin Downtown Main Street program, professional outreach firm COACT Associates, as well as a university intern. All information gathered will remain confidential within the respective agencies. Aggregate data and trends will be used for program development, planning, and policy.

Carol Owen Kern, Business Services Liaison with the Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services and a founding member of the consortium, is glad to see the group move forward with the blitz: “Seneca County JFS and Ohio Means Jobs have dedicated significant resources to helping companies recruit the workers they need, and this will help us all reach more businesses with our services.”

Beth Hannam, Manager of Business and Industry Training with Terra State Community College, likes the aggressive approach, “All of us on the INSIGHT team are excited about meeting the needs of more and more companies in Seneca County and about connecting businesses with hundreds of resources that are available. It’s truly win-win,” Beth Hannam said.

John Detwiler, President of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, is pleased with the INSIGHT blitz: “Supporting our local businesses is our first priority, and this helps us reach more of them. It complements and supports the work we’ve been doing through the Industrial Management and Safety Councils, our partnership with the Small Business Development Center, our networking and business events, and member discounts.”

Fostoria Economic Development Corporation President Renee Smith expressed similar support: “Business retention and expansion is a key focus of ours, as most of the new jobs and investment comes from existing companies. INSIGHT provides me and Fostoria area companies better access to more resources, which is really beneficial.”

SIEDC President & CEO David Zak also thanked people for their support: “I appreciate the entire INSIGHT consortium for their passion for local businesses and support of this program. I also want to thank the Regional Growth Partnership for providing additional team members through their relationship with COACT, the City of Tiffin for supplying an intern, and AEP supporting us the initiative through Local Economic Assistance Program (LEAP) grant.”

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 at the company’s blog at http://www.senecasuccess.com.

 

Superior Credit Union named 7th best-performing credit union in US

superior greenS&P Global Market Intelligence recently released its ranking of the 50 best-performing credit unions of 2015, naming Superior Credit Union number seven in the nation, the only Ohio-based credit union to make the list.

The rankings were decided using five core financial performance metrics: member growth, net charge offs as a percentage of average loans, efficiency ratio, asset quality, and market growth. The credit union is ranked in impressive company, as only one other credit union in the top ten had assets of less than $2 billion. Up from $572 million at year end, Superior’s current asset size is $590 million.

“Superior is proud to be recognized as one of the safest and best performing credit unions in the country,” said Phil Buell, CEO. “To be recognized nationally, is a testament to our volunteers, employees, and members, who collaboratively provide our community with consumer-friendly financial solutions.”

Superior acquired the Southeast Financial Credit Union branches in Fostoria and Tiffin at he beginning of 2016, expanding their customer base by 7,000 members and $60 million in deposits.

“We’re excited to have this opportunity to bring our seasoned products and services to our new members in Seneca County,” Buell said at the time of the transition. “We feel strongly that the acquisition will be a win-win for all concerned.”

Branch Manager Tricia Reinhard elaborated: “We originally invested into Tiffin because we feel that it is a city that is growing more everyday, and a lot of us are from the area and want to give back to the community, what it has given to us and more if possible. I have worked in the Fostoria and Tiffin branches for 11 years, and I am very happy to see our Credit Union going back to the way it was when I first started working here – which is getting more involved and supportive with our community and the things happening in it. I am very grateful to Superior for all that they have done for the community and for our members, and look forward to seeing how we can help with building an even better City of Tiffin!”

Superior is involved with a number of local organizations, including Rotary, the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Servies, SIEDC and Relay for Life. They are currently planning an open house including food, games, prizes, jump houses and more, all to benefit the American Cancer Society through Team Superior.

Read more about the ranking here.

About Superior Credit Union
Superior Credit Union, headquartered in Lima, Ohio, is a full-service member-owned financial cooperative that serves members in 17 Northwest Ohio counties. Superior CU currently has 12 office locations serving over 62,000 members. With assets of over $590 million, the credit union provides consumer and mortgage loans, brokerage services, insurance services, checking and savings accounts, and small business services and loans.

“Building Doctors” Will Be Making Rounds in Tiffin July 21 and 22, 2016

Ohio History ConnectionPress release from Ohio History Connection.

This program is a partnership between SIEDC, Tiffin Historic Trust and Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

(COLUMBUS, OH)— The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., the Tiffin Historic Trust and the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center will sponsor a Building Doctor Clinic for old-building owners in Tiffin, Ohio on July 21 and 22, 2016.

The clinic features Building Doctors Justin Cook and Richard Jarvis of the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. It begins with a free seminar on Thursday evening, July 21, from 7-9 p.m. at the Tiffin–Seneca Public Library’s Frost Kalnow Room at 77 Jefferson Street in Tiffin. The seminar is open to the public and will feature guidelines for renovation projects and ways to solve some of the most common problems of buildings dating from 1800 to 1955.

On Friday, July 22 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the Building Doctors will visit pre-1955 buildings within five miles of Tiffin, advising owners on specific technical problems by appointment. The “doctors” examine all kinds of older buildings. Some of the things that typically call for an on-site examination include persistent peeling paint or flaking plaster, a wet basement or deteriorating masonry and plans for additions.

Justin Cook, Technical Preservation Services Manager for the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office, has a bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Vermont, with post-baccalaureate studies in History and Urban and Regional Planning. He reviews applications for federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits.

Richard Jarvis is Technical Preservation Services Manager for the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. He holds a master’s degree in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) from The University of York (UK), a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from High Point University and an associate’s degree in Architectural Technology from Guilford Technical Community College. He reviews applications for federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits.

The seminar and on-site consultations with the Building Doctors are free with advance registration. To register, visit www.building-doctor.org or call 800.499.2470 or 614.298.2000. You can also contact Amy Reinhart at 419.447.3831.

The Building Doctor program is made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. Each clinic is also made possible by support from local cosponsors.

The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office

The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office is Ohio’s official historic preservation agency. It identifies historic places in Ohio, nominates properties to the National Register of Historic Places, reviews federally-assisted projects for effects on historic, architectural, and archaeological resources in Ohio, consults on conservation of older buildings and sites and offers educational programs and publications.

Ohio Historical Society is now Ohio History Connection
On May 24, 2014, the Ohio Historical Society changed its name to the Ohio History Connection. Established in 1885, this nonprofit organization provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology and natural history through more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio, including its flagship museum, the Ohio History Center in Columbus. For more information about programs and events, call 800.686.6124 or go online at www.ohiohistory.org.

Prescriptions from the Building Doctors:

Do’s:

  1. Check your roof and attic or upper stories for leaks at least every six months. Look for separations, bulges, cracks, and signs of moisture. It’s important to check your roof regularly. A sound roof is the key to preventing many problems which can occur below.
  1. Inspect your gutters and downspouts during a hard rain to see that they’re working properly. Keep them clean and free of leaves and obstructions which may clog them. Make sure water from downspouts is directed away from the foundation.
  1. Open your basement windows in the dry season to let air circulate. Feel basement walls for dampness. A musty odor indicates a high moisture level in the basement. Check for proper ventilation and dehumidification. Be certain that air circulates freely and isn’t blocked by materials stored against the wall.
  1. Look for loose or damaged siding. Note any areas of paint failure. Check gaps between boards. Gaps smaller than a quarter-inch will help ventilate the wall cavity; larger gaps may admit rainwater.
  1. Caulk gaps where window and door frames meet masonry or wood openings to prevent water from entering wall cavities of frame buildings or masonry of bearing-wall structures.
  1. Examine painted surfaces for signs of peeling, cracking and alligatoring. Look for clues to original painting techniques and colors. A common way to examine hidden layers of paint is to carefully sand a small area in a location where it would not have weathered or been in direct sunlight, exposing the individual layers.
  1. Assess the condition of all exterior features, particularly those of significance, such as porches, brackets and other decorative trim.
  1. Attend the Building Doctor Clinic.

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t use abrasive methods to clean brick or masonry. They can cause irreparable harm. Sandblasting, for example, removes the hard outer surface of the brick, exposing its softer core to the elements, and damages other kinds of masonry and wood, too. Avoid all techniques for cleaning masonry or wood that involves blasting or high pressure.
  1. Don’t use water-repellent coatings on masonry. They can trap moisture inside instead of letting it pass freely in and out as it normally would. When trapped moisture freezes, it expands, often forcing the surface of the brick or stone to flake or spall.
  1. Never seal basement windows shut. You’ll trap moist air inside and prevent proper air circulation, which can lead to a damp basement.
  1. Don’t plant bushes or vegetation close to the foundation. They prevent sunlight from reaching the ground, allowing moisture to accumulate there.
  1. Don’t use blown-in insulation unless you install a vapor barrier, too. Without the vapor barrier, moisture can accumulate, saturating the insulation and damaging your wall.
  1. Don’t leave unused gas pipes connected or live ends uncapped. Have gas lines professionally inspected. You can prevent a tragedy and save yourself a great deal of money.
  1. Don’t allow bare wires to remain exposed. Have old wiring professionally inspected.
  1. Don’t forget to give your building a thorough check-up every six months to ensure that it has a clean bill of health.

 

Feasel’s Frame and Collision

Feasel'sMeet the Feasels – Rick, Jan and Jeff – the family behind Feasel’s Frame& Collision Inc, located at 4400 W. US Hwy 224 just West of Tiffin. Rick and wife Jan went into the car repair business in 1984. In 2012 their son Jeff, who could often be found in his crib at the office with his parents as a child, joined the business in a managerial role.

Jeff spent several years as a video journalist, working for CBS and NBC, before he and his wife decided to move back to to Tiffin. “To go further in that career would involve moving often, and my wife and I were done moving. I always wanted to raise my family here, so I was very thankful for the opportunity to come back home and work with my parents.”

Over the past several years the family has made many improvements to the business, including equipment and structure upgrades, and they don’t plan to slow down. They just moved in to their newly renovated office last April, installed a new paint booth – complete with air filtration and water-based environmentally friendly paint – three years ago, and keeping up with industry trends, they have the ability to weld and repair aluminum.

“I love being a part of a small business in this community,” Jan said. “It’s amazing how wonderful the community has been in supporting our local business for the past 32 years. I love being able to help others in my community, especially in their time of need. I also love that this is a family business. There are three of us are here – it’s really a ‘mom and pop’ business!”

The Feasels are very active in the community too. Jan gives tennis lessons and teaches CCD, Jeff is a Tiffin Rotary Club member and serves on the board of Seneca County Young Professionals, the whole family is active in St Joseph’s Catholic Church and they are a Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Services member. This past November, Feasels donated $25 to Heartbeat/Hope Medical for every vehicle repaired after hitting a deer, for a total donation of $625.

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Easter Hunt and Treat

Easter Event Flier - V4The Easter Bunny has helpers hiding in Tiffin!     

Due to the busy season, the Easter Bunny is sending helpers into downtown Tiffin to help spread the goodies and fun, but they need some help. Not only will these helpers need a place to hide, but they will need a name, and some goodies to give away.

To make sure that all of these bunnies are visited, there will be a form available at the Laird Arcade (at the corner of S. Washington and E. Market St.), where participants can write down the names of the ones they have found. Once the form is full, return the card to the Laird to be entered into a drawing for a bike, donated by TiffinOhio.org, or Chamber Cash from the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce!

The helpers are scheduled to be in town Friday, March 18th, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm, and expected to be hiding inside, due to the chilly weather.

Downtown businesses that would be willing to help the Easter Bunny, are asked to contact Yolanda Gonzalez (yolanda.gonzales4@gmail.com), who also organized the “Trick or Treat” that took place downtown this past October.

Hannah Taulbee – Heidelberg Student and SIEDC Intern

Seneca County Commissioner Candidates Forum

How well do you know your Commissioner candidates? Would you like to know them better?

The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Services is inviting the community to Camden Falls for just this reason. On Tuesday, March 8 at 7:30am, join the Chamber and candidates Chris English, Rich Focht, Holly Stacy, and Shayne Thomas for breakfast, presentations, and a Q&A. Each candidate will give a 5 minute presentation, after which the floor will be open to the public to ask what questions they may have. The Chamber requests that interested community members RSVP and submit their questions by Tuesday, March 1 to info@tiffinchamber.com. Breakfast will be available at a cost of $10.

Chris Englishunnamed

English has long served the community in addition to his 40 year career with Webster Industries. After graduating Tiffin University with a bachelor’s degree and a State of Ohio Accounting License (CPA-inactive), English served on a multitude of boards, such as the YMCA, Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce and SIEDC, First Lutheran Church Council, Tiffin Mercy Hospital (10 years), Tiffin City Schools Board of Education (12 years, 5 as president), Tiffin-Seneca Public Library (10 years), as well as charitable boards in the area, and is a past-exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge #94.

Rich Focht590155_1

With a career in public service spanning more than two decades, Focht understands the importance of community involvement and investment in infrastructure. After serving in the Army for two years, he returned to work alongside his father as a general contractor. In 1988, he sold the business and became a city administrator before becoming president and CEO of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) in 1990, where he stayed until retiring in 2013. He currently serves on the Tiffin City Council. Focht is motivated by a desire to serve all of Seneca County and not just Tiffin alone.

Holly Stacy544046_1

Stacy is currently the president of the Seneca County Commissioners. If re-elected, Stacy hopes to focus on fiscal responsibility through a new budget and creating a business-friendly environment to help provide job growth. Stacy served as president and CEO of the Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce from 2003 to 2012. She has a master’s degree in business administration from Tiffin University and a bachelor’s of science degree from the Ohio State University.

Shayne ThomasAAEAAQAAAAAAAAZkAAAAJGE5ODBjYTc2LTlhYmMtNGJlYS1iNGI4LThlMGU0NmJmYzIzNw

Thomas has a strong financial background, spanning 25 years. His career history includes working for various banks, such as Fifth Third, National City, and the First Bank of Ohio from 1990-1999. In 1999, he began work for the Old Fort Banking Company as vice president of Commercial Banking. From 2007-2013, Thomas served as the vice president of Business Development for MGQ Incorporated, and co-founded the MGQ Terminal in Tiffin in 2009 before divesting in 2015. Thomas began to run for the Commissioners board in 2014, but left the race early to pursue other opportunities.

Hannah Taulbee – Heidelberg Student and SIEDC Intern

Buffalo Wild Wings to break ground Jan. 12

bw newTIFFIN, OHIO – January 7, 2016 – The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, located at 100 South Shaffer Park Drive, on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m.

Mike Mastro, President & CEO of The Mastro Development Group, is 20160107_134626excited to begin construction on the 6,600 square foot “Stadia” style restaurant – the newest rendition of the layout – which includes an urban look with big screen TVs and an outdoor patio accessible through garage doors. The entire project is a $3.2 million investment in the Tiffin community that will create 60-65 new jobs.

“The amount of community help and support we’ve seen has been incredible. Never before have we received as much assistance as here in Tiffin,” Mastro said. “SIEDC has been extremely helpful in getting the project completed, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Montz, Hank and Associates, the City Engineer’s office and the Seneca County Commissioners.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is happy to see the project begin. “It took a bit longer than expected, but in that time, Mike has been a highly involved in the community and I am happy that I have had the pleasure of working with him through this process. This is a huge win for Tiffin and is sure to draw visitors and other retail and restaurant prospects.”

About Buffalo Wild Wings

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Buffalo Wild Wings is a $1.2 billion casual dining and sports bar franchise founded in 1982. The company has grown to more than 1,000 locations in every state in the country and in Canada as well as more than half a billion in assets. The company’s tag line is “Wings. Beer. Sports.” Learn more at www.buffalowildwings.com.

About The Mastro Development Group

The Mastro Development Group and affiliated companies began around 1972 with a Perkins in Marion, Ohio and has grown to become a diversified franchise and real estate company owning, managing or leasing space to Perkins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Mexican restaurants, Hometown Urgent Care, and Davita Kidney Car, among others. The company employs more than 200 employees at their locations in Marion, and Findlay, Ohio.

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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Two new tenants for the Laird Arcade

Consulting service, community service office locate in downtown Tiffin

KKRTIFFIN, OHIO – November 3, 2015 KKR Consult and Family and Community Services are now located on the second floor of the Laird Arcade in Tiffin. With the addition of these two tenants, the second floor of the building is completely rented.

KKR Consult is a business consulting firm founded by Kim Radison in 2012. Radison has more than a decade of human resources experience, which she uses as a business consultant and dream coach. She offers individual coaching as well as group sessions, and plans to offer a certification course for her On Purpose program.

“One of my dreams was to bring a benefit that thrives in a big city to Tiffin. There is opportunity for growth with the number of businesses starting and continuing to grow here,” Radison said. “I coach a lot of small business owners. I am their sounding board because they don’t have that with a partner or a board of directors. I become that business partner for them.”

Family and Community Services, under program coordinator Kelsey Sikora, is also new to the Laird. In partnership with Senior Corps and the Corporation for National and Community Services, they utilize the skills, talents and experience of more than 330,000 Americans age 55 and over to meet community needs.

Volunteers participate in three different programs: RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program and the Senior Companion Program. RSVP volunteers recruit and manage other volunteers, participate in environmental projects, mentor and tutor children and respond to natural disasters. Foster Grandparents tutor and mentor young people with special needs. Senior Companions help frail seniors and other adults maintain independence, primarily in their own homes.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is excited about the resurgence of the Laird building. “The Laird Arcade has come so far in just a few short years, thanks to the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group and the management of Tyler Shuff. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services will hold a Ribbon Cutting at KKR Consult at 4:30 p.m. on November 4, with a cash bar at the Beehive Café to follow.

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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

New Chamber program cuts businesses’ energy costs

Chamber LogoOne new money-saving benefit of membership with the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce is its Chamber Energy Solutions (CES) program. Through a partnership with Palmer Energy Company, the Chamber of Commerce is able to provide member businesses with electricity and natural gas savings.

The CES Electric Savings Program saves customers money on electric consumption through competitive pricing. Working with a large number of customers allows CES to get customers some of the lowest prices on the market. Businesses with facilities located in FirstEnergy (Toledo Edison, Ohio Edison and Cleveland Illuminating Company), AEP (Ohio Power), Dayton Power and Light and Duke Service territories can participate in the electric program.

The CES Gas Program helps manage natural gas costs by bringing local businesses together to reduce natural gas costs and help customers buy natural gas when the prices are most advantageous. Businesses located in Columbia Gas, Dominion, Duke and Vectren service territories are able to participate.

All Chamber members are eligible to apply, as soon as their current contract has expired. For more information, check out the CES brochure. To enroll in either program, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 419.447.4141 or info@tiffinchamber.com.