small business

Lowe’s expands small business support to $55 million, adds focus on rural communities

Information via LISC

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – In response to the overwhelming need to help support small businesses across the country, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is announcing it is increasing its minority small business grants from $25 million to $30 million while donating an additional $25 million to its small business grant program with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), doubling the amount already committed. The additional funds will focus on rural communities, which have been hard hit by the pandemic. The total $55 million commitment makes Lowe’s the largest donor to LISC’s Small Business Relief & Recovery Program and COVID Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund.

Additionally, this summer, select Lowe’s stores in North Carolina and Georgia, will host drive-in movies to benefit local small business relief efforts for those impacted by COVID-19. For any donation made, Lowe’s will match two-to-one up to $50,000 to its grant program. Interested customers in these markets can reserve a spot or learn more about the drive-in movies at Lowes.com/DIY.

“Having grown up in a small town, I have first-hand knowledge of the extraordinary challenges small business owners in rural communities across the country face during the pandemic. We also remain committed to supporting minority small businesses that are being disproportionately impacted. Today’s announcement that we are increasing our minority grant commitment to $30 million while making an additional $25 million grant donation to rural communities reflects our commitment to double down on our small business grant program and is another step in putting actions behind our words to support all the communities we serve,” said Lowe’s President and CEO Marvin R. Ellison. “We cannot solve this need alone, and I encourage other companies to step up and make a difference in supporting small businesses, which are the cornerstone of our economy. Together, we can make a meaningful difference, especially for those in historically disinvested communities and areas hit hardest by COVID-19.”

Nationwide, 7.5 million small businesses may be at risk of closing permanently, according to a survey by Main Street America. Small businesses in rural communities often face even more hurdles than their urban counterparts due to limited access to bank credit, capital and other support services. For the purpose of these grants, rural communities will be defined based on the USDA Rural Development (RD) standard of a population with 50,000 or less. Without the resources, many of these businesses may permanently close, resulting in significant job loss to the area.

“This remarkable commitment from Lowe’s is a game changer for rural America, and as a someone who grew up in a small rural town, I know directly the impact this investment is going to make for the future of rural businesses, residents and communities,” said Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO. “With it, we can help rural business owners sustain operations and protect jobs during the current crisis, while at the same time investing in sustainable growth throughout small towns, agricultural communities and coal country.”

These grants will provide immediate relief for critical needs such as rent, payroll and operational expenses to keep businesses running. The donation also helps connect both the applicants and grantees to a network of local small business development, support, advocacy and capital access organizations. These grant recipients will receive one year of technical assistance post-grant to help further ensure their survival over the longer-term.

LISC’s COVID-19 efforts continue to focus on support for small businesses and nonprofits led by women and minorities in economically vulnerable communities. For more on the LISC-Lowe’s partnership or to apply for a grant, visit LISC.org/lowes.

About LISC
With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $22 billion to build or rehab more than 419,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 70.3 million square feet of retail, community and educational space.

About Lowe’s
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving approximately 18 million customers a week in the United States and Canada. With fiscal year 2019 sales of $72.1 billion, Lowe’s and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores and employ approximately 300,000 associates. Based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs focused on creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

2019 small business seminar schedule set

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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 2019 dates:

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

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

ODSA offers global trade missions to grow businesses through export

ohio export assistance

The Ohio Development Services Agency has released a list of three global trade missions scheduled for early 2019 as part of their Export Assistance programming, in partnership with Small Business Development Centers.

From the ODSA:

Ohio companies exported more than $50 billion in products and services in 2017. The Ohio Development Services Agency wants to help you open foreign markets for your business.  The agency is partnering with regional Small Business Development Centers to offer three trade missions in March and April 2019. Register now to make sure you don’t miss out on these unique opportunities.

Upcoming Trade Missions:
Thailand-Vietnam Trade Mission
March 22-30
Registration Deadline: January 11, 2019
Mission Participation Fee: $1,000

Target markets include, but are not limited to, industrial or electrical machinery and equipment, automotive parts and accessories, iron and steel products, optic and medical equipment, plastics products, chemicals and hardwood lumber.

Brazil-Colombia Trade Mission
March 23-30
Registration Deadline: January 22, 2019
Mission Participation Fee: $1,500

Target markets include, but are not limited to, construction equipment for public roads and airports, transportation services and mass transit systems.

Germany Trade Mission
April 1-10
Registration Deadline: December 7, 2018
Mission Participation Fee: $1,500

Target markets include, but are not limited to, technology/med-tech, energy systems, innovative supply solutions, consulting, metalworking and instrumentation. This mission includes participation in Hannover Messe.

Mission participation fees include resources to support your business in foreign regions:

  • In-advance market research – to prepare your business for the countries’ markets and buyers.
  • One-on-one business matchmaking – for in-person networking and business opportunities.
  • Extensive in-country assistance – including logistical and translation assistance.

For details and to register, email Thien Bui at  Thien.Bui@development.ohio.gov

Airbrush Beauty to open in downtown Tiffin

New beauty service opening in Laird Arcade building Nov. 1

LinleyTIFFIN, OHIO – October 25, 2018 – A new, unique beauty business will open in the Laird Arcade in downtown Tiffin on Nov. 1. Airbrush Beauty will offer traditional and airbrush makeup application, hairstyling, eyebrow waxing, mobile spray tanning, as well as classes in makeup application.

Owner Linley Marsh brings more than 10 years of experience in styling as well as her desire to help clients look and feel their best to her new business. “I just want to take all of my beauty knowledge and bring it to people firsthand. I love the reaction when I make someone feel good about themselves through my work,” she said. “It is gratifying to be able to help others, especially in my hometown.”

Services at Airbrush Beauty will be by appointment and are ideal for special events and photography sessions. Marsh currently offers bridal packages through www.theknot.com and works with local photographers. She plans to collaborate with other businesses in the future and hold special open house events. Marsh also plans to grow the company to offer more services and she looks forward to seeing many new faces.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz welcomes the new business. “It is wonderful to see another young entrepreneur returning to Tiffin to start a business in the community,” he said.

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.senecasuccess.com.

Allstate Insurance under new ownership

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The Allstate Insurance office in downtown Tiffin will soon be under new ownership. David Stover will be taking over over the office at 72 E. Market St. later this summer. The Agency will continue the tradition of excellent service and friendly support offered by the late Bill Daniel while seeking to grow the staff and product offering as Tiffin’s new Allstate agency.

Stover announced his new venture via social media:

“I am excited to announce that I will be carrying on the tradition of excellent service and friendly support at Seneca County’s only Allstate agency later this summer. The office is located in the Laird Arcade building, at the center of downtown Tiffin’s current resurgence.

This purchase is the culmination of a search that began last summer when I decided to leave The Andersons, Inc. after 30 years of service. One of my primary goals has been to become more involved in the community where I live, worship and have raised my children. That goal has been accomplished.”

The office will remain at the same location and continue to offer the broad array of products and services available through Allstate. Terry Webb will be continuing on as an agent in the office serving your property and casualty needs.  In addition, Neil Ickes, Personal Financial Representative will be available to assist you in your financial planning and investments. Stover is also looking to bring on additional team members.

David was born and raised in Seneca County and resides in the Tiffin area with his wife Dr. Amber Stover and two children.  Over the past thirty years, David held multiple roles with The Andersons, Inc. in sales, marketing, crop insurance, and risk management.  His background in business led him to recently join the faculty at the Heidelberg School of Business where he teaches marketing, innovation and mentors future business owners.

 

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

Spire Advertising to open Tiffin office

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Jeremy Harrison leads a small business seminar.

Ashland-based advertising firm chooses satellite location

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 1, 2018 – Ashland, Ohio-based Spire Advertising has signed a lease on a Tiffin office, located at 19 W. Market St., Suite E. The satellite office is set to open in spring of 2018.

Spire specializes in “done-for-you” advertising, tailored to small business owners. Services include content creation, website design, targeted traffic solutions, and sales and marketing software.

Owner and founder of Spire Advertising Jeremy Harrison grew up in Seneca County and attended Heidelberg University before moving to Ashland, where he opened his business in 2006. His next step is to open a series of satellite offices in small communities, starting with his hometown.

“Being local, you know how people are wired,” Harrison said. “Small business owners are busy, they don’t have time to get into the weeds with their digital marketing. We take care of everything so they can get back to work and not worry about the details.”

Spire also regularly offers free seminars to small businesses on a range of topics, including time efficiency, growing sales, hiring and retaining employees, and simple advertising solutions. Their next seminar will take place March 23 at 19 W. Market St., Suite B, focusing on “7 costly mistakes small businesses make with their marketing & websites.” Register at www.growtiffin.com.

About Spire Advertising
Started in 2006, Spire creates done-for-you digital marketing solutions for local small businesses who are ready to grow. Spire employs 15 full-time employees and serves over 400 clients across the Midwest. Learn more at www.spiread.com.

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 in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

TERRA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE OHIO SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER RECOGNIZED WITH AWARD

Press release provide by Terra State Community College.

IMG_6040 (2)Fremont, OH, November 14, 2017 – The Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Terra State Community College was presented the 2017 Ohio SBDC Customer Satisfaction Award at its annual statewide conference in Columbus held November 7 and 8.  It is the first time the Terra State SBDC has been recognized with the award.

The award is given to the one Ohio SBDC center with the highest rate of customer satisfaction based upon its training services, counseling knowledge and expertise, and advice given to customers, and the likelihood they would recommend the SBDC to friends or colleagues.  Bill Auxter, Terra State SBDC Director, says, “The Customer Satisfaction Award is the most coveted honor because it is recognition from the customers you serve”.

The Small Business Development Center is part of a national network of over 1,000 centers throughout the US and 30 centers serving Ohio.  For more information about the SBDCs, contact Bill Auxter at 419-559-2210 or bauxter@terra.edu.

Terra State Community College is a two-year accredited, state-supported, commuter college located in Fremont, Ohio. Terra State has a long history of service to the community and providing students with an education that is both accessible and affordable. Terra State offers twenty-two Applied Degrees and Certificates to students.

National Small Business Week – how to get involved

small business week

Yesterday was the beginning of National Small Business Week 2017, running from April 30 – May 6! Started in 1963 and sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Small Business Week recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The SBA is offering the following webinars throughout the week:

The U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Small Businesses
Presented by Visa
May 2, 2017 | 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Register here

5 Fabulous Habits of Local Business Champions
Presented by YP
May 3, 2017 | 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Register here

Grow Your Business Online
Presented by Google
May 3, 2017
4:00-5:00 pm ET
Register here

The Future of Small Business Innovation
Presented by Salesforce
May 4, 2017
2:30-3:30 pm ET
Register here

How to Write Your Email Content in 15 Minutes or Less
Presented by Constant Contact
May 4, 2017 | 3:30-4:30 pm ET
Register here

Find the Hidden Money in America
Presented by Chase
May 4, 2017 | 5:00-6:00 pm ET
Register here

For more information about the SBA click here. For more information about National Small Business Week, click here.

Small Business Seminars held monthly in Tiffin

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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 2018 dates:

  • January 10
  • February 14
  • March 14
  • April 11
  • May 9
  • June 13
  • August 15
  • September 19
  • October 17
  • November 21

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