Bailiwicks, Locks by Cactus approved for grants

Projects total more than $18,000 investment

TIFFIN, OHIO – March 2, 2021 – Tuesday, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved a Façade Enhancement Grant for Bailiwicks Coffee Co. and a Sign Enhancement Grant for Locks by Cactus, both in Downtown Tiffin.

At the meeting, the ABR approved a Downtown Façade Enhancement Grant of $8,215 for Bailiwicks Coffee Co., 62 S. Washington St., for masonry and wall repair.

Additionally, the ABR approved a grant of $785.85 for a new sign for Locks By Cactus Hair Salon, 33 Court St. The building’s previous owner received a Façade Enhancement Grant in 2016, which was used for repairs to slate, masonry, windows, cornices, roof, and dormers, as well as painting. Current owner Tiffin Capital Investments LLC was recognized for the renovation of the upper floor apartments, the Court Street Lofts, with the Best Upper Floor Residential Rehabilitation Award at the 2019 Heritage Ohio Preservation and Revitalization Awards Ceremony.

Combined, these projects total more than $18,000 in investment in Downtown Tiffin. Previously approved grant projects in 2021 include a Façade Enhancement Grant for State Farm Insurance and a Sign Enhancement Grant for Sisters in Shelter.

In 2020, the ABR approved grants for the owners of seven building in Downtown Tiffin for a total investment of $221,000.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “I’m proud that these programs continue to contribute to the beautification of Downtown Tiffin and are able to provide help for businesses both new and established.”

Since the Façade Enhancement Program’s inception in 2014, 89 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of more than $2.6 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program

The Façade Enhancement Program is a City of Tiffin reimbursement grant that was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year. For more information, visit www.tiffinseneca.org (search “Façade Enhancement”).

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. For more information, click here.

Tiffin-Seneca micropolitan ranks 4th nationally for economic development

Site Selection ranking is the community’s highest ever

Cover of the March 2021 edition of Site Selection magazine.

TIFFIN, OHIO – MARCH 1, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. jointly announced today that Seneca County has placed No. 4 nationally in Site Selection magazine’s rankings for large, private economic development projects out of the 581 micropolitans in the US. Site Selection has been annually ranking states and cities since 1978 and top non-metro counties with an urban center between 10,000 and 50,000 since 2004.

This is the 10th year in a row that the Tiffin-Seneca micropolitan area has ranked in the top 100 nationally, and the sixth time it has placed in the top 10. In 2020, Seneca County was ranked No. 6. Qualifying projects must involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create at least 20 new jobs or add at least 20,000 sq. ft. of new floor area.

Seneca County had 11 qualifying projects including American Plastics and Church and Dwight in rural Seneca County; Dorel Home Furnishings, MBDS, TH Plastics and Webster Industries in Tiffin; and Ohio Logistics, Mennel Milling Company and Roppe Holding Company in Fostoria.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was excited to hear the news. “This ranking is further proof of the great things happening here in Tiffin. We are proud to be recognized again by Site Selection Magazine.” Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler agreed, “I’m proud that Fostoria was again recognized by Site Selection for the continued growth in our community.” Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner added: “I’m proud that Seneca County has achieved its highest-ever ranking, and I congratulate everyone who contributed toward this great success.”

“Despite the disruptions of 2020, Tiffin, Seneca County, and all of Northwest Ohio stayed focused in putting the needs of businesses first while continuing to build a conducive climate for their success. And the results of those efforts show in the outstanding rankings in Site Selection magazine,” said Dean Monske, president and CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership.

This year, Ohio and Texas won the Governor’s Cups, Ohio for most projects per capita in 2020 and Texas for having the most qualified projects of any state for the ninth straight year. The entire Northwest Ohio region posted strong numbers, with Findlay and Hancock County taking the number one micropolitan slot. Sandusky County placed seventh, Crawford and Defiance Counties were tied for 55th, Lima tied for 4th place for metropolitans with less than 200,000 population and Toledo tied for first for mid-metropolitans.

To mark the occasion, Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation and TSEP hosted a joint press conference today at Terra State Community College. Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague; State Sen. Bill Reineke; State Rep. Gary Click; the mayors of Bellevue, Clyde, Fostoria, Fremont and Tiffin; Ron Schumacher, President of Terra State Community College; Dean Monske; Beth Hannam, Executive Director of SCEDC; and David Zak, President and CEO of TSEP, all spoke during the event.

More information can be found at siteselection.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.com.

About the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation

Established in 1956 as the Fostoria Community Industrial Association, the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Fostoria and surrounding area in Hancock, Wood, and Seneca Counties, which consistently rank among the top counties nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Fostoria at www.fostoriaedc.org.

Tiffin Community Kitchen project secures investment of 250K

Large commitment from Episcopal Dioceses of Ohio kicks off capital campaign.

Information via Tiffin Community Kitchen

TIFFIN, OHIO – February 23, 2021 – The Tiffin Community Kitchen Project received a commitment of $250,000 from the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio this week. Old Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tiffin is spearheading the project in partnership with Seneca County Common Ground and is connecting with their larger faith-based community in an exciting way.

The Rev. Aaron Gerlach is both the Rector of Old Trinity and the President of the Board of Seneca County Common Ground. “We are incredibly grateful for the support of our state-wide organization in getting this initiative off the ground,” said Gerlach. “We look forward to further developing this relationship with the Diocese as well as with other partners who are helping to bring the Tiffin Community Kitchen from a vision to a reality.”

With this initial investment of $250K comes the official kickoff of the project’s capital campaign. The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.7 million, and the group hopes to utilize a combination of public, private and philanthropic support to meet their overall goal. The team will be applying for grants, meeting with private foundations and donors and reaching out to community members for support in the coming months.

The group recently launched a new website with an online giving portal, a Facebook page and a professional video showcasing the goals of the Kitchen project and the many benefits that it seeks to provide for the Tiffin and Seneca County community. The video features various local leaders sharing their perspective on how the project ties into the future of the community.

The kitchen will focus on connecting local growers and businesses to the community, providing opportunities for groups to cook and eat together, housing a diverse set of cooking classes and creating ways to give back to the community by preparing food. “The Tiffin Community Kitchen at its core is about developing community relationships around food. We are extremely grateful that the Diocese desires to be a partner in creating a space for this to happen,” said Gerlach.

“The Trustees of the Diocese of Ohio were persuaded to apply funds originating from the Tiffin-Seneca County area to this project by its creative and community-involved nature. The partnerships fundamental to its success reflect the collaborative leadership of Old Trinity and the essential role of religious institutions in the wellbeing of the communities they serve. We are delighted to be counted among their enthusiastic supporters,” stated the Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., Bishop of Ohio.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the project can give online at tiffincommunitykitchen.com or mail gifts to 125 East Market Street, Tiffin. For information, contact Gerlach at RevGerlach@OldTrinityEpiscopal.com, call (567) 938-0102 or visit tiffincommunitykitchen.com.

About Old Trinity Episcopal Church

Originally constructed in 1856, Old Trinity has been a staple in the Tiffin community for decades. The church worships in the Anglican beliefs centering on liturgy, tradition and intellectual response. It has from its beginning in Tiffin been attractive to community leaders. Tiffin’s first mayor, Henry Kuhn, was a member of this parish as well as many elected officials and community leaders throughout the years. The church has recently completed several projects including restoration of the stained-glass windows, renovation of the undercroft to accommodate parish and community functions and installation of an elevator. The central location and the community spirit of the congregation provide the incentive to the ministry of the space. Old Trinity Episcopal church is heavily invested in the community and continually looks for ways to provide value. Learn more at www.oldtrinityepiscopal.com.

About Seneca County Common Ground

Created in 2019, Seneca County Common Ground (SCCG) is a new organization with a mission to strengthen Seneca county’s local food system through collaboration to improve the overall health and growth of our community, and a vision of a vibrant, accessible and sustainable local food system in Seneca County that supports the health of residents, businesses and institutions. The board of the organization includes Seneca County OSU Extension Agent Hallie Williams, Reverend Aaron Gerlach of Old Trinity Episcopal Church, local business owner and chair of the Downtown Retailers Committee Dave Spridgeon, local business leader Dale Depew, TSEP Development Manager Audrey Flood, and local food vendors Kristy Buskirk of Clay Hill Farms and John Riehm of Riehm Produce Farm. SCCG oversees the operations of the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market and supports other local food initiatives including the Tiffin Community Kitchen Project. Find out more at sccommonground.org or find Seneca County Common Ground on Facebook.

Top 7 Terra State Training Resources

Workforce Development guru Carol Kern and I sat down recently with the new workforce development specialist at Terra State Community College, Holly Hoffman, to talk about the resources they have for business through Terra and their Kern Center for Workforce and Community Education. Terra’s an amazing partner and is working hard to make a difference both in the lives of students and in the success of area business.

Hoffman has been serving as the Coordinator of Community Education and brings both academic and business knowledge to the position. She received her MBA from Tiffin University and is a Bloomville native, so she understands Seneca County.

Hoffman was excited to talk about developments at Terra State and to provide an overview of some of their resources for businesses looking for trained people and to train their employees. Here are the top seven resources I took notes on. I look forward to diving into each in more detail with Holly through 2021.

  • Career Fair & Graduates – This is a great way find talent you need. On March 30, at the Student Activity Center, Terra will be hosting a dual-county job fair (Sandusky and Seneca). They usually have about 60 to 70 employers set up, but with social distancing there will be room for around 30. Historically, they will have 200-300 people visit the fair looking for career opportunities, with about 100 of them being students. Terra typically certifies or graduates 150-200 students every year. More information.
  • Resource Webinars – Another resource they provide is to serve as a Subject Matter Expert for training programs and other resources (e.g., grants). Hoffman will be on an upcoming webinar talking about the state TechCred grant (up to $2,000 per employee, up to $30k per business). We encourage everyone to reach out to Hoffman for more information. We plan on working with her to set up a quarterly resource webinar.
  • Customized Training – One of the most important things Terra does is set up customized training programs at a company’s site. They will find the instructors to teach whatever a company needs taught and make it easy for them to upgrade their skills. Find out more.
  • Industrial Certifications – Terra specializes in industrial certifications, and has been expanding them recently. Their IT, welding, and EPA certifications have been well-received and are meeting critical business needs. Find out more.
  • Assessment Testing – Terra can help you find the right assessment tool to help you evaluate, hire, train, and develop the right people for your organization. Find out more.
  • Apprenticeships – Hoffman and her colleagues at Terra State can help you set up apprenticeship programs. Kern can assist you in getting those state-certified in order to make them more attractive to employees. Find out more.
  • Standard Classes (Open Enrollment) – Employees can complete many of Terra’s standardized classes in a variety of subjects (e.g., electricity) that can help them get the skill upgrades they need.

Contact Holly for more information on these and any other resources they have: hhoffman01@terra.edu, 419.618.3291 (cell).

First-ever Jobs & Investment Survey launched in Seneca County

Survey for all businesses located in Tiffin, Seneca County

TIFFIN, OHIO – Feb. 10, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP), in partnership with the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce, announces that it is launching the first-ever annual Seneca County Jobs & Investment Survey. To fill out the survey, visit www.senecabusinesssurvey.com or visit www.tiffinseneca.org to find the link.

This confidential nine-question survey is for all businesses located in Tiffin and Seneca County and is designed to provide better information with which to assess how the local economy is doing and to identify ways to help local businesses grow and be successful. Only aggregate information will be reported to the public, and all individual answers will be kept confidential. TSEP hopes to publish this report in mid-March.

The survey was soft launched to TSEP members last week and is now open to the public. The survey will be open through March 1, 2021. It asks the following eight questions, in addition to contact information for the person and business filling it out:

  • EMPLOYEES (BEGINNING OF LAST YEAR) – How many employees did you have at the beginning of 2020?
  • EMPLOYEES (CORONAVIRUS) – What was your lowest employee count in 2020?
  • EMPLOYEES (NOW) – How many employees do you have now?
  • HIRING – Are you looking to hire more employees this year due to turnover or expansion?
  • TRAINING – Are you looking to train existing or new employees this year?
  • INVESTMENT (LAST YEAR) – How much investment did you make into the business in 2020 (land, building, equipment, furniture & fixtures, working capital)?
  • INVESTMENT (THIS YEAR) – How much investment are considering for 2021?
  • LOCATION/SPACE – Are you considering making any changes to your space/location in 2021? (adding on, renovating, additional location, relocating)?

Seneca County Commissioners President Mike Kerschner praised the effort: “This is a great opportunity for our local businesses to check in with the TSEP and the Chamber and for public officials to get a better picture of the overall state of our economy.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz asked that business leaders take the survey. “The information being collected provides valuable insight into the resiliency of our community, and I hope that every business owner takes the opportunity to fill out this survey.”

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact David Zak, President & CEO of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, at 419.912.1150 or by email at zak@tiffinseneca.org.

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.

New hair salon coming to Downtown Tiffin

Tiffin native returning home to open new business

Krystal Schadle (left) and Alex Pardi are co-owners of Cactus Hair Salon in Columbus. Pardi will be opening Locks by Cactus in Downtown Tiffin in the spring.

TIFFIN, OHIO – Feb. 1, 2021 – Tiffin native Alex Pardi is returning to the area to open a new hair salon, Locks by Cactus Hair Salon, in the spring in Downtown Tiffin at 33 Court St. Pardi is investing in new equipment for the space and will be hiring three full-time and one part-time hair stylists.

Pardi has been in Columbus for 14 years and co-owns Cactus Hair Salon in Columbus with Krystal Schadle, who will continue to operate the Columbus location. The Tiffin salon will focus on haircutting or hair sculpting, extensions, hair coloring, blowouts, wedding parties, eyelash lifts and brow mapping. Pardi and Schadle use and educate for BCS BEAUTY distributors.

In addition to hair services, Cactus Hair Salons offers a subscription box, Cocolocks Box, which includes full-sized professional products sent to your home on a seasonal basis. They also include surprise gifts from other small businesses.

“I am so happy to be back in Tiffin, doing what I love,” Pardi said. “My family is here, and I’m excited to be able to join a small town community that supports its small business.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “Congratulations to Alex Pardi on opening the new salon. It is great to see someone return home and bring their experience and investment to Downtown Tiffin.”

For more information, visit www.cactushairsalonoh.com or find Cactus Hair Salon on Facebook.

About Downtown Tiffin

The revitalization of downtown Tiffin began in 2011, when a group of community members came together to for “Tiffin Tomorrow”, with the goal of promoting and encouraging economic development in downtown Tiffin, and creating plans, programs and actions to ensure long-term vitality and prosperity. In 2014, the city of Tiffin contracted with SIEDC to act as the downtown organization and “Tiffin Tomorrow” came under the SIEDC umbrella as the “Downtown Development Committee,” which serves as the governing board of the downtown organization. In 2015, Tiffin joined Heritage Ohio’s Ohio Main Street Program. For more information, click here.

175 Resources for Business

The driving force of the local Tiffin and rural Seneca County economy is the existing business base (1400 establishments). On average, existing businesses create 75 percent of the jobs and invest 75 percent of the dollars into fixed assets. Our new Seneca Fortune 500 business outreach program seeks to connect businesses with resources (programs, services, organizations, initiatives) that can help them grow. We launched the 2021 program on Jan. 18 (read story).

The following is a beginning-of-the-year inventory of available economic development resources, in four larger categories:

Workforce Resources

Carol Kern – Workforce

50 resources. Are you a business that is thinking about hiring more workers? That needs more workers? That has workforce challenges? That needs to train its workforce? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, there is likely one or more resources in the sub-categories below that can assist you.

  • Recruitment
  • Training
  • Grants & Tax Credits
  • Information
  • Development
  • Other Programs

Financing Resources

Nick Dutro – Financing

50+ resources. Are you a business that plans on spending money on the business? Do you need more cash and/or working capital? Are you thinking about borrowing or financing real estate, equipment, furniture, or other items for the business? Would below market-rate financing be appealing to you? Is it difficult to get a bank to lend you what you need? Do you have other financing challenges? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, there is likely one or more resources in the sub-categories below that can assist you.

  • Loans
  • Credit Enhancement
  • Interest Rate Reduction
  • Investment Capital
  • Bonds
  • Alternative Financing

Real Estate Resources

Nick Dutro – Industrial, Commercial, Real Estate, Tax Savings

50+ Resources. Do you need more, different, or a new space for your business? Are you considering renovating, constructing or purchasing a building? An expansion of a building? The purchase of a site? Are you thinking about remediating a property? Do you need infrastructure improvements to accommodate your project? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, there is likely one or more resources in the sub-categories below that can assist you.

  • Financing – see Financing Resources
  • Grants
  • Services
  • Tax Savings

Special Resources

Amy Reinhart – Downtown Revitalization

50+ Resources. Are you a new or small business? Is your business located in downtown Tiffin? Are you a manufacturer? Do you do any business internationally? Are you a tech company or engaged in research and development? Is your business veteran-, woman-, or minority-owned? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, there is likely one or more resources in the sub-categories below that can assist you.

Audrey Flood – Small Business, Rural
David Zak – Tech, International
  • Downtown
  • Small Business
  • Manufacturing
  • Export & International
  • Tech & Research
  • Specialty-Owned (Vets, Women, Minorities)
  • Chamber
  • Rural & Agribusiness

50 new businesses in downtown Tiffin

Since TSEP started working with Heritage Ohio on a Main Street program in 2014, there are 50 net, new businesses that have located and survived in Tiffin’s downtown

Downtown Tiffin has continued to grow over the past several years as a result of a program called Main Street. The Ohio Main Street Program, administered by Heritage Ohio, works with communities like Tiffin across the state to revitalize historic or traditional commercial areas.

The four-point approach works to create a total image for the community: Providing the retail/professional area with its necessary market niche, creating a cohesive visual identity unique to the community, and nurturing a cultural ambiance associated with the community’s location, appearance, and way of life. The Main Street Approach gradually builds on existing resources and fosters improved community leadership and support on behalf of the Central Business District for the long term. The four points are Operations, Promotions & Marketing, Design, and Economic Vitality/ Business Enhancement.

The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and the downtown Main Street program through our committees, helps create an attractive, vibrant place for business to thrive, helps businesses evaluate potential locations, helps access business resources, and have a good experience in our community. Since 2014, Downtown Tiffin has had over 50 new downtown businesses open and they are as follows:

  1. 22 MRKT 
  2. Ace Serenity Farm & Massage
  3. Airbrush Beauty                                                          
  4. Chandelier Community Events Center                                                                          
  5. Empire at 138                                                                                             
  6. Family & Community Services – Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)            
  7. FroZone                                                                                         
  8. Gem Yoga
  9. Glass N More                                                                               
  10. Hair Studio 47Hawks Crystal                                                                              
  11. Healing Vines     
  12. Higher Ground Counseling
  13. House of Beauty on Washington                                                           
  14. Ink Element                                                                                  
  15. Jams Monthly Markets
  16. Jolly’s – relocated downtown                                                                                 
  17. JT’s Bagel Bar                                                                               
  18. Kesler & Co                                                                                  
  19. KKR Consult                                                                                  
  20. Laird Arcade Brewery                                                                
  21. Melissa Perry Photography                                                      
  22. Meraki Salon & Barber                                                                                          
  23. Moto Mortgage
  24. New Housing Ohio                                                        
  25. Overflow Ministries                                                                   
  26. Paks Karate                                                                                
  27. Pink Lady               
  28. Pregame Sports & Entertainment
  29. Re/Max Realty                                                                            
  30. Reclaim It                                                                                      
  31. Releve Barre Studio                                                                   
  32. Reser Chiropractic – relocated downtown                        
  33. Rose Leaf Flowers                                                                      
  34. Sandco Industries                                                                       
  35. Saull Law                                                                                       
  36. Simply Susan’s                                                                             
  37. Sisters in Shelter                                                                        
  38. Slate Real Estate – relocated downtown                                                                     
  39. SPower
  40. Taylor Elchert Photography                                                    
  41. The Attic
  42. The Renaissance of Tiffin   
  43.  The Renaissance of Tiffin On Wheels
  44. Thrivent Financial                                                                                     
  45. Tiffin Pedal Company                                                                
  46. Tiffin Tech Space                                                                         
  47. Tiffin Wireless Works                                                                
  48. Tracy’s Karate Studio                                                                             
  49. Washington Street Outfitters                                                  
  50. WTTF & BAS Broadcasting – relocated downtown                                                                                

Board approves grants for two Downtown Tiffin buildings

Façade grant, sign grant are first in 2021

TIFFIN, OHIO – January 20, 2021 – Tuesday, the Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved a Façade Enhancement Grant and a Sign Enhancement Grant for buildings in Downtown Tiffin. These are the first two grants being awarded in 2021.

At the meeting, the ABR approved a Downtown Façade Enhancement Grant of $1,500 for a canopy/awning for State Farm Insurance, 179 S. Washington St., and a $117.58 Sign Enhancement Grant for Sisters in Shelter, 76 E. Market St., Suite B. Combined, the projects total a $2,944.16 investment in Downtown Tiffin.

In 2020, the ABR approved grants for the owners of seven building in Downtown Tiffin for a total investment of $221,000.

Additionally, Heritage Ohio, through the Heritage Ohio Main Street Program Grant, provided $20,000 to Downtown Tiffin for improvement projects in 2020. Those projects were for Tiffin Boutique Hotel Group LLC, American Legion Post 169 and 195-197 S. Washington St.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz commented: “I’m proud that Tiffin City Council again has made funding available for these important programs and that we continue to provide help to our building owners in Downtown Tiffin to improve the look of their historic structures.”

Since the program’s inception in 2014, 87 projects have been approved for a total downtown investment of more than $2.6 million.

About the Façade Enhancement Program
This City of Tiffin reimbursement grant program was started in 2014 and provides a 50 percent match of funds for eligible exterior improvements on residential and commercial structures within the downtown historic district, up to $10,000. Each building is eligible to receive up to $10,000 per calendar year. For more information, visit www.senecasuccess.com (search “Façade Enhancement”).

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.com.

TSEP launches unprecedented business outreach initiative

Seneca Fortune 500 seeks to connect with 500 businesses in 2021

TIFFIN, OHIO – Jan. 18, 2021 – The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that it is launching its new Seneca Fortune 500 initiative, with the intention of doubling its business outreach to connect with an unprecedented 500 businesses or more in Tiffin and rural Seneca County in 2021. Calls will begin by the end of this month.

There are about 1400 business establishments located in Tiffin and rural Seneca County, and TSEP typically interacts with about 250 businesses every year.

The goal of the Seneca Fortune 500 initiative is to connect with more businesses, see how they are doing, and then quickly assess if those businesses can take advantage of any of the available local, state or federal economic development programs that could support their growth. If any potential resources are identified, a TSEP team member will either assist them in accessing the resource directly or connect them to a resource partner.

Resources include various financing, grants, and tax break programs. They include free organizations, services, and initiatives that provide technical assistance in small business growth, workforce development, operational improvement, and sales and marketing.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he is excited about the announcement, “We know that existing businesses drive the local economy. Although we are an economic development leader in our region and in the country, I’m thrilled to see we plan on taking our outreach to new heights.”

Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner echoed the sentiment, saying, “We love that this new initiative will touch more small rural Seneca County businesses than ever before. Every business matters, and we want no business left behind.”

Through of a $33,000 Business Outreach Grant obtained by Seneca County Job & Family Services at the end of last year, TSEP will be able to bring on Chris Frakas and Nick Curtl as temporary additional outreach specialists to assist in the ambitious effort. Frakas, a northwest Ohio native, and Curl have been doing business development and relationship marketing with COACT Associates in Toledo and will lend their expertise and experience to help talk with local businesses, acting as an extension of the TSEP team.

In Downtown Tiffin, Director of Downtown Revitalization Amy Reinhart and the Main Street Business Enhancement Committee, chaired by local realtor Bill Jones, will again be reaching out to more than 100 downtown businesses. Other TSEP staff will be reaching directly to businesses they know and work with, and strategic partners such as the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services will also play a key role the effort.

Chamber Executive Director Bryce Riggs strongly supports the initiative, “Resources is one of the Chamber’s four key areas of activity, and we want to bring as many resources as we can to help support the growth of our members. The Seneca Fortune 500 a great example of innovation and partnership.”

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.