Author: davidzak1

Entrepreneurial Opportunity 2021-01: Bird Scooters

Read full Press Release.

Basic Information

  • Type of Opportunity: manage a new local business
  • Opportunity ID: TSEO 2021-01 Bird Scooters
  • Date posted: April 6, 2021
  • Date closed: to be determined
  • To apply or for more information: fill out this form

Description

Founded in September 2017, Bird operates shared electric scooters in over 100 cities in Europe, the Middle East, and North America with 10 million rides in its first year of operation. The company was founded and is run by Travis VanderZanden, formerly an executive at Lyft and Uber. Notably it became the fastest startup to ever reach $1 billion in valuation.

Users who want to rent the scooters install the Bird app, where all available scooters are displayed. Before starting, the user supplies payment information, scan the QR code on the scooter, and begins the trip. To end the trip, the user must take a photo of the parked scooter. The price of the trip is immediately withdrawn from the user’s credit card.

Bird would like to add Tiffin to its list of cities and is currently searching for its first Fleet Manager partner. During riding season, a person could make up to $1500 per week. All legal, insurance, and overhead costs are covered by Bird, and Bird provides all the needed tools, guidance, and support. No start-up costs or fund are required, but the Fleet Manager must have access to a vehicle to transport scooters and an indoor space to store them during winter months.

Additional Questions

Please contact Audrey Flood, Development Manager for Community, Entrepreneurship, and Rural Development, by email at flood@tiffinseneca.org or by phone at 419.561.0244.

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).

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

SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance

Just received this out of DC…

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13.  The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.

This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

“The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”

“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”

Key PPP updates include:

  • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
  • The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
  • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. 

A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:

  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

The new guidance released includes:

For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares

Northwest Career Ready streamlining committees and revising work-based learning

The Northwest Career Ready (NCR) education and workforce development initiative for Seneca and Sandusky County has been making progress in the fourth quarter of 2020. Information introducing the initiative was published in October (“Northwest Career Ready enters second year“).

Here are the latest developments in the key goal areas:

1. Leadership & Governance

  • Significant progress is being made here towards the goal identified last year of aligning, streamlining, and coordinating similar efforts.
  • Tiffin City Schools (Business Advisory Committee) – Andrew Gase and Amy Wood presented at the November 24, 2020 Tiffin City Schools Board of Education meeting to share the plans for the merger of the Tiffin City Schools Business Advisory Council into Northwest Career Ready with the NCOESC Business Advisory Council members. Formal action will be considered at the December 15 board meeting. The presentation explaining how the merging will work is available here: https://www.loom.com/share/ce2eac1d52854d818d11f545dd89628a
  • Other Districts – Jobs for the Future will present a similar presentation at the NCOESC BAC meeting on December 8th where formal action is expected to be taken on the merger. Once all mergers are complete, onboarding will begin on January 21.

2. Work-Based Learning

  • The group is active, and foundational work is taking place. The hope for next year is to be able to line up dedicated personnel to assist with coordination.  
  • BRAG (Building Readiness After Graduation) Program – Work-Based Learning subcommittee leads are meeting weekly to revise the current BRAG internal structures in order to improve the experiences for students and employers when the program begins in January. 
  • New Technology – The team met with a vendor that provides a technology platform to virtually engage employers with learners for career development activities. This would allow businesses to track their engagement with students and allow NCR to measure student impact. Grant money has been secured to pilot the program in January with a small group. If successful, it can be scaled to NCR participating entities by fall.

3. Communication & Buy-In 

  • The group has not met over the past few months, but it is anticipated we will start meeting again in January.
  • Internal Updates – The NCR updates continue to go out (this is the fourth), on a regular basis, providing a high-level summary of progress. 
  • Brand Development – The groundwork for brand development has begun. The group should be engaging with this in January, leading into the new publication and a potential annual report. 
  • Strategic Plan – Revisiting the strategic plan draft developed early last year will take place in January.

Jobs For the Future

  • Jobs for the Future, in a recent Nov. 9 policy memo emphasized the importance of work-based learning and highlighted what Pathways To Prosperity is doing. 
  • Quick Definition –  I liked this succinct definition: “In 2012, JFF and the Harvard Graduate School of Education launched the Pathways to Prosperity Network to reimagine how our education system—from K-12 through college—partners with employers and prepares our young people for success. The network develops, implements, and scales college and career pathways to expand economic opportunities for all young people and meet regional talent needs. This forward-looking approach depends on strong cross-sector partnerships among K-12 and postsecondary education leaders, policymakers, and employers, bringing together diverse stakeholders to build a future that works.”
  • Work-Based Learning – The following was their policy recommendation on work-based learning: “Champion a national initiative to expand work-based learning opportunities for every high school and college student. This initiative should include the development of national principles for high-quality work-based learning and the prioritization of work-based learning in existing grant competitions. It should also highlight national exemplars and encourage employer commitments to expand work-based learning participation.”

For additional information, please contact Amy Wood at amy_wood@tiffincityschools.org or David Zak at zak@tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin CARES Grant closes on Monday – 10 reasons to apply now!

The Tiffin CARES Act Small Business Relief Grant program accepting applications right now for businesses with less than 30 employees and less than $2 million in revenue and will be until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12. Here are the top ten reasons why businesses should apply now:

  1. There is still a lot of funding available. There are 56 applications currently eligible for funding, under review or in process. The program is able up to handle another 40.
  2. There is still time. The application period closes at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12.
  3. The online application system is easy. Check your eligibility and apply online in under 10 minutes.
  4. You can save your work. Register, fill out what you can, and come back to it if you need to.
  5. You only have to upload two pieces of paperwork: a signed W-9 and the first page of your 2019 tax return (plus Schedule C). If you don’t have a scanner, you can drop copies off to the TSEP offices at 19 W. Market St.
  6. You can submit an incomplete application before the deadline. If you are still working on getting a piece of documentation or information, go ahead and submit. It “saves your place” in line.
  7. We contact you if there are problems. If you fill something out incorrectly, we will contact you within 24 hours to tell you how to fix it.
  8. We will help fix your application and upload any additional documents or information for you after submittal.
  9. You get responses within 24 hours. You can ask any questions by emailing tiffincares@tiffinseneca.org, and the customer service team will get back to you by the next business day.
  10. Reporting is simple. You only have one simple report to fill out after you receive the grant, and you get four months to do that.

Please email us at tiffincares@tiffinseneca.org, and we will get back to you by the next business day, usually sooner.

Top 10 Reasons To Apply For Tiffin CARES funding now

The Tiffin CARES Act Small Business Relief Grant program accepting applications right now, until October 12 at 5:00 p.m. Here are the top ten reasons why businesses should apply now:

  1. There is still a lot of funding available. There are 56 applications currently eligible for funding, under review or in process. The program is able up to handle another 40.
  2. There is still time. The application period closes at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 12.
  3. The online application system is easy. Check your eligibility and apply online in under 10 minutes.
  4. The online application system allows you to save your work – register, fill out what you can, and come back to it if you need to.
  5. You only have to upload two pieces of paperwork – a signed W-9 and the first page of your 2019 tax return (plus Schedule C). If you don’t have a scanner, you can drop copies off to the TSEP offices at 19 W. Market St.
  6. You can submit an incomplete application. If you are still working on getting a piece of documentation or information, go ahead and submit. It “saves your place” in line.
  7. If you fill something out incorrectly, we will contact you within 24 hours to tell you how to fix it.
  8. We will fix your application and upload any additional documents or information for you after submittal.
  9. You can ask any questions by emailing tiffincares@tiffinseneca.org, and the customer service team will get back to you within 24 hours.
  10. You only have one simple report to fill out after you receive the grant, and you get four months to do that.

Northwest Career Ready enters second year

It’s exciting to announce that the Northwest Career Ready (NCR) education and workforce development initiative for Seneca and Sandusky Counties is ready to enter its next phase. NCR is part of the national Pathways To Prosperity model launched in 2012 by Jobs For the Future, a Boston-based think tank and facilitator connected to the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The goal is to help high-school students become career ready through work-based learning and other initiatives. Ten states now have regional or statewide programs, including Ohio, where the Central Ohio Compact has been making tremendous progress since 2012. 

The first phase – “Laying the Groundwork” – is coming to an end. Since summer 2019, we finished our Asset Mapping, attended the national conference in Boston, held a launch meeting in both counties, and established three committees around the following three goals:

  1. Work-Based Learning – develop and implement effective work-based learning for all students; 
  2. Leadership & Governance – align career-ready initiatives and create an overarching leadership and governance structure that coordinates efforts; and 
  3. Communication & Buy-In – communicate with and engage educational, government and business stakeholders in the work and foster community buy-in.

In Phase I, Work-Based Learning (WBL) and Leadership & Governance (L&G) took center stage. Three themes have dominated the last twelve months:

  1. Pandemic & Change – the coronavirus pandemic, as well as changes in educational leadership (Tiffin City Schools), Jobs For The Future (our facilitator), and staffing changes (Vanguard-Sentinel) have caused delays but have also driven innovation and partnership.
  2. Strategic Formation – the mission and vision were finalized; WBL strategic plan and initial L&G structure have been developed. 
  3. Funding – funds have been procured by Vanguard-Sentinel, Terra State, and other sources to support a WBL coordinator as well as program marketing.

This (academic) year’s Phase II (“Beginning to Implement”) will have the Communication & Buy-In (CBI) Committee ramping up activity, as the other committees begin to implement what they’ve worked so hard on over the last several months. Three of the focus points for the next 12 months will be the following:

  1. Communication & Engagement – branding and a communication infrastructure with internal updates, external newsletters, and periodic reports will be developed and implemented.
  2. Work-Based Programming – a WBL Coordinator will be hired and the BRAG (Building Readiness After Graduation) program will be strengthened, supported, and scaled.
  3. Coordination & Cooperation – the various stakeholders, business advisory councils, and strategic planning groups will connect, coordinate, and collaborate more.

We look forward to communicating more in the months to come. I try to keep in mind that this is a marathon, not a sprint…and that other successful programs are in their sixth, seventh, or eighth year. We’re excited to start year two. 

Bradley Building for sale

The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP), a 501c3 nonprofit, is making its property at 19 W. Market St., Tiffin, Ohio publicly available for sale and promoting its interest in doing so.

Interested parties are asked to contact TSEP President & CEO David Zak at zak@tiffinseneca.org or by phone at 419.912.1150. Serious inquiries can schedule a tour and will be provided with a recent appraisal. Letters of intent, including specification of price, will be received until 5:00 pm Friday, October 16, 2020 should be be sent to David Zak at the above contact information.

The property includes the following two parcels:

Next Monthly Business Forum – Aug. 19

Are you a Seneca County business owner? Each month, our local businesses can come together to discuss challenges they’re facing and ask questions of Economic Development & Chamber staff and other businesses. The goal is to provide updates, resources and information and give businesses a place to provide us with feedback. Join us!

This month’s forum on Wednesday, August 19 at 8:00 a.m. The topic is the PPL Loan Forgiveness process. Guests include:

  • Tim Ensch, Lender Relations, US Small Business Administration (Cleveland Office)
  • Steve VanDette, Sr. VP & Commerical Loan Officer, Croghan Colonial Bank 
  • Brody Fultz, Commercial Loan Officer, Sutton Bank
  • LuAnne Cooke, Lt. Governor’s Office
  • Seneca County Health Department Staff
  • Staff of the TIffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, Seneca Regional Chamber, Fostoria Chamber.

Join the GoToMeeting – https://tinyurl.com/monthlybusinessforum. New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/720792125.

Or join by phone – (312) 757-3121 Access Code: 720-792-125.

Or check out on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/events/2941304122574823/?event_time_id=3241347172570515.