Author: ndutro

The Renaissance and Barrel 51 named business of the year

Annual Downtown Tiffin summit included announcements, awards

TIFFIN, OHIO – SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership hosted the 2021 Main Street Celebration and Downtown Summit Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, at the Chandelier Community Event Center, 151 S. Washington St. The program included award presentations, celebrated the success of 2020 and 2021 – including the resiliency of the community amongst a global pandemic – and gave a look forward to the next year.

During the event, Joyce Barrett, Executive Director of Heritage Ohio, announced this year’s recipient of the Main Street Business of the Year award is Dave Spridgeon with The Renaissance and Barrel 51. The Renaissance and Barrel 51 opened its doors in 2017 to bring the roaring 20s back to Tiffin. The bar incorporates 1920s style drinks, uniforms and furniture. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, Spridgeon and grew his business, by opening a food truck and purchasing a party bus, which was converted into a speakeasy on wheels.

Spridgeon will be recognized during the annual Preservation and Revitalization Conference, taking place Oct. 18-20 in Springfield, Ohio.

The Celebration included the 2021 Downtown Tiffin Main Street Awards ceremony. Winning awards were:

  • Tony Consolo, Anne Gase Achievement Award.
  • Hempy Water/Jeff Knedler, Development Award.
  • Jam’s Monthly Markets/Jami Fadley, Entrepreneurial Award.
  • Bear’s Den/Dennis Wickert, Business Legacy Award.
  • Dale Depew, Main Street Director Award.

The night also featured:

  • Ohio Sen. Kirk Schuring gave the keynote speech about downtown revitalization, introduced by Ohio Sen. Bill Reineke.
  • Year in review by Director of Downtown Revitalization Amy Reinhart.
  • No Eileen gave a live performance, accompanied by a slideshow of projects and events.

For a complete recap of the event, visit http://www.tiffinseneca.org/.

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.

Seneca County seeks firm to develop a Rural Broadband Strategic Plan

Request For Proposals open until October 25

The first meeting of the Rural Broadband Task Force on Aug. 23, 2021

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 23, 2021 – The Seneca County Commissioners announced the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find a business to develop a strategic plan for rural broadband infrastructure in Seneca County. The Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP), the County’s economic development agent, is coordinating the RFP and facilitating the newly created Rural Broadband Task Force, which will be evaluating the proposals. The RFP closes at 5 p.m. Oct. 25, 2021. The RFP itself with all relevant information can be found at senecabroadband.org.

Seneca County Commissioner Tony Paradiso, who has been leading the County’s efforts to understand and support expanding broadband in Seneca County, was pleased to make the announcement. “We have been working on this for months, meeting with elected officials, school districts, and private providers, to determine a path forward and potentially to access new state and federal funds that can be used to expand broadband. This is incredibly important for the future of education, small business, and economic development in the townships and villages of Seneca County.”

Together with the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, the Commissioners convened the Rural Broadband Task Force, a group made up of approximately 30 public officials, education leaders, and private broadband representatives to jointly develop the RFP. The group will evaluate all proposals, select finalists to interview, and then select the best firm. The County has indicated its intention to fund the study.

TSEP President & CEO David Zak praised the Commissioners for being proactive, saying “Strategic plans are an excellent way to determine where best to invest public funds and an excellent way to position yourself for grant funding. We are happy to facilitate the process in partnership with the North Central Ohio Regional Council of Governments, who will manage the study once the firm is selected, and the Seneca Regional Planning Commission, who will oversee the plans implementation.”

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.org.

Downtown Tiffin Pumpkin Stroll returns for 2021

Online and in-store tickets sales now open

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 22, 2021 – Celebrate the fall with a fun event as the Downtown Pumpkin Stroll returns 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. Spend the day strolling from business to business, gathering fall-themed treats at participating locations.

This year’s event is being generously sponsored by Old Fort Banking Co.

To maintain social distancing, walkers may start anytime and at any stop you wish — there is no registration on the day of.

Tickets are $20 at Simply Susan’s, 70 S. Washington St. (cash or check only in store). At ticket purchase, walkers will receive a map and a bag. This year, ticket prices will used to support participating businesses.

To purchase tickets online, click here or visit downtowntiffinevents.com. A confirmation email will be sent after ticket purchase, which can be presented The Renaissance of Tiffin, 129 S. Washington St., the day of the event (starting at 9:30 a.m.) for walkers to receive their ticket (with map) and a bag.

Walkers are asked to wear masks when in doors and to maintain social distancing. For more information about the event, find Downtown Tiffin Pumpkin Stroll on Facebook, and Like the page for updates.

Participating businesses include:

  • Burns Electric Inc.
  • Clover Club
  • GW’s Fine Food & Spirits
  • FroZone
  • JAM’s Monthly Markets
  • Jolly’s
  • JT’s Bagel Bar
  • Laird Arcade Brewery
  • Ralph’s Joy of Living
  • Reino’s Pizza
  • Rose & Co Mercantile
  • Rustic Flair & Brush
  • The Renaissance of Tiffin
  • Simply Susan’s
  • SSG Ink
  • UIS Insurance & Investments
  • Yours With Every Stitch

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 Municipal Arts Commission approved by City Council

New city body to guide and oversee public art

The mural at City Lot 7 in Downtown Tiffin is an example of public art.

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 21, 2021 – During a meeting Monday evening, Tiffin City Council approved the creation of the Tiffin Municipal Arts Council, the first of its kind in the city’s history. The Arts Commission will promote and oversee public art in the city of Tiffin. It is the result of the work of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership’s (TSEP) Downtown Design Committee, part of Downtown Tiffin’s Main Street program, together with Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz and the City Administration.  

Montz celebrated the development: “I am very pleased to see Tiffin continue to be proactive and progressive in enhancing the quality of life of our community. Public art is an important part our Downtown Strategic and Comprehensive Plans, and we believe it will build community pride, strengthen our downtown and tourism, and celebrate talent residing in our community.”

The Arts Commission will help develop public art sites, support artists, provide policy input, coordinate artwork installation and signage, serve as a liaison between stakeholders, serve as a resource to the City on art-related matters, develop a planning process, and other matters. The initial annual budget for the Commission to support and promote public art will be $10,000.

Ryan Poignon, local artist and member of the new Arts Commission praised the development. “Art is such an important part of the fabric of our community, and I’m truly appreciative of city leaders and volunteers working together to make this happen. I’m looking forward to working with the City and TSEP to strengthen public art and the arts in general.” Poignon also owns The Poignon Project, a downtown Tiffin art studio and shop featuring handmade artwork, glass, and live glassblowing.

The Arts Commission is the product of a year and a half of work that began last summer. Throughout 2020 and into this spring, members of the Downtown Design Committee benchmarked Ohio communities such as Athens, Yellow Springs, Marietta, and Sandusky, looking to develop a public arts policy for the City of Tiffin. Public art appears several places in the 2010 Downtown Strategic Plan, most notably in the sections on promoting the downtown to visitors (Promotion) and the appearance of the downtown (Design.) 

Tiffin’s Director of Downtown Revitalization Amy Reinhart said, “I want to express my appreciation for Mayor Montz, the city administration, and Law Director, as well as Tiffin City Council. I also appreciate Design Committee Chair Brian Perrine and the volunteers who did a lot of the work to help make it happen, in particular Mike Pinkston, Debbie Roszman and Design Committee Vice Chair Tony Consolo.”

The 2020 Comprehensive Plan has a public art strategy under Goal 6 “Strong Community & Image,” recommending the city “commission pieces of public art and install them at various locations throughout the community.” TSEP’s Tiffin Community Development Committee plans on working with the new group to support public art as part of the community’s overall community development strategy.

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.org.

QT2 announces $350,000 expansion

Company to invest in machinery and equipment

A picture of the production floor at QTII in Tiffin.

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 20, 2021 – QT2, aka Quick Tab 2, has announced today that the company is investing $350,000 in Seneca County in new machinery and equipment purchases. The company is located in the Northstar Industrial Park and employs 55 people.

QT2, a manufacturer of commercial print products, specializing in catalogues, booklets, small periodicals, calendars, brochures, business forms/checks, and various branding materials, is purchasing various equipment to improve efficiencies throughout the operation. These investments will allow the company to enhance their capabilities and diversify into other product areas that are offered by their many customers nationwide.

QT2 was founded in 1987 and is currently located in the second speculative industrial building constructed in Seneca County. The company started by primarily focusing on business documents, but has grown to produce brochures, postcards, calendars, and many on-demand commercial printed products.

“We’re excited to be able to make this announcement and continue to invest here in Seneca County,” said Charles Daughenbaugh, President and CEO. “We are proud to have been a member of this community for 34 years and hope to continue to grow for decades to come.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “I’m excited about QT2’s investment in Tiffin and continued growth. It’s a real testament to our resiliency that companies like QT2 have continued to expand and put money into their operations following a global pandemic.”

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.org.

Façade Grant approved for UIS Insurance and Investments

Company receives maximum grant amount for roof replacement

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 8, 2021 – During a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 7, the City of Tiffin Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approved a façade grant for UIS Insurance & Investments for roof replacement.

During the meeting, the board approved a $10,000 Façade Enhancement Grant for UIS Insurance & Investments for their location at 51 Washington St. to replace the current roofing material with new EPDM roofing material. The $28,983 project was approved for the maximum grant amount.

Mayor Aaron Montz said, “Downtown buildings are expensive to maintain and I’m pleased to see that the City can support this investment by UIS Insurance to preserve their historic building.”

The 2021 Façade Enhancement Program continues to be successful with 11 building project approvals for an investment of more than $215,000. Since the Façade Enhancement Program’s inception in 2014, 98 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.

TSEP launches community website initiative

City of Tiffin, Seneca County collaborate to update web presence

TIFFIN, OHIO – Sept. 7, 2021 – Today, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, in partnership with the City of Tiffin and Seneca County Commissioners and Sheriff’s offices, have announced the release of a Request for Proposals for a new, updated web presence for each organization. The entities have begun to engage specific firms, but the RFP is open to all web developers interested in submitting a proposal.

Over the past several years, Tiffin and Seneca County have enjoyed significant economic growth, placing fourth in the country last year out of 581 micropolitans (non-metro counties with significant population) for large economic development projects. Tiffin’s state- and nationally-accredited downtown is one of the top downtowns in the state and region, with more than 70 new businesses opening up since 2014. In the past year, the Chamber of Commerce has grown its membership by more than 30 percent, its social media has experienced exponential growth, and they have now become the second strongest Chamber in Northwest Ohio, with more than 400 members. Both the City of Tiffin and Seneca County were one of the few municipalities and counties that ended 2020 with positive net revenue, and both have strong, innovative leaders and teams that approach things in a collaborative and strategic manner.

In 2016, these organizations embarked together on an 18-month community branding initiative. The initiative resulted in a uniquely connected brand family connecting more than seven separate groups – the county (Seneca County), city (City of Tiffin), chamber and tourism (Seneca Regional Chamber and Visitors Services), economic development and downtown revitalization (Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, formerly Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. or SIEDC), and planning (Seneca Regional Planning).

“We felt it was important to approach the redevelopment of our websites collaboratively, based on the success of the community branding initiative,” said David Zak, president and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership. “Each of our organizations is passionate about, and deeply committed to, effectively marketing the community and showing a unified vision for positive growth.”

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.org.

SCAT to begin flex route bus service Sept. 13

Shelton Shuttle to offer routes to businesses for work, recreation

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 3, 2021 – The Shelton Shuttle, a flex-route bus service provided by Seneca-Crawford Area Transportation (SCAT), is set to begin service on Sept. 13. The service has four vehicles, two purchased through a state grant and two purchased through a federal grant.

Three routes have been established to serve the City of Tiffin and portions of rural Seneca County. Until more drivers can be secured, only one route will be in operation which will connect riders to shopping and businesses on the east and west sides of Tiffin. The route will run Monday through Friday 8:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The cost to $1 per ride.

In the future, SCAT will open up other routes, with one serving government services, shopping and dining in Downtown Tiffin and another will serve the industrial parks based on shift changes. Additionally, routes may run for limited hours on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings for commercial businesses depending on demand.

Plans to establish the service began in Fall 2014, when David Shelton arranged a meeting with Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz. In the following years, Heidelberg Business Institute completed Phase I of the Feasibility Study in 2015, followed by a formal study conducted by RLS in 2018. Since then, SCAT has received grants to fund the service completely for the first 18 months through the Ohio Transit Partnership Program and federal CARES Act, including funding the four vehicles.

Mayor Aaron Montz said he was excited for the service to begin. “This is a fantastic resource for our community, bringing people to local businesses and helping to transport workers. I’m proud that we can offer this service to the people of Tiffin.”

Mike Kerschner, president of the Seneca County Board of Commissioners, said: “I’m proud to be able to work with the individuals at SCAT who have put in the time and resources to make this bus route possible to benefit the citizens of Seneca County.”

Mary Habig, Executive Director for Seneca-Crawford Area Transportation, said, “I’m grateful for the SCAT Board of Directors, SCAT employees, community leaders, Heidelberg University, Ohio Department of Transit, and State Senator Bill Reineke for their dedication and commitment in making this added service a reality.”

For more information or to apply to drive, call (567) 938-8055.

About Seneca-Crawford Area Transportation

Seneca-Crawford Area Transportation (SCAT) is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides public transportation throughout Seneca and Crawford counties. Its mission is to serve the public by providing a safe, reliable, affordable, accessible and efficient transportation system.  For more information, visit www.senecascat.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 www.tiffinseneca.org.

Tiffin business owner plans to retire, seeks to sell business

Business for sale for $250,000, property for $300,000

TIFFIN, OHIO – Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that a long-standing successful and local Tiffin retail business is available for sale. The owner would like to retire and is looking for someone new to take over. Detailed information about this opportunity codenamed “Project Starlight” can be found on TSEP’s “Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse” at tseoc.org. The opportunity will remain open until a new owner and manager is found.

The business owner wishes to remain anonymous at this time. The business for sale is a successful, profitable retail business within the city of Tiffin that has been in operation for multiple generations. The owner is looking to sell all components of the businesses including inventory, equipment, and information for $250,000. The owner is also looking to sell the property, which is located in one of Tifffin’s most highly trafficked commercial districts, for $300,000. The property includes a third of an acre, a 3,700 square foot building, and an 8,000 square foot parking lot. The current annual profit from the business is $110,000. The owner is ready to retire but would love to see the business continue, so they are also willing to provide some transitional mentoring and training to assist an entrepreneur who may be looking to learn on the job.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is hopeful a new owner can be found. “We experienced success with finding the right person to manage Bird Scooters through the Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse,” he said. “I hope the same thing happens with this Tiffin business which has such deep roots in our community. We don’t want to lose it when the owner retires.”

Eligible parties may include people wanting to run and/or own the business, but don’t have to be both. The Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse (TSEOC), launched in April of 2021, is a new program designed to facilitate the flow of entrepreneurial talent and capital to new business start-up, franchise, and business acquisition opportunities. There may be investors that do not want to run the business but would be willing to invest if a competent entrepreneur and business manager could be found. Interested parties should contact TSEP Development Manager Audrey Flood by email at flood@tiffinseneca.org or by cell at 419.561.0244.

Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and chair of TSEP’s Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurship Committee, supports the initiative. “One of our member businesses came to us looking for resources related to legacy planning and transition. I knew they would be a perfect candidate to utilize TSEP’s new Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse and was happy to connect them.”

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.org.

City of Tiffin launches second Dream Big Tiffin process on Sept. 3

Community development project portal open through Oct. 15

TIFFIN, OHIO – Aug. 30, 2021 – On behalf of the City of Tiffin, the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is announcing the start of the 2021 Dream Big Tiffin cycle. Citizens and organizations can submit ideas and full project proposals for community development projects online at www.dreambigtiffin.com starting on Friday, Sept. 3, through Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Community development projects are those that benefit the general public and improve quality of life, like parks, the arts, education, healthcare and public services.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “Last year was the first time doing this, and we had ten full projects and 55 ideas submitted. More than 100 residents provided ideas and feedback in 2020, and we look forward to seeing even more participation this year. We also appreciate TSEP’s hard work in making this happen.”

Once the submission period closes on October 15, the general public will weigh in, and then three specialty committees or “panels” in the areas of Quality of Life, Education & Training and Health & Human Services will evaluate and classify each of the project proposals as “priority,” “recommended,” or “reviewed” based on a number of factors, including whether the project has a solid business plan, is mature and ready to move forward, has secured any other funding, and is sustainable. The last step is full approval of the list by the entire Tiffin Community Development Committee.

Jodie Reinbolt, Executive Director of the Tiffin Community Foundation and Chair of the Tiffin Community Development Committee, is excited about this coming year. “Our committee of almost 30 community leaders contribute their time and talent to help Tiffin attract, develop, and fund more projects that will positively impact people’s lives. Our Board of Directors at the Tiffin Community Foundation always looks forward to learning what new projects are in the pipeline for the new year.”

Although the program does not have any dedicated funding, the Dream Big Tiffin process is designed to make it easier for government and foundation officials to know what the community thinks is important and ready to go. It also is designed to identify and assist projects that are not quite mature enough to move forward to get the help they need to successfully move forward.

Ohio Senator Bill Reineke is also a big supporter of the initiative. “When trying to bring state resources back to the district for important local projects, it’s much easier to help those communities that are working effectively together to prioritize their needs, and this is a good example of exactly what I’m looking for.” 

The report summarizing last year’s efforts can be found at www.dreambigtiffin.com. Questions or interest in the 2021 Dream Big Tiffin initiative can be directed to TSEP’s Community Development Manager, Audrey Flood at flood@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.