coronavirus

Beth Schweitzer receives TSEP President’s Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

TSEP President and CEO David Zak presents Beth Schweitzer with the President’s Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 30, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have honored Beth Schweitzer with the President’s Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Schweitzer led the Seneca County General Health District, beginning May 1, 2014, and retired April 30. As Health Commissioner, she saw Seneca County through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When an elected official or elected leader takes office, you always think about the different disasters you’re going to have to deal with. I don’t think any of us, especially our health commissioner, though that we would deal with a worldwide pandemic,” said Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.

“I think the important thing about Beth, is that she was able to walk the line between protecting the public health interest and protecting the economic interests of the businesses so that it would be safe, but also that it would get started and up and running as soon as it was prudent to do so,” said David Zak, President and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.

As well as working with elected officials and community leaders, Schweitzer helped to explain the situation in the county during regular updates using social media and by answering phone calls with leaders and small businesses.

“Coming onboard as the Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce in the middle of a pandemic, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. So many small businesses were asking me questions about the number of visitors they could have in their shops, about the number of attendees they could have at events – a lot of small business had a lot of questions. When I didn’t know the answer, I always went to Beth,” said Bryce Riggs, Executive Director of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

“She was the right person at the right time. We were never hesitant to take Beth’s advice,” said Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner.

Montz said he was especially grateful to Schweitzer for her willingness to work with the State of Ohio to obtain a waiver to allow businesses to stay open by appointment only, which he credited as saving a lot of retailers, especially in Downtown Tiffin.

“Beth was so willing to go above and beyond and figure out a way to make things work in a safe and effective manner,” Montz said.

Schweitzer was replaced by Anne Goon, who served as health commissioner in other locations and has consulted with Ohio State University and with health departments helping them through the accreditation process.

Dan Barbee, President Mercy Health Rural Division Hospitals, including Tiffin, Willard and Defiance, was only able to work with Schweitzer for about a year, but he said he knew they would hit it off, both coming from a nursing background. Barbee said he will miss her in the role locally.

“You were wonderful to work with, with myself and my crew, and we wish you the very best in retirement,” he said.

The statements of congratulations were echoed by other members of the community.

“From the mayor’s office and everyone at City Hall, congratulations on the President’s Award. We are really going to miss your presence at the health department,” Montz said.

“Beth, you deserve the award because you are one of the reasons we were able to achieve really strong economic development success, nationally-leading economic development success, and on behalf of the board and the team of TSEP and the entire community, thank you,” Zak said.

To view video of the award winner, click here.

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.

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.

Businesses impacted by coronavirus – let your voice be heard

Businesses in Tiffin and rural Seneca County – we need your help! We have three online surveys related to the coronavirus pandemic we want you to fill out that will take 10 minutes or less each. It will be used to develop programs, policy, and local resources to help you and your fellow business neighbors.

Here are the surveys. They are all independent of each other, so please fill out each one.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Guide

Updated 2:18 pm, 3/20/2020

Ohio has been qualified for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program because of the coronavirus. Ohio small business owners, small agricultural coops, and private nonprofits can now apply for these loans up to $2.5 million, up to 30 years.

1. General Overview

Economic Injury Disaster Loans are exactly that – loans, not grants. They will require repayment (basic terms can be found here). These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Loan rates are expected to be 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable. Terms will be determined on a case by case basis. Here are other things you need to know:

  • These loans are only intended as working capital loans utilized to assist with impact caused by the coronavirus emergency efforts. The EIDL’s are not for other purposes such as expansion, new equipment, property purchases, etc. that do not have anything to do with the national emergency we are facing.
  • Interest rates will likely be 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
  • Loan applications will be evaluated by SBA loan officers. Criteria include:
    • Credit history acceptable to the SBA
    • Repayment abilities
    • Eligibility – businesses in a declared state/county, suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster (not a general downturn in business due to the economy or other reasons.)

2. Process Overview

To get an overview of the three-step process, you can go here – Overview).

Note – we recommend filing electronically, but are providing links to the forms so that you can get your information ready to go. You can file with paper, but we expect that will take longer.

3. Required Documents

For Businesses – documents you need to complete an application:

  • Business Loan Application (SBA Form 5) completed and signed by business applicant.
  • Request for Transcript of Tax Return (IRS Form 4506-T) completed and signed by Applicant business, each principal owning 20% or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member and, for any owner who has more than a 50% ownership in an affiliate business. (Affiliates include business parent, subsidiaries, and/or businesses with common ownership or management).
  • Complete copies, including all schedules, of the most recent Federal income tax returns for the applicant business; an explanation if not available.
  • Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) completed, signed and dated by the applicant (if a sole proprietorship), each principal owning 20% or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member.
  • Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202 may be used).

For Businesses – additional documents you may need to submit

  • Complete copies, including all schedules, of the most recent Federal income tax returns for each principal owning 20% or more of the applicant business, each general partner or managing member, and each affiliate when any owner has more than a 50% ownership in the affiliate business. Affiliates include, but are not limited to, business parents, subsidiaries, and/or other businesses with common ownership or management.
  • If the most recent Federal income tax return has not been filed, a year-end profit and loss statement and balance sheet for that tax year is acceptable.
  • A current year-to-date profit and loss statement.
  • Additional Filing Requirements (SBA Form 1368) providing monthly sales figures.