entrepreneurship

Bird Scooters launches Tiffin rides next week

Bird working with local entities to provide new scooter sharing service in Tiffin

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 18, 2021 – Santa Monica, California-based Bird Rides, Inc. has announced it will begin offering its e-scooters in the City of Tiffin beginning Monday, June 21.

Bird announced in April its intention to add Tiffin to its list of cities. With the help of the newly-established Entrepreneurial Opportunity Clearinghouse through the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, a local company who will oversee the operation was identified.

The electric scooters can be used on roads and in bike lanes and have a maximum speed of 15mph. Scooters must be parked out of the way of pedestrians and never blocking driveways. Riders are required to be 18 years-old and above to access the scooters. They are also encouraged to wear a helmet on every ride and required to obey all standard rules of the road. For more information, including an opportunity to receive a free helmet (only pay for shipping and handling), visit www.bird.co/safety-mobile.

Users who want to rent the scooters will need to install the Bird app, where all available scooters are displayed. Before starting, the user supplies payment information, scans 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 The price of the trip is immediately withdrawn from the user’s credit card.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 offers the following programs that are available for all who qualify:

  • Community Pricing – Bird’s Community Pricing Program offers a 50% discount to low-income riders, Pell grant recipients, select local nonprofit and community organizations, veterans, and senior citizens. It’s designed to be the most inclusive micromobility discount program available anywhere. To sign up for the Community Pricing Program, download the Bird app, create an account, and email your proof of eligibility to access@bird.co.
  • Free Rides for Healthcare Workers and Emergency Personnel – Bird is proud to offer free rides to healthcare workers and emergency personnel. To sign up, simply email a copy of your medical identification card along with your name and phone number to together@bird.co. Eligible riders will receive two free 30-minute rides per day for as long as it takes to help our communities to recover from this global health crisis.

Founded in September 2017, Bird operates shared electric scooters in more than 100 cities in North America, Europe and the Middle East 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.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was excited about Bird’s announcement. “We’ve been working with Bird for a while, and I’m looking forward to having this fun, environmentally-friendly mobility solution in our community. They will make a great addition to the City of Tiffin.”

If a resident sees an issue with a Bird scooter or would like to contact the company, call 1 (866) 205-2442, email hello@bird.co or use ‘Community Mode’ feature in the Bird mobile app. More information can be found at www.bird.co and on their blog, www.bird.co/blog.

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.

Seneca CEO Program Now Seeking Facilitator and Student Applicants

First program in the state of Ohio officially set to launch this fall.

TIFFIN, OHIO – April 16, 2021 – The board of the Seneca CEO program announced today that applications for student participants and the part-time Facilitator position are now open. Individuals can apply at senecacountyceo.com. The Facilitator job application is open through May 10 and the student application is open through May 15.

Seneca County is on track to be come the 66th community nationally, and first in Ohio, to host a Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program which was developed by the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship to help high school youth successfully start new businesses and learn valuable skills.

A new 501c3 nonprofit called Seneca CEO was created last year to administer the program. Edward VanHoose, President of Federated Energy Services Cooperative including North Central Electric locally, is serving as the organization’s first president. VanHoose saw the program’s success firsthand when he worked in southern Illinois several years ago and is excited for the program to launch here in our community.

“I know this program works, makes business sense, and dramatically impacts local lives,” said VanHoose. “Our next step is to hire a Facilitator that embodies the spirit of the program and will be a great fit for engaging our students. We’re also looking for bright students to participate in the inaugural class beginning in fall of 2021.”

The program would not be where it is today without the generous support of the almost 40 community Investors who have committed financially to ensure that neither schools nor students are charged for the program, making it openly accessible to all students in the county. The organization also is seeking community business leaders to serve as speakers and one-on-one mentors for students as well as business locations to serve as visit sites.

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kershner said, “This program will be a huge asset to our community’s educational, workforce and business infrastructure and I would encourage anyone who is interested to get involved.”

To apply, to learn more about the program or to enquire about getting involved in various ways, you can reach out at info@senecacountyceo.com , visit www.senecacountyceo.com and find Seneca CEO on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Seneca-CEO-110126164165302.

Seneca CEO Board members include Ed VanHoose of Federated Energy Services Cooperative, Tony Gorrell of Sutton Bank, Suzie Reineke of Reineke Family Dealerships, Nate Brickner of Bascom Communications, David Zak of the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership, Sarah Stevens-Krupp of the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kershner, Dr. Laura Kagy of Seneca East Local Schools, Michelle Snay of Mohawk Local Schools and Ted Willman of Calvert High School.

More about the Facilitator Job Description

Seneca County CEO will prepare the next generation of strong effective leaders and be proactive in building our future economic growth through a transformational entrepreneurship program called Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO). Our community is seeking an innovative educator to facilitate the class – someone who believes that education extends beyond the classroom.

The CEO Facilitator will create a learning environment where students are encouraged to explore, discover and experience learning through real life activities. The facilitator’s role is to model a passion for learning, connect with the students and community, collaborate with the CEO Board, and most importantly provide guidance to the students on their personal CEO journey.

CEO offers real life experiences through regular contact with local entrepreneurs and business people. Students in the program will come from area high schools and will meet from 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM Monday – Friday during the school year. This is a half-time position. CEO requires a great deal of time from the facilitator to establish good relationships with the business community, prepare the many communications that make the program transparent, and build the learning environment that allows students to succeed. If you are passionate about cultivating lifelong learners, please send a resume with references to info@senecacountyceo.com.

More About the Midland Institute

The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship was established in 2007 in Effingham, Illinois to oversee and promote the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) initiative – a year-long high school program created by Milken National Educator Craig Lindvahl designed to bring high school youth, entrepreneurs, and businesses together and provide an overview of business development and processes. Now, more than 200 schools offer the program. For more information, visit www.midlandinstitute.com.

Washington Street Outfitters to relocate, expand

WSO moves to 186 S. Washington St.

IMG_6897.jpgTIFFIN, OHIO – August 27, 2018 – Downtown boutique Washington Street Outfitters will be moving to a new location this fall. The storefront space at 186 S. Washington St. will provide the shop room to expand their product offerings and selection.

Owners Zoe Dolch and Spenser Blackiston are looking forward to providing a better experience for their customers. “The new space has the right aesthetic, gives us a larger area to work with, more storage in the back room, better ease of access, and more readily available parking, as well as a more visual storefront,” Dolch said.

WSO got their start through the Laird Business Contest. Dolch and Blackistan submitted their business plan and competed with six other entrepreneurs to win one year of free rent for a space in the Laird Arcade, courtesy of the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group.

“The Laird allowed us to get on our feet and learn,” Dolch said. “We are thankful for the opportunity and experience, and we are ready to take what we’ve learned and use it on a larger scale.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz congratulated the pair on their success. “With Washington Street Outfitters, Zoe and Spenser have proven that their concept works in downtown Tiffin and that young entrepreneurs can thrive here,” he said.

WSO is still open at their current location inside the Laird Arcade Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Visit their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information and updates.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

2018 President’s Award – Andrew and Cindy Kalnow

The 2018 President’s Award was presented to Andrew and Cindy Kalnow. SIEDC President & CEO David Zak chose to give this award to the Kalnows to recognize their contributions to the community.

“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to publicly thank them, for what they mean to this community and everything they’ve done,” Zak said. “Their passion for preservation, drive for excellence and quality,  and caring for the community.”

The Kalnows have been involved in the Tiffin community for many years, and in a myriad of different ways, contributing to economic, downtown, and community development. Recent large projects include:

  • The purchase of National Machinery LLC in 2002, reopening the facility and bringing jobs back to Seneca County. National is now the largest private employer in Seneca County.
  • The purchase and restoration of the East Tower. The purchase of the building saved this historic landmark from demolition and further investment has readied it for development.
  • The opening of Hawkes Crystal in downtown Tiffin. By purchasing the former Crytal Traditions business, the Kalnows were able to keep the Tiffin glass tradition alive and continue to offer custom glass in a beautiful downtown show space.
  • The restoration of 136-138 S. Washington St. and the opening of the Empire at 138, downtown Tiffin’s premier fine-dining establishment. The restaurant has consistently ranked at the top of restaurants in northern Ohio.
  • Creation of the East Green park and pavilion. The Kalnows used their own private capital to fund this large-scale community project. The amphitheater will be completed in summer of 2018 and inaugurated with a summer concert series. A second phase is also planned for the site, to include a splash pad and community garden.

These are just a few of the projects in which the Kalnows have been involved in recent years.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz joined in recognizing Andrew and Cindy. “When I think of model citizens or individuals who have contributed in virtually every way possible to a community, Andrew and Cindy, you’re the first two that come to mind,” Montz said.

 

About the President’s Award
The President’s Award is given by the SIEDC President & CEO to an individual or business deserving of special recognition. It is not given out every year.

Tiffin Candle Co. celebrates local history

Tiffin Candle Co.jpgPortion of proceeds donated to local landmarks

TIFFIN, OHIO – May 3, 2018 – A local couple has created a new candle line to celebrate the community’s history, and donate to the upkeep of historic landmarks. The Tiffin Candle Co. combines local history with unique scents to represent local landmarks and give back to the community.

The Tiffin Candle Co. was started by Brian and Chelsea Bilger earlier this year. “We love candles and had the idea to start making them ourselves. We were brainstorming what we could do with the candles and got the idea of naming them after landmarks in Tiffin,” Brian said. “We both love Tiffin, and this seemed like the perfect way to give back.”

All of the candles are handmade and formulated to provide a strong scent with an even, long-lasting burn. The scents are created to complement the landmark they are named for, with the assistance of people with extensive knowledge of the site or organization. The Bilgers work with the Seneca County Museum to provide historical information on the back of the candle tin as well. For each candle sold, Tiffin Candle Co. donates $1 to the landmark the candle represents.

The first three scents available are Seneca County Museum, Oakley Park and Apple Jack Park. There are plans to expand the park series, and feature Tiffin streets in the future. The candles are currently available at the Seneca County Museum and Simply Susan’s in downtown Tiffin, which matches the Tiffin Candle Co.’s donation for each candle sold.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

SBA seeking Emerging Leaders for training program

emerging leadersThe U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking 15 applicants for its Emerging Leaders Initiative to be held in Tiffin later this year. This is the first time the program, a seven month course for entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level, is being offered in a community of this size.

The training program is provided at no cost to the participants, and the StreetWise Steps™ to Small Business Growth curriculum gives small business owners an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience through a combination of executive education, practical tips based on real-life business experience, and advice from business leaders that can be readily applied.

From the SBA:

Emerging Leaders Initiative provides free entrepreneurship education and training for executives of small, poised-for-growth companies that are potential job creators.  This intensive executive entrepreneurship series includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time. It also provides opportunities for small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors, attend workshops, and develop connections with their peers, local leaders, and the financial community.

Participants are given the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, attend specialized workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders, and the financial community. The Initiative incorporates a curriculum that is research-based and nationally scalable, enabling participating businesses to engage in focused development and expansion strategies, including options for accessing new capital and securing government contracts.

Since its inception in 2008, the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative has trained over 5,000 small business owners, creating over 6,500 jobs, generating over $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3.16 billion in government contracts.

Given the success of SBA’s Emerging Leaders, the SBA has expanded the initiative to include 60 locations to help growing entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Interested candidates can apply here, or contact Tom Sangrik at (216) 522-4198 or thomas.sangrik@sba.gov.

Additional information about the program can also be found in this FAQ.

Heidelberg to honor 4 local women entrepreneurs

Press release provided by Heidelberg University

TIFFIN – For the sixth year, Heidelberg University’s School of Business, Computer Science and Information Technology will honor four local women entrepreneurs for their contributions to their businesses and the community.

This year’s winners will be honored at a breakfast and award presentation ceremony, titled Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs, on Thursday, April 5.

The recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award is Karen Klepper, a 1991 Heidelberg graduate who has served on a number of local boards and non-profits, including the Mercy Hospital Foundation, the Tiffin-Seneca United Way, the NOAH Foundation and PatchWorks House. Klepper is currently organizing a community collaborative non-profit, called ReClaim It, a resale shop whose proceeds will be used to improve the lives of local children and strengthen the systems upon which they depend.

Kelli Dariano, the owner of Threads, will receive the Established Entrepreneur Award. Dariano opened Threads 19 years ago after working in sales and management in Chicago and Columbus. In its nearly two decades in operation, Threads has experienced 300 percent growth as it continues to bring the latest fashion trends in clothing and accessories to Tiffin. In 2009, Dariano, a John Carroll University graduate, also launched Club Thread, a loyalty club of customers that has raised more than $40,000 for charity.

Heidelberg will present the New Entrepreneur Award to Zoe Dolch, owner of Washington Street Outfitters in the Laird Arcade. Dolch, a Tiffin native, Dolch received her advanced cosmetology license from Sentinel Career and Technology Center and her bachelor’s degree from Kent State in fashion merchandising. After returning to Tiffin, Dolch realized her dream of opening a business that offers a distinct product assortment, including men’s and women’s clothing, music, home goods and unique gifts and accessories.

This year’s recipient of the Young Entrepreneur Award is 16-year-old Columbian High School student Maya Clouse-Henry. In addition to holding down part-time jobs at Behm and Henry Law Offices and Simply Susan’s, Clouse-Henry also operates her own T-shirt design business and her own photography business, MCH Photos. She also has been assisting Klepper in her efforts to get ReClaim It up and running.

“Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs” is held annually in conjunction with Heidelberg’s spring Patricia Adams Lecture Series (PALS). This semester’s keynote speaker – publisher, educator and philanthropist Monica Lozano – will participate in the awards program. Attendance is by invitation-only.

SBA programs support women business owners

SBAOctober is National Women’s Small Business Month, and the U.S. Small Business Administration is highlighting the programs they offer in support of women in business. Reports by the National Association of Women’s Business Owners state that women-owned businesses are the fastest growing sector of the economy, with 9.9 million in the United States currently employing over 8 million workers and contributing over 1.4 trillion dollars in sales to the U.S. economy. Impressive facts and figures aside, the SBA is still determined to encourage women entrepreneurs through its “three C’s”- Capital, Contracts, and Counseling.

Through capital, SBA’s lending partners provide loans to small businesses that may not qualify for loans elsewhere. Women tend to start with less capital than men because research shows women finance through personal savings and credit cards, while men often opt for loans. Businesses with more capital tend to have higher sales and employ more people, and the SBA offers a Lender Match Tool in addition to a small loan program to help women start their business in the best position possible.

SBA trains entrepreneurs how complete contacts with the federal government. The Federal government is the largest purchaser of goods and services, and SBA’s goal is that 5 percent of contacts are with women-owned small businesses. Events targeting both the federal and private procurement matches the two.

Maybe the most useful tool, the counseling through SBA has helped women increase their self-sufficiency and their confidence, with 47% receiving training that assisted them to open their business. The SBA has 68 district offices and resource partners in communities across the country, among them the Women’s Business Centers. DreamBuilder introduces participants to all areas of business ownership through a carefully crafted and engaging curriculum, featured in English and Spanish. At the conclusion of the program, women leave with a business plan to start their own business or develop an existing one.

Learn about these and other women-owned business programs and resources here.

Taylor Elchert Photography

Meet Taylor Elchert Harrison, owner of Taylor Elchert Photography, located at 113 Melmore St. in Tiffin. Taylor began taking pictures as a hobby, and nine years ago, at the age of 15, launched her own business out of her parents’ home.

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“It was fun,” she said. “My parents were very supportive, and I was so young I didn’t have that pressure to make money.”

Taylor’s family is no stranger to entrepreneurship – her father is the owner of Fort Ball Pizza. Though they have two very different businesses, Taylor said she learned about owning a business watching how hard her dad works at it. “I am inspired by my dad,” she said.

Taylor decided while going to college that she wanted to make photography her profession. “At first I was planning on doing it on the side,” she said. “When I decided it was a full time career, I got serious about it. I needed a storefront.”

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The studio space allows her more freedom in her photo sessions and props. Her building houses a plethora of props, and there is always a seasonal set in place. “The set is real, that’s really important to me,” she said. “It’s all about the experience for the client.”

Taylor specialized in capturing “milestone” moments in peoples’ lives. Her services include photos for maternity, family, births, newborns, and children.

One unique aspect of Taylor’s studio is the finished product and her push away from digital files. “Digital doesn’t last forever. I provide my clients with wall art, and a variety of other tangible products,” she said.

Check out Taylor’s work on her website or Facebook.

Small Business Seminars held monthly in Tiffin

2014_03_24 - BillAuxter

Small Business Development Center Director Bill Auxter

Bill Auxter, Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra State Community College, hosts a free, monthly Small Business Basics seminar at the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. On average, Bill works with more than 150 small businesses each year, which includes pre-ventures, start-ups, and existing businesses.

The Business Basics seminar is a two-hour session designed to answer questions about starting, buying or expanding a small business. Participants are walked through the basics of name registration, licensing, taxes, advisors, business entities, employees, insurance, financing, business planning and more.

The seminars take place at the Seneca Regional Chamber and Visitor Services’ Community Room from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. on the following 2018 dates:

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

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