rural development

Mohawk Nursery completes $150,000 expansion

Business now grows 95 percent of plants it sells

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 30, 2021 – Today, Mohawk Nursery is announcing that it has completed a major expansion of its operation just outside Tiffin. The company employs 13 people full- and part-time in Seneca County.

Over the past five years, the company has invested more than $150,000 to expand its buildings as well as invested in innovation and new business practices so that the company has gone from growing about 30 percent of its product to now growing 95 percent of the plants it sells. Owner Dan Vera said this helps the company by eliminating the middleman and reducing costs for consumers.

Mohawk Nursery specializes in landscape design, materials, installation and maintenance services as well as retail and wholesale plant sales through its nursery.

Vera, who is now the third generation to own/operate the business, said: “We’ve been in Tiffin for 55 years, which has been a period of long, slow growth for the company. I’m excited to be able to try new things and grow this company to where it’s at today.”

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “I’m excited to see that Mohawk Nursery is investing in its business and growing in Seneca County.”

Mohawk Nursery is located at 2950 S. SR 231, Tiffin. For more information, call (419) 447-4486, visit www.mohawknursery.net or find Mohawk Nursery on Facebook.

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.

F&F Sheet Metal announces expansion

Company has almost doubled staff since moving to Airport Industrial Park

Exterior of F&F Sheet Metal and Fabrication LLC at 1930 S. CR 1, Tiffin.

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 27, 2021 – A little more than a year after purchasing their building in Airport Industrial Park, F&F Sheet Metal and Fabrication, LLC has announced that they have expanded their business by adding five employees for a total of nine people working at the company. The locally owned fabrication shop is located at 1930 S. CR 1, Tiffin.

F&F Sheet Metal started in February 2018, with four owner/operators and an administrative assistant. After purchasing their current building in August 2020, the company has grown with new staff. F&F Sheet Metal specializes in the construction of industrial ventilation systems for dust and fume collection, make-up air and many other ventilation applications for companies throughout Northwest Ohio, including in Tiffin, Fremont and Upper Sandusky.

“We are excited to make this announcement as well as celebrate a year of being at our new facility,” said co-owner Justin Fox. “We love being part of the Seneca County community, and want to continue to grow here for years to come.”

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “Congratulations to the owners of F&F Sheet Metal on their investment in the county and growth. On behalf of my fellow commissioners, I wish them luck for future success.”

For more information, visit www.ffsheetmetal.com, call (567) 938-8788 or find them on Facebook.

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 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.

Custom Machine Inc. expands with new machinery purchase

Company to grow staff by three in next three years

Custom Machine Inc. is located at 3315 W. TR 158.

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OHIO – July 23, 2021 – Today, Custom Machine Inc. has announced it is investing more than $200,000 into new machinery and equipment for its operations just outside of Tiffin. The company employs 21 people, and will be adding staff with this expansion.

To meet demand, Custom Machine has purchased a new Mazak Vertical Machining Center for $240,000. In the next three years, the company expects to hire three more staff members. Custom Machine is proud to be financing the project through the Old Fort Banking Co.

Custom Machine was purchased by current owner and president David Hammer in 2004. The company started in 1979 in the garage of founder Harold A. Biddle. Custom Machine was incorporated in January 1993. The company operates out of a 19,000-square-foot building containing the corporate offices, machining and fabrication area.

Owner and president David Hammer said, “For more than 40 years, Custom Machine Inc. has been serving the local businesses and the community, and I’m excited to see that continue for many years to come. Thank you to our staff for all their hard work and our customers who have made this possible for us to continue to invest in our operations here in Seneca County.”

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “Congratulations to Custom Machine Inc. on 40 years and for continuing to grow your operations here in our community.”

“We are thrilled to see growth and expansion right here in Liberty Township,” said Tim Lynch, President of the Liberty Township Trustees. “The investment and vision of Custom Machine is wonderful for our rural community.”

Custom Machine Inc. is located at 3315 W. TR 158, Tiffin. For more information, call (419) 986-5122 or visit www.cmi79.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.org.

Copper Mare Ranch planning fall opening

Ranch to feature indoor arena, lessons and boarding

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 14, 2021 – Copper Mare Ranch, just outside Fort Seneca, is announcing plans to open an indoor horse arena that will include full-service boarding and riding clinics. The Ranch also will feature rodeo-style events in both indoor and outdoor arenas.

Founder and CEO Grant Fatzinger expects to open the arena in late fall 2021. Copper Mare Ranch, at 6090 N. SR 53, Tiffin, will be constructed on land that has been in his family for seven generations. Fatzinger has an extensive, 15-year rodeo background that ranges from bull and bronc riding, team roping, tie-down roping and two-man ranch sorting. Heather Clouse is the Director of Operations. She is a registered veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the equine industry.

“Since I was a kid, it has always been my dream to have something like this in Seneca County,” Fatzinger said. “Being able to bring rodeo to help people discover a love of horses is a passion of mine.”

In addition to events, Copper Mare Ranch will offer full-care boarding. Visit the website for more information.

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerscher is excited about the announcement. “Congratulations to Grant Fatzinger and Heather Clouse on Copper Mare Ranch. Seneca County continues to grow with diverse, new businesses, and I’m happy to see this investment in our community.”

Copper Mare Ranch is a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. For more information, visit www.coppermareranch.com or find Copper Mare Ranch on Facebook.

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 Farmers Co-op expands with Drive Thru

New service recently completed

TIFFIN, OHIO – July 8, 2021 – Tiffin Farmer’s Co-Op Inc. has announced today an expansion of their operations to add a drive thru, open during normal business hours, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday. The project started in March 2021 and was recently completed.

Through the service, customers can purchase water softener salt, wild bird seed in multiple sizes, lawn/garden fertilizer, animal feed, including for chickens and cows, pond chemicals and other items.

Tiffin Farmers is a member-owned, member-focused business striving to succeed in customer satisfaction. They offer a variety of products and services, including Agronomy, Feed, Grain, Industrial,  Seed, Lawn, Garden, and Pond. Following World War I, farmers in the Tiffin vicinity wanted to organize an elevator owned and operated by farmers. Tiffin Farmers’ Exchange opened on July 20, 1920, at the Walter Trumpler Elevator. Today, the Co-op employs 11 people.

“We’re excited for this opportunity to offer a service to our customers who want to pick up some essentials with the convenience of not having to leave their cars and come into the office,” said Steve Welter, bookkeeper at Tiffin Farmers Co-op.

“This is a great service and will hopefully help the co-op to continue to grow and provide its services for more people in Seneca County,” said Seneca County Commissioner Tony Paradiso, who recently tried the new drive thru.

A ribbon cutting with the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce is set for July 13 at 4pm.

Tiffin Farmers Co-op is located at 585 S. CR 13. For more information, call (419) 447-0366, visit www.tiffin-farmers.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.org.

Handshoe Cakes and Cookies announces new storefront location

Company invested $25,000, added 2 employees

REPUBLIC, OHIO – November 10, 2020 – Having been in business more than 20 years, Lisa Handshoe, owner of Handshoe Cakes and Cookies in Republic, has announced that she has opened the doors of her new and improved storefront location, 6085 E. SR 18.

Handshoe Cakes and Cookies specializes in cakes and cookies, including gluten-free and sugar-free options. The new space, which opened Oct. 5, was a $25,000 investment and provides additional space which has allowed the company to hire two employees, to provide coffee and hot chocolate and to sell additional items from other local entrepreneurs.

Since opening in 1999, the business has grown from baking 2-3 cakes a week to more than 18 cakes a day during graduation season and 500 dozen cut out cookies during the holiday season. Lisa continues to make time to set up at Tiffin Y-Wives, Seneca County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Seneca East local schools; donate to community events and has sent 29,000 cookies to men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces through the Project Cookies from Home initiative she started 3 years ago.

“I’m excited to be able to announce our expansion and to have people see what we have to offer here,” said owner Lisa Handshoe. “Thank you to everyone who has been part of our story and helped us grow over the years.”

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “I’m happy to congratulate Lisa Handshoe and Handshoe Cakes and Cookies on their announcement and growth in Republic. I hope for their continued success for years to come.”

To celebrate the new space, a ribbon-cutting ceremony has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12.

For more information, find Handshoe Cakes and Cookies on Facebook or visit the store, 6085 E. SR 18, 12-5 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.

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.

Hoffbauer Demolition & Dumpster Rental invests $200,000 into business

Company opened in McCutchenville in spring

McCUTCHENVILLE, OHIO – Sept. 17, 2020Hoffbauer Demolition & Dumpster Rental, a new rural Seneca County business, has announced that is has invested more than $200,000 in expansion of their business. As a fully insured demolition contractor, the company offers demolition labor and now offers 12-, 20-, 30- and 40-yard dumpster rental. Owned by Travis Hoffbauer, the McCutchenville business expanded in the spring.

Born and raised in Seneca County, Travis has a background in construction, mechanics and barn reclamation. His girlfriend, Ashley, attended Heidelberg University and is assisting with the business as well. Travis had been working in Nashville,  Tenn., to clean up tornado damage when he put together a plan for the new business: “We wanted to invest in our community, and thought that opening our business would also help provide a valuable option for residents needing these services locally.”

Hoffbauer plans to eventually expand the business with a “drop-off trash service” and asbestos removal. For now, they are focusing on building close customer relationships and getting the word out about their business.

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “I am glad to see young people investing in Seneca County and opening businesses during these difficult times. Congratulations to Travis and Ashley.”

Hoffbauer Demolition & Dumpster Rental, a member of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services, is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and can be reached at (419) 618-1459. For more information, find them on Facebook or visit www.hoffbauerdemoandrental.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 http://www.tiffinseneca.org.

USDA Housing Programs

USDA-RD-Logo

The US Department of Agriculture not only assists with loan and grant programs for businesses in rural communities, but also provides programs for home repair and ownership. Listed below are some of those programs:

Home Repair Loan Program provides up to $20,000 in loan financing to help very low income applicants in rural areas improve their living conditions and assist with needed home repairs. Terms include 1% interest and can extend up to 20 years. Loans less than $7,500 do not require a mortgage. Loans may be made for repairs to improve or modernize homes, or to remove health and safety hazards. The dwelling to be repaired must be located in a rural area eligible for Rural Development programs. Applicants must own and occupy the home to be repaired.

Home Repair Grant Program applicants must be at least 62 years of age and lack repayment ability for a 504 loan. Loan/grant combinations are possible when the applicant has repayment ability for a portion of the financial assistance needed. .There is a lifetime grant limit of $7,500. Grants must be used to correct health and safety conditions, not used to make cosmetic or convenience changes to the home.

Once your eligibility is confirmed and the application is complete, a representative from Rural Development will visit your property to further assess.

Home Ownership Direct Loans provide financing for individuals and families who cannot obtain credit from other sources to purchase homes in rural areas. All applicants must meet eligibility requirements. Applications are received at the Rural Development office serving the area where the house will be located. Funds may be used to purchase suitable existing homes, new site built homes, approved modular units, and new manufactured units from an approved dealer/contractor. Funds may also be used to repair or remodel homes, or to make the home accessible and usable for the disabled. Loans may be made for up to 100% of the appraised value of the site and the home. The maximum repayment period is 33 years. Based on household income, payment assistance can further reduce your mortgage payment.

For more information on any of the above programs, contact the Findlay Area Office at 419-422-0242 or SFHD.Findlay@oh.usda.gov or www.rd.usda.gov.

Guaranteed Rural Housing Program includes 100% financing, no downpayment, affordable mortgage insurance, 30 years fixed interest rate, flexible credit and qualifying guidelines, no maximum purchase price, and closing costs, legal fees, and other eligible costs may be rolled into the loan. Applicants must have a steady and dependable income, demonstrate a reliable credit history with the ability and willingness to repay debts when they are due, and meet Rural Development’s “Adjusted” income limits for the county in which they are purchasing.

For more information, contact Vince Paumier at 614-255-2404, vince.paumier@oh.usda.gov, or http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do.