Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Program

Ohio Economic Development Association recognizes Tiffin, Seneca CARES programs

TSEP receives Excellence in Innovation Award

Nick Dutro, TSEP Economic Development Manager, accepts the OEDA 2021 Excellence in Innovation Award for the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program and Seneca County CARES Small Business Relief Program

DUBLIN, OHIO – October 28, 2021 – The Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA) presented its Annual Excellence Awards at its 2021 Annual Summit, held at The Exchange at Bridge Park October 26-27 in Dublin, Ohio. During the meeting, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership was the recipient of the Excellence in Innovation Award on behalf of the City of Tiffin and Seneca County for the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program and Seneca County CARES Small Business Relief Program.

The Ohio Economic Development Association’s Annual Excellence Awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations throughout Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development.

“The Annual Excellence Awards showcase the best of the best in economic development and gives members of the profession the opportunity to come together and collectively celebrate the success of the economic development profession,” Jennifer Price, OEDA Executive Director, said.

The Excellence in Innovation award recognizes unique approaches to any aspect of economic development and recognizes a person or organization that has developed innovative practices and programs. The 2021 Excellence in Innovation award further focused on new ideas, partnerships, strategies, and tactics that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic the past 18 months.

In September 2020, The City of Tiffin announced and opened applications for the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program, and Seneca County started its program, Seneca County CARES Small Business Relief Program, in late October. The programs made up to $10,000 in grant funding available to for- profit businesses and non-profit organizations in Tiffin and rural Seneca County and had the goal of providing financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Altogether, The City of Tiffin; Seneca County; the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs; and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant and townships contributed $1.2 million in CARES Act funding to 186 businesses by the end of 2020. Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership administered the programs on behalf of the City of Tiffin and Seneca County Board of Commissioners. The Fostoria Economic Development Corporation also had an additional program for Fostoria businesses funded by Seneca County.

  • View video about the program here.

TSEP President and CEO David Zak was excited by the news of the recognition: “It was amazing to see the collaboration among the many local jurisdictions and their commitment to help small businesses in their hour of greatest need. TSEP was honored to develop and implement the grant program modeling the best practices of many other programs around the state. Altogether, we were able to aid almost 200 small businesses that provide jobs for 700 people in Seneca County. Thank you to OEDA for this recognition of the program, and I thank the City of Tiffin, Seneca County, and the other units of local government for their trust in us to make this program a reality.”

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said, “When I saw that the City of Tiffin was going to be receiving funds through the CARES Act, I knew that we needed to take some of that funding and help those small businesses that give so much to our community. I’m excited to see OEDA recognize our part in supporting the small business owners of the City of Tiffin.” Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner commented, “I’m proud that the Seneca County Commissioners were able to make money available to our small businesses and non-profits throughout the county. Thank you to OEDA for this award recognizing that support.”

Annual Excellence Award Recognition was presented to the following winners. (View videos to highlight the award winning project entries linked below):

This award recognizes outstanding and innovative projects (retention, attraction, redevelopment (brownfield or historic), greenfield infrastructure, Main Street) in economic and business development that retain or generate jobs and capital investment. This can be anything from a retention project to new facility construction, redevelopment (brownfield or otherwise) or an historic project. The award determination is not dependent on the number of jobs created or retained, size of site, or the amount of total investment. Rather, this award will showcase a unique approach to the project, which can include a public-private partnership, local collaboration, innovative financing and/or incentives, overcoming historic barriers or obstacles, or been a catalyst for economic development in the community.

This award recognizes successful economic development marketing projects or marketing campaigns. Examples include target market studies, branding, websites, direct mail, consultant events, public relations campaigns, social media campaigns and advertising.

This award recognizes unique approaches to any aspect of workforce development and recognizes a person or organization that has developed innovative practices and programs. The strategy(ies) should provide direction, guidance, and motivation to Ohio’s workforce and business community and demonstrate an impact in meeting the workforce needs or overcoming the challenges in a specific community/region, industry, population or the state as a whole.

The Economic Development Professional of the Year award is to recognize an individual who has been an economic development professional in Ohio for at least the past year. The purpose of the award is to identify someone who has assisted in making a significant impact in their organization/community through their efforts as an economic developer. The Economic Development Professional of the Year award encourages, recognizes, and celebrates one the individual who has met the challenges of providing economic development and, who demonstrates the ability and commitment to positively impact their community’s and/or the state’s economic growth, and contributed to the advancement of the economic development profession in Ohio.

This award recognizes an individual who has been an economic development professional in Ohio for less than two years. The purpose of the award is to identify someone who has “hit the ground running” and made extraordinary contributions to local or state workforce and economic development in his/her career. The Rookie of the Year award encourages, recognizes, and celebrates one who has met the challenges of providing economic development early in their career and who demonstrates the ability and commitment to positively impact the state’s economic growth.

Additionally, OEDA recognized TSEP Economic Development Manager Nick Dutro as one of 16 professionals from around the state for achieving the Ohio “Best in Class” Economic Developer credential (OhioCED) in 2021.

About OEDA

The Ohio Economic Development Association is the professional association for economic developers. The association’s mission is to increase economic prosperity in the State of Ohio by working together, on a non-partisan basis, with state, regional, and local development partners to advance Ohio’s economy through professional development, advocacy, and networking. For more information about OEDA, please visit www.ohioeda.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.

Tiffin, Seneca CARES participants receive 2021 Partnership in Development Award

Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

Audrey Flood, TSEP Development Director (center), presents awards to (from left) Julie Vogel, Eden Township Fiscal Officer; Jim Distel, Clinton Township Trustee; Aaron Montz, Mayor of the City of Tiffin; and Tyler Shuff, Seneca County Commissioner.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 23, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named City of Tiffin; Seneca County; the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs; and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant and townships for their contributions to the Tiffin and Seneca County CARES programs as the winners of the Partnership in Development Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

In September 2020, The City of Tiffin announced and opened applications for the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program, and Seneca County started its program, Seneca County CARES Small Business Relief Program, in late October. The programs made up to $10,000 in grant funding available to for- profit businesses and non-profit organizations in Tiffin and rural Seneca County and had the goal of providing financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They took some of their funds that they got from the government to address the coronavirus epidemic and said, ‘We want to help small businesses,’” said David Zak, President and CEO of Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership.

Altogether, The City of Tiffin; Seneca County; the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs; and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant and townships contributed $1.2 million in CARES Act funding to 186 businesses by the end of 2020.

“So often we talk about collaboration, but in the case of Seneca County, especially when it came to CARES Act money, so many people came together and acted so quickly, we had to make decisions quickly,” said Mike Kerschner, President of the Seneca County Board of Commissioners.

In total, the City of Tiffin contributed $574,000, and Seneca County contributed $390,000, with an additional $205,000 provided by Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant townships and the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs. Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership administered the programs on behalf of the City of Tiffin and Seneca County Board of Commissioners. The Fostoria Economic Development Corporation had an additional program for Fostoria businesses funded by Seneca County, and Tiffin-Seneca United Way and Great Lakes Community Action Partnership also helped get the word out to businesses about the program.

“They all did their specific jobs when it came to getting needed money to those folks who were affected adversely by the pandemic,” Kerschner said.

TSEP reported that of the businesses that received funding, 81 businesses are in Tiffin and 105 are in rural Seneca County. Participating businesses reported an average of 45 percent decline in revenue when comparing a three-month or longer period from 2019 to 2020. Significantly, more than 700 people are employed at these small businesses.

“Business obviously lost money last year, they lost a lot of revenue because of the shutdown early in the year, but also because of decreased seating capacities or just the general nature of the pandemic, and people not doing as much shopping or dining out,” said Aaron Montz, Mayor of the City of Tiffin.

“Every dollar of this went to help local businesses here in the Tiffin community, the villages of Seneca County and out in the townships” Montz continued.

“We felt that it was important to try to keep that money in the township businesses, in the township community,” said Jim Distel, Clinton Township Trustee.

Zak said the program was successful in sustaining those businesses struggling to keep their doors open, even when they weren’t able to allow customers in.

“This is the longest I’ve not had an audience in front of me in 30 years,” said Michael Strong, Executive Director of the Ritz Theatre.

“The Ritz Theatre was very fortunate that the Seneca County Commissioners decided to disperse the CARES money the way they did to non-profits and businesses in Seneca County,” he added. “They gave us a little hope where we didn’t think we’d have any.”

Kristy Buskirk, owner of Clay Hill Organic, said that pandemic almost completely shut down some of her main sources of businesses, such as farmers markets.

“One of our largest markets went from a 22-week season to just eight weeks,” she said. “Now I feel like we’re set up very well for this 2021 season, to meet new demand and be able to give our local customers here the products that they are now asking of us and that we’re excited to be able to offer, and meet up with all this renewed energy in our local economy and local agriculture.

“I want to congratulate all of them for their ability to act so collaboratively, so quickly, to come together to satisfy the need of those folks who were affected,” Kerschner said.

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, county grant programs aid 186 businesses, organizations

Tiffin, Seneca CARES programs distributed $1.2 million

TIFFIN, OHIO – Jan. 7, 2021 – On behalf of the City of Tiffin, Seneca County, and several townships and villages, the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that $1.2 million in CARES act funding was distributed to 186 businesses by the end of 2020. TSEP thanked the City of Tiffin; Seneca County; the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs; and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant and townships for their contributions to the Tiffin CARES and Seneca CARES small business relief grant programs. 

The programs made up to $10,000 in grant funding available to for- and non-profit businesses in Tiffin and rural Seneca County and had the goal of providing financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tiffin CARES program opened Sept. 30 and the Seneca County CARES program, open to all businesses in Seneca County including the cities of Fostoria and Tiffin, opened Oct. 28.

In total, the City of Tiffin contributed $574,000, and Seneca County contributed $390,000, with an additional $205,000 provided by Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell and Pleasant townships and the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs. Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership administered the programs on behalf of the City of Tiffin and Seneca County Board of Commissioners. The Fostoria Economic Development Corporation also had an additional program for Fostoria businesses funded by Seneca County.

TSEP reports that of the businesses that received funding, 81 businesses are in Tiffin and 105 are in rural Seneca County. Participating businesses reported an average of 45 percent decline in revenue when comparing a three-month or longer period from 2019 to 2020. Significantly, more than 700 people are employed at these small businesses.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with the program, saying, “Although we know this doesn’t make up for all of the damage, we were glad to be able to do something to help our small businesses using the federal CARES money. I appreciate Tiffin City Council’s support for this important initiative.”

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner strongly supported the program. “I am glad we were able to help both non-profit and for-profit businesses throughout all of Seneca County during this difficult time. I appreciate the many townships and villages also contributing some of their federal funds to make a difference.” 

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 CARES Small Business Relief Program opens

Businesses can apply for grants up to $10,000

TIFFIN, Ohio – Oct. 23, 2020 – Seneca County announced that the application process for the Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Program, which provides small businesses in Seneca County, including the cities of Fostoria and Tiffin, with financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is to open next week. For businesses in Tiffin and Seneca County, the program opens at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, and close at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. For business in Fostoria, program guidelines and restrictions will be available on Monday, Oct. 26, and applications will be available on Friday, Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9. The program was approved by the Seneca County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 22, and is being administered by the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and Fostoria Economic Development Corporation. $500,000 is being allocated to the program.

Each applicant business must complete the online application during the application period; paper applications will neither be available nor accepted.

  • For Tiffin and Seneca County businesses, applications can be found at senecacares.com. Businesses with between two and 30 employees are eligible for grants up to $10,000 and businesses with less than two employees are eligible for grants up to $5,000. After funds are allocated for businesses in rural Seneca County and non-profit business in the City of Tiffin, Tiffin businesses who received $6,000 and $3,000 under the Tiffin CARES program will be eligible for up to an additional $4,000 and $2,000 respectively. Announcements of funding are to be made on or before Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. If there are more eligible requests than available funds, the winners will be drawn by lottery.
  • For businesses in Fostoria, applications will be available at fostoriaedc.org. Businesses with between two and 30 employees are eligible for grants up to $10,000 and businesses with less than two employees are eligible for grants up to $5,000. Announcements of funding are to be made on or before Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. If there are more eligible requests than available funds, the winners will be drawn by lottery.

Several townships and villages throughout the county also have chosen to dedicate additional CARES Act funding toward their local businesses. These include Hopewell Township, Clinton Township, Eden Township, Bloom Township and the Village of Bettsville.

Seneca County Board of Commissioners President Mike Kerschner said, “We felt it was necessary to distribute funding to those who are specifically affected right now. We are thinking of the waiters and waitresses, theater employees and people who have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. We need to make sure we positively affect as many people as possible.”

For additional information and program guidelines for Fostoria businesses, visit fostoriaedc.org or email president@fostoriaedc.org. For information on the general program and guidelines, visit senecacares.com or email senecacares@tiffinseneca.org, where responses are typically provided within one business day and posted to a Frequently Asked Questions page at senecacares.com. Additionally, a series of public, online meetings are planned. Login at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/339384213, or call (872) 240-3311, Access Code: 339-384-213. These will be recorded and made available for viewing at senecacares.com. Meeting times are:

  • Monday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 29 at noon
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m.