Seneca County Commissioners

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.

Seneca County becomes first Ohio community for national entrepreneurship program

Agreement signed between Midland Institute and the new Seneca CEO nonprofit

TIFFIN, OHIO – Sept. 18, 2020The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship announced today that Seneca County has been approved to become the 58th community nationally – and the first in Ohio — to host a Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program helping high school youth successfully start new businesses.

The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship created the CEO program as a way to provide high school students of all skill sets and backgrounds the opportunity to be successful in a transformational experience that inspires entrepreneurial thinking and develops the workforce of tomorrow. Created in 2008, the program has grown to 58 programs operating in seven states.

Midland Institute Executive Director Austin Brooks announced the approval, “Today, more than ever, students not only need the soft skills instilled by this learning environment, more importantly, they need the entrepreneurial, problem-solving mindset that CEO inspires. We are excited to bring this transformational experience to Ohio and launching in Seneca County schools in 2021.”

A new 501c3 nonprofit — Seneca CEO — recently was created 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. Together with Sutton Bank CEO Tony Gorrell, VanHoose and North Central Electric helped fund the start-up cost to bring the program here.

VanHoose saw the program firsthand when he worked in Southern Illinois a few years ago. “I know this program works, makes business sense, and dramatically impacts local lives. Our first order of business is to secure the next three years of funding and hire a Facilitator, and we’re ready to get started.” The program operates completely though community funds; students and schools do not pay to participate. Seneca CEO asks local businesses to learn about the program and hopefully become a member and support the program on an annual basis.

Seneca CEO Board members include VanHoose, Gorrell, 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 Shayne Thomas, Dr. Laura Kagy of Seneca East Local Schools and Shawn Earl of Fostoria Local Schools.

About the Midland Institute

The Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship was established in 2010 in Effingham, Illinois to oversee and promote the nation-wide expansion of 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 230 schools offer the program. For more information, visit www.midlandinstitute.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.

Buckeye IT expands services into electric vehicle chargers

Company recently installed charging station at Seneca County Commissioner’s Office

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 25, 2020 – Buckeye IT Services, LLC., has announced today that it is expanding its services into providing electric vehicle infrastructure, installing privately owned charging stations for electric vehicles. As part of this service, Buckeye IT recently installed a charging station at the Seneca County Board of Commissioners Office, 111 Madison St., Tiffin, at no cost to the County.

The company is working with EnelX to install and provide support for JuiceBox, JuicePump and JuicePedestal charging stations. These products provide infrastructure for more electric vehicles locally and makes the area a destination for electric vehicle drivers when planning trips. Buckeye IT is committed to working with local electricians for the installation process.

“This is a natural extension of what we offer, and an investment into the future,” said Jake Schaaf, owner of Buckeye I.T. Services LLC. “We’re proud to be able to offer this in Seneca County.”

Buckeye IT has been serving the Tiffin area since 2007, providing IT support to government, K12 districts and small and medium-sized businesses. Along with its expansion into EV charging stations, the company is committed to going green by investing in electric vehicles for its fleet, having already purchased a Tesla Model 3 for service calls and to display the charging technology, and is a reforestation partner with One Tree Planted to have a tree planted for every service call staff go on.

Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas said: “This is a huge win for Seneca County. This private-public partnership between Buckeye IT and the county is another example of great collaboration locally. We are happy to host an EV charging station in our lot for the greater good of our community.” He continued by thanking Buckeye IT for being forward-thinking and for preparing for the transportation of the future. He said he believes the charging stations will benefit many. “This will support our local auto dealers, as they can diversify their offerings by including electric vehicles. The charging stations also should generate some day-trip dollars for people making trips to downtown Tiffin.”

Buckeye IT is a member of Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. For more information, visit them at 525 Wall St., Suite B, Tiffin, call (888) 964-4648 or visit http://www.buckeyeit.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.

Revolving Loan Fund opportunity available

Seneca Regional CommissionThe Seneca Regional Planning Commission is offering a Revolving Loan Fund & Economic Development Program for 2016.

The Revolving Loan Fund provides funds to units of local government to provide gap financing for local business development. The goal of the program is to create and retain permanent, private sector job opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons, through the expansion and retention of business and industry in Seneca County.

The RLF is intended to be a tender of last resort. Other sources, such as private lenders, should be consulted first. Also, be prepared for loan application, review, and processing to take two or three months or more. This is unavoidable in most cases, due to environmental review procedures, which require public comment periods, and due to additional required procedures, including a meeting of the RLF Administrative Board, subsequent review by the Ohio Development Services Agency, and Seneca County Commissioners’ approval. It is best to maintain close contact with the RLF Administrator during the application and review process.

Program guidelines and application can be found online. If you have any questions, contact Tanya Hemmer at 419.447.4550 ext. 101.

Hannah Taulbee – Heidelberg Student and SIEDC Intern

Seneca County Commissioner Candidates Forum

How well do you know your Commissioner candidates? Would you like to know them better?

The Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Services is inviting the community to Camden Falls for just this reason. On Tuesday, March 8 at 7:30am, join the Chamber and candidates Chris English, Rich Focht, Holly Stacy, and Shayne Thomas for breakfast, presentations, and a Q&A. Each candidate will give a 5 minute presentation, after which the floor will be open to the public to ask what questions they may have. The Chamber requests that interested community members RSVP and submit their questions by Tuesday, March 1 to info@tiffinchamber.com. Breakfast will be available at a cost of $10.

Chris Englishunnamed

English has long served the community in addition to his 40 year career with Webster Industries. After graduating Tiffin University with a bachelor’s degree and a State of Ohio Accounting License (CPA-inactive), English served on a multitude of boards, such as the YMCA, Tiffin Area Chamber of Commerce and SIEDC, First Lutheran Church Council, Tiffin Mercy Hospital (10 years), Tiffin City Schools Board of Education (12 years, 5 as president), Tiffin-Seneca Public Library (10 years), as well as charitable boards in the area, and is a past-exalted ruler of the Elks Lodge #94.

Rich Focht590155_1

With a career in public service spanning more than two decades, Focht understands the importance of community involvement and investment in infrastructure. After serving in the Army for two years, he returned to work alongside his father as a general contractor. In 1988, he sold the business and became a city administrator before becoming president and CEO of the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) in 1990, where he stayed until retiring in 2013. He currently serves on the Tiffin City Council. Focht is motivated by a desire to serve all of Seneca County and not just Tiffin alone.

Holly Stacy544046_1

Stacy is currently the president of the Seneca County Commissioners. If re-elected, Stacy hopes to focus on fiscal responsibility through a new budget and creating a business-friendly environment to help provide job growth. Stacy served as president and CEO of the Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce from 2003 to 2012. She has a master’s degree in business administration from Tiffin University and a bachelor’s of science degree from the Ohio State University.

Shayne ThomasAAEAAQAAAAAAAAZkAAAAJGE5ODBjYTc2LTlhYmMtNGJlYS1iNGI4LThlMGU0NmJmYzIzNw

Thomas has a strong financial background, spanning 25 years. His career history includes working for various banks, such as Fifth Third, National City, and the First Bank of Ohio from 1990-1999. In 1999, he began work for the Old Fort Banking Company as vice president of Commercial Banking. From 2007-2013, Thomas served as the vice president of Business Development for MGQ Incorporated, and co-founded the MGQ Terminal in Tiffin in 2009 before divesting in 2015. Thomas began to run for the Commissioners board in 2014, but left the race early to pursue other opportunities.

Hannah Taulbee – Heidelberg Student and SIEDC Intern

City continues investment in Downtown Tiffin

Phase I of a $100,000 comprehensive signage program complete

TIMG951846IFFIN, OHIO – February 19, 2016 – New wayfinding signage is being installed in downtown Tiffin today. The signs are part of a two-phase project to help visitors and residents more easily find their way to attractions and parking in downtown Tiffin.

The new wayfinding signs finish phase one of the project, which also includes the kiosk on Courthouse Square listing downtown attractions. A second phase of the project is scheduled later this year and includes kiosks on the Tiffin and Heidelberg University campuses as well as signage for all city parking lots downtown. The total investment for both phases is around $100,000.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is pleased to see the signage go up. “I appreciate the work of SIEDC and the Main Street committees in making this happen. It continues our strategic effort to make downtown Tiffin a destination place and easy to navigate for visitors and residents alike.” The initiative is one targeted in the Downtown Strategic Plan adopted by the City in 2010, and one the Main Street Design Committee has been working on this effort for more than a year.

The Seneca County Commissioners have also approved parking lot signage to match the city signs and are in the process of implementing signage in four lots. After both phases are completed, 39 obsolete signs will be removed from downtown streets.

Downtown Development Committee Chair Jessica Williams was also excited to see the wayfinding happen: “We continue to work to implement the Downtown Strategic Plan, and this is a goal for 2016. We also appreciate the many volunteers who helped make this happen.”

Details about the Wayfinding Signs

Each set includes five signs directing drivers and pedestrians to the following attractions: Heidelberg University, Tiffin University, Civil War Museum, Tiffin Art Guild, Library, Parking, Glass Museum, Frost-Kalnow Stadium, Ritz Theater, Courthouse Square, Hospital, Hedges-Boyer Park, Fort Ball District and Post Office. There are 21 sets of wayfinding signs being installed at the following locations:

  • East Market Street & South Washington Street
  • Madison Street & South Washington Street
  • Main Street & South Washington Street
  • Melmore, Coe, & Sycamore Streets with South Washington Street
  • East Perry Street & South Washington Street
  • Frost Parkway & North Washington Street
  • East Market Street & South Monroe Street
  • East Market Street & Jefferson Street
  • East Perry Street & Jefferson Street

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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com

Taiho moving forward with $8M expansion in Tiffin

TaihoProject expected to create 50 jobs; receives local tax credit

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 17, 2015 – Following approval of a local job creation tax credit by Tiffin City Council this evening, the Taiho Corporation of America is announcing its decision to move forward with an $8 million, 50-job expansion at its North American headquarters and manufacturing operation in Tiffin. The project is expected to be completed three years and brings the company’s total investment to more than $21 million since 2012.

The Japanese automotive supplier currently employs 180 and manufactures more than 120 million parts a year at its Tiffin location, including engine bearings, bushings, and other specialty bearings – parts that go into such popular models as the Toyota Camry, Chevy Malibu, Cadillac CTS, and Honda Accord. The new project will allow Taiho to supply polymer-coated bearings and produce a completely new vacuum pump product line.

“Any Taiho facility worldwide could have supported this expansion; we are very pleased that the Tiffin location was chosen for both projects,” Taiho President and COO Nick Isogai said. The Ohio location was competing with other Taiho locations in Japan, Thailand, and Tennessee for the project.

The five-year, fifty percent municipal income tax credit — also known as the New Jobs Program — approved today is expected to be worth up to $37,000 over the term. In addition, the company’s existing Ohio Job Creation Tax Credit from its $13 million expansion in 2012 will capture the new activity and provide additional benefit to the company.

“Tiffin’s economy is surging. The resources available for projects like this are one of many reasons why Tiffin’s industries are expanding, and I am happy that Taiho was able to qualify for the credit,” Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said. Seneca County Commissioner Holly Stacy was also thrilled at the news, “We’re excited about the number of Seneca County residents that are Taiho employees, and that the number will be growing.”

Financial support for the project was also provided by JobsOhio and the Toledo-based Regional Growth Partnership in the form of a $35,000 state Economic Development Grant. Dean Monske, President & CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership, was pleased with the announcement. “Tiffin and Seneca County continue to be a strong economic development engine in northwest Ohio, and we were happy to support the project.”

About Taiho Corporation of America

Taiho is a global Japanese automotive supplier of bearings and bushings that has its headquarters in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Founded in 1944, it currently has more than 1700 employees and over $1 billion in global sales is a $50M+ company in sales. It established its North American presence in 1980 and its first overseas manufacturing operations in Tiffin in 1996 as their first overseas base of operations. It currently employs 180 and operates out of a two facility complex in Tiffin’s Northstar Industrial Park with more than 180,000 square feet of space under roof. Learn more at http://www.taihousa.com.

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 at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

About Regional Growth Partnership

Based in Toledo, Ohio, the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP) is private, nonprofit corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in northwest Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. The RGP also serves as the JobsOhio Northwest network partner, serving as the JobsOhio point of contact and customer service for state incentives for a 17-county region. Learn more at www.rgp.org.