Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Grants

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.

Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program application period opens Sept. 30

Businesses can apply for grants up to $3,000 or $6,000

TIFFIN, OHIO – Sept. 24, 2020 – The City of Tiffin announces that the application process for the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief Program, which provides small businesses in Tiffin with financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is to open at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, and close at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12. The program was approved by Tiffin City Council Sept. 8, 2020 and is being administered by the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership. $600,000 is being allocated to the program.

Each applicant business must complete the online application during the application period at tiffincares.com. Paper applications will neither be available nor accepted. Businesses with between two and 30 employees are eligible for grants up to $6,000 and businesses with less than two employees are eligible for grants up to $3,000. Announcements of funding are to be made on or before Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. If there are more eligible requests than available funds, the winners will be drawn by lottery.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was excited to make the announcement, saying, “We continue to stand by the many small businesses in our city severely hurt by the coronavirus. The release of more CARES funding at the beginning of this month has given us a unique opportunity to help them in a real, tangible way.” 

Certain eligibility requirements apply, including:

  • Business must be a for-profit business.
  • Business must have a federal tax identification number.
  • Business must be located in the city of Tiffin.
  • Business must have a storefront or eligible home office.
  • Business must have been established prior to Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Business must be operational at time of application.
  • Business must have between one and 30 employees. Employees are defined as those working more than 20 hours per week and provided a W-2 and/or 1099 at the end of the year and/or principal owner, sole proprietors, or partners.
  • Business can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation (S or C), limited liability company, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership.
  • Business must be current on all local, state, and federal tax obligations.
  • Business must be complaint with all other local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and requirements.
  • Business cannot be in bankruptcy or receivership.
  • Business must attest that they have had at least a 15 percent decline in revenue.
  • Business must have more than $15,000 and less than $2 million in gross revenue.
  • Business cannot have received any business interruption insurance payments for coronavirus.

All expenses must be related to the costs of business interruption caused by required closures or that the business faces uncertainty as to its ability to pay due to the pandemic, and that are deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Any expenses already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program Loan or Economic Injury Disaster Loan are not eligible. Eligible expenses include the following:

  • Mortgage payments for principal places of business; permanent residences excluded.
  • Rent or lease payments for principal places of business; permanent residences excluded.
  • Utility payments (electric, gas, sewer, water, trash removal) for the business’s principal place of business.
  • Vehicle and equipment lease or rental payments for personal property acquired on or prior to March 15, 2020.
  • Salaries or wages of all employees employed by the business.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or other COVID-19 expenses related to compliance with Responsible Restart Ohio.
  • Other costs related to interruption of the business caused by required closures, including the closure of the business’s suppliers and/or customers.
  • A portion of the lost sole proprietor income. (If the sole proprietor filed IRS Form 1040 and Schedule C thereto for tax year 2019, then the sole proprietor can use the grant funds to pay the sole proprietor the equivalent of up to 1/6 of the net profit reported by the sole proprietor on line 31 of the applicable Schedule C.)
  • All expenses reported as being paid using Tiffin CARES funding must be incurred by the business or paid by the business on or after March 15, 2020, and on or before Dec. 15, 2020.

There are three ways to get more information on the program.

  • To obtain a copy of the program guidelines, find out more information, and apply, please visit tiffincares.com.
  • Additionally, questions can be sent to tiffincares@tiffinseneca.org, where a response will be provided within 24 hours and posted to a Frequently Asked Questions page at tiffincares.com.
  • Third, a series of public, online meetings are planned. Login at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/387356973, or call (224) 501-3412 with access code 387-356-973. These will be recorded and made available for viewing at tiffincares.com. Meeting times are:
  • Friday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.