LAUNCH Fostoria Business Competition Finals

The Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce and Fostoria Economic Development Corporation is excited to announce the finalists in the LAUNCH Fostoria Business Competition.   The LAUNCH Fostoria Business Competition is a three-part, local small business competition which began April 5 by accepting applications from aspiring entrepreneurs.  From the applications a panel of judges selected the top 6 to move on to the semifinals where the competitors pitched their ventures and four were tapped to move on to the finals.  The final four are Vincent Williams, Wavy Baby Clothing; Jena Stearns, Beyond Laser Creations; Jennie Zibbel, Expressions Dance Center and Cierra Valenti, Tiny Steps Child Care. 

Each business will present their business venture to the public on Friday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. from the new stage on the grassy lot on the corner of Main and Tiffin Streets. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, listen to the competitors pitch their ventures and cast their vote for the business they would like to see win the competition.  Each vote costs $5 and the competitors will receive all money from the voting in addition to the prize package valued at over $18,000. 

The prize package includes a one year lease in Downtown Fostoria (or equivalent dollar amount in appropriate space), print advertising courtesy of The Review Times, discounted radio advertising courtesy of WKXA, WFIN and 106.3 The Fox, $1,000 courtesy of the Shuff Family Small Business-Entrepreneur Grant, $5,000 in branding and marketing services courtesy of JYoakam Communications, $900 in trainings and courses at the Fostoria Learning Center courtesy of Northwest State Community College and the Fostoria Learning Center, one hour of legal advising valued at $250, three hours of accounting assistance valued at $875, CO.STARTERS course valued at $250 and a one year Chamber Membership valued at $200.

WKXA will be on hand beginning at 6 p.m. with a live broadcast during the event and on air personality Carla Demitri will MC the competition.  DMT Pasta food truck will be at The Urban Woody Brewery and the Geary Family YMCA leaders club will on hand selling water, pop and snacks.  Immediately following the competition live music from No Eileen will take the stage courtesy of The Urban Woody Brewery. 

“We created LAUNCH Fostoria as a great way to jumpstart ideas, connections and small businesses while inviting the community to invest in an entrepreneur by participating in the finals and casting a vote, said Sarah Stephens Krupp, Chamber/Small Business Director. “This is a unique opportunity for Fostoria, and we are so grateful to everyone who has assisted us in making the competition a reality.” 

The Launch Fostoria Business Competition is part of the Fostoria Chamber and FEDC’s efforts to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fostoria.  Both organizations, for the last several years, have been working together to implement programs and resources to assist entrepreneurs, experienced and in-experienced, in starting and growing their ventures.  The organizations have hosted various entrepreneur events and trainings such as Get Started Workshops, starter, and maker events such as the Holiday Sip & Shop, CO.STARTERS courses, Advising Hours, Wayfinding programs and worked with the City of Fostoria to implement a Small Business Revolving Loan Fund. 

“Our work to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem is really a grassroots effort to combat the shrinking physical footprint of national chain retailers and fill the gaps in retail and small business in Fostoria with homegrown, locally owned businesses” said Renee Smith, President of FEDC.  “It has been encouraging to see the uptick in entrepreneurs in Fostoria as well as the participation in the competition.”

For event updates and more info, follow us on FB and go to our LAUNCH Fostoria Business Competition Event Page

Special thanks to our generous sponsors:

2021 City Council Candidate Forum

On Thursday, April 15 the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum for candidates running for city council.  Candidates in attendance were: Ward 1: Brandon Kiser, Ward 3: Don Mennel, Ward 4: Incumbent Tom Lake, Todd Burgei and Michael Spenser.  Mayor Eric Keckler also presented an overview of a 1% income tax renewal levy which will appear on the May ballot.  All questions asked in the forum were not provided to the candidates ahead of time.  The questions were submitted by Chamber and FEDC members and compiled by Chamber staff.  

The candidate forum was recorded.  Watch Now

LAUNCH Fostoria Business Competition

The Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Fostoria Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), is excited to announce Launch Fostoria, a local small business competition.  Launch Fostoria is a three-part business competition consisting of an initial application, semi-finals, and finals.  

Launch Fostoria officially kicks off Monday, April 5 with applications available at FostoriaChamber.com/Launch until May 7.   Eligible applicants must be a for-profit business, that has not earned more than $250,000 in revenue in the past year, interested in opening or growing a business in Fostoria.  Qualifying applications will be reviewed, and 6-8 applicant businesses will be invited to move on to the semi-finals.  The semi-finals, on June 16, will consist of live pitches to a panel of judges followed by a question-and-answer session.  Semi-finalists will be given the opportunity to attend a pitch workshop to create and refine their pitch.  From the semi-finals judges will select 4-6 businesses to compete in the finals which will be a live event held in Downtown Fostoria on July 23.  The public will be invited to attend the finals and may pay $5 to vote for their favorite business contestant. 

“We see Launch Fostoria as a great way to jumpstart ideas, connections and small businesses while inviting the community to invest in an entrepreneur by attending the finals and casting a vote,” said Sarah Krupp, Chamber/Small Business Director.  “This is such a unique opportunity for Fostoria, and we are so grateful to everyone who has assisted us in making the competition a reality.”

The winner of Launch Fostoria will receive a prize package valued at almost $18,000 thanks to event sponsors and donors.  The prize package includes a one year lease in Downtown Fostoria (or equivalent dollar amount in appropriate space), print advertising courtesy of The Review Times, discounted radio advertising courtesy of WKXA, WFIN and 106.3 The Fox, $1,000 courtesy of the Shuff Family Small Business-Entrepreneur Grant, $5,000 in branding and marketing services courtesy of JYoakam Communications, $900 in trainings and courses at the Fostoria Learning Center courtesy of Northwest State Community College and the Fostoria Learning Center, one hour of legal advising valued at $250, three hours of accounting assistance valued at $875, CO.STARTERS course valued at $250 and a one year Chamber Membership valued at $200.

This competition would not be possible without the above listed partners, the Chamber Sponsors, as well as individuals like Tyler Shuff, Shuff Consulting and Seneca County Commissioner. Shuff has hosted a successful business contest and worked with the Chamber and FEDC in the creation of the Launch Fostoria application and timeline.  A demonstration of how collaboration and communication truly bring about new ideas and initiatives. 

The Launch Fostoria Business Competition is part of the Fostoria Chamber and FEDC’s efforts to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fostoria.  Both organizations, for the last several years, have been working together to implement programs and resources to assist entrepreneurs, experienced and in-experienced, in starting and growing their ventures.  The organizations have hosted various entrepreneur events and trainings such as Get Started Workshops, starter, and maker events such as the Holiday Sip & Shop, CO.STARTERS courses, Advising Hours, Wayfinding programs and worked with the City of Fostoria to implement a Small Business Revolving Loan Fund. 

“Our work to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem is really a grassroots effort to combat the shrinking physical footprint of national chain retailers and fill the gaps in retail and small business in Fostoria with homegrown, locally owned businesses” said Renee Smith, President of FEDC. 

This unique event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs/small business owners, the Fostoria community, and the citizens of Fostoria.  This is a way for the residents of Fostoria to actively participate in selecting a new business for their community.  “We look forward to seeing the applications and working through this competition to bring a new and vibrant business to our community,” said Sarah Krupp, Chamber/Small Business Director. 

A full event timeline as well as applications are available at FostoriaChamber.com/Launch

Reineke Family Dealerships and The Ford Motor Company Fund Partner for Ohio PPE Day

On Tuesday, March 9th, 2021, Reineke Family Dealerships, with the help of The Ford Motor Company Fund and the Apollo team, will be participating in Ohio’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Day. Ohio PPE Day is a collaborative effort to provide PPE equipment to individuals and businesses to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Ford Motor Company is contributing 18,000 face masks, which will be available at any Reineke Ford location for safe pick-up to members of the community.

 

Mask pickup will take place from 9:00am until 5:00pm (while supplies last) on March 9th, at all Reineke Ford locations.  Due to the demand, each person will be limited to 20 masks.  Social distancing will be enforced along with other sanitation and safety protocols.

 

“It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our communities safe and we are proud to do our part,” said Tom Reineke, Reineke Family Dealerships. 

 

Pick Up Locations                                                             

  • Reineke Ford, Fostoria                            1303 Perrysburg, Road, Fostoria, OH
  • Reineke’s Tiffin Ford Lincoln                  2020 West State Route 18, Tiffin, OH
  • Reineke Ford Lincoln of Lima                 1360 Greeley Chapel Road, Lima, OH
  • Reineke Ford Lincoln of Findlay              12000 County Road 99, Findlay, OH

 

Additionally, Reineke Family Dealerships and Ford will be delivering face masks to local community organizations including law enforcement, fire departments, schools, and other not-for-profit organizations.

 

“We’ve been partners with Ford Motor Company for 50+ years and this is yet another example of Ford going above and beyond to help support our communities,” said Dan Reineke, Reineke Family Dealerships.

 

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About Reineke Family Dealerships

Reineke Family Dealerships, founded in 1960 by William F. Reineke, Sr., is a family owned dealership organization known for strong customer loyalty and high sales and service ratings.  Reineke Family Dealerships operates in Fostoria, Tiffin, Lima, Upper Sandusky, Findlay, North Baltimore, and sells Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM vehicles, and most recently, Reineke RV in Toledo and Tiffin, along with Eclipse Auto Care in Tiffin.   

 

About Ford Motor Company Fund

Ford Motor Company is encouraging Americans to #FinishStrong—to pull together and protect each other to help save lives in the months ahead until COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available.  As the company’s philanthropic arm, Ford Fund is leading Ford’s effort to donate 120 million masks to at-risk communities across the United States by mid-2021.  Since August, we’ve distributed more than 66 million medical-grade masks to nonprofit organizations, state and local officials, first responders, schools, community groups and Ford dealerships in all 50 states.  For more information, visit fordfund.org.

Fostoria CARES Small Business Relief Program

 

Fostoria CARES Small Business Relief Program opens

Businesses can apply for grants up to $10,000

Fostoria, Ohio – December 2020 – The City of Fostoria is announcing the application process for the Fostoria CARES Small Business Relief Program.  This small business and nonprofit grant program will provide businesses and nonprofits, within the City of Fostoria, with financial relief from loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fostoria CARES Small Business Relief Program will be administered by Fostoria Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce.

For Fostoria businesses and nonprofits, program guidelines and restrictions are available on the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation and Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce websites,  www.fostoriaedc.org and www.fostoriaohio.org  The application period begins Monday, January 4th at 9am and will close at 5pm on January 15th.

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

  • For businesses in Fostoria, applications will be available at fostoriaedc.org and www.fostoriaohio.org.
  • Businesses and nonprofits 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 Friday, January 22, 2021.  If there are more eligible requests than available funds, the winners will be drawn by lottery.
  • Grant agreements will need to be signed prior to funds being released and all awarded applicants will be required to complete a close out report and may need to undergo an audit, if requested.

The Fostoria CARES program was created and approved by Fostoria City Council to assist businesses and nonprofits within the city.   A total of $200,000 was allocated to the program.

“We understand that small businesses are the backbone of our community.  We certainly hope this money will help offset some of the expenses incurred during this unprecedented pandemic by our businesses,” according to Eric Keckler, Mayor, City of Fostoria.   

For additional information on the program, including program guidelines, visit www.fostoriaedc.org or www.fostoriaohio.org.  Included on these websites are Frequently Asked Questions but if you need additional assistance, please email Sarah@fostoriachamber.com or President@fostoriaedc.org.  All questions will be answered within 24 hours.