2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review Video

In looking back at 2018 and our plans for 2019, two main themes rise to the surface-creativity and innovation.  As we work to continually strengthen the Chamber and the business community we have diligently worked to find new and innovative events, programs and resources to set Fostoria apart.

We have actively sought partners to help provide new resources to small business, such as our partnership with American Express as a Community Champion as well as teaming up with Google as a community partner to provide livestreams and workshops to help small business get found on Google and use data to drive growth.  In addition, we continue to review our member benefit providers and have changed our energy cost saving provider to Community Energy Advisors,   Partnership with CEA allows us to continue to provide you with cost savings on electricity and natural gas but also allows you to pass this benefit on to your employees as they offer services to residential customers as well.  This is yet one more creative way we can increase the benefits we offer our members and have Chamber membership be a tool for employee recruitment and retention.

Our inclusion in a rural development grant with Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, formerly WSOS, has allowed us countless resources and opportunities we could not have accessed on our own.

One such opportunity was hosting Deb Brown, co-owner of Save your Town in December.  During her visit she was able to meet with a large cross sections of our community, including students, and provide us some great feedback on what we are doing right as well as empower members of the community to get involved, take action and make positive change.

In addition, a small group of local business people will be trained as business coaches to further build and strengthen our small business footprint.

The grant program has also allowed us to build a network with other rural communities across the state where we have had the privilege to share our unique programs, specifically our youth entrepreneurship programs; Student Start Up and Kid’s Makers Market.  In 2018 we launched our first year of Student Start Up as well as the first Kids Makers Market.  Both exceeded our expectations and truly set us apart in working to develop young entrepreneurs.  Our Kids Makers Market Christmas Edition, hosted 13 youth entrepreneurs in various downtown businesses, not only encouraging young people to run a business but also drive foot traffic to our downtown.  Our Student Start Up program has already kicked off for 2019 as the application period is now open and we have added an expansion funding component for past participants.  In addition, we will host a summer Kid’s Makers Market in conjunction with the July 20 Farmers’ Market.

We continue to work with small business and innovate to develop retail opportunities.  Our seasonal shared retail space, Center Street Artisan Market gave start to a concept we hope to parlay into a year-round shared retail location.  We are also working to bring pop up shops into the community in 2019 to allow Fostorians access to new retail while allowing retailers to test the market before committing to a brick and mortar space. We are also actively working to market our community to larger chain retailers.

It is with the creative partnerships and always seeking opportunity, we are happy to introduce a new product today which celebrates some of our local treasures.  In December of 2018, Brian and Chelsea Bilger reached out to us.  Brian owns Bilger’s Lawn and Landscape, the company responsible for the Downtown Streetscape work.  Because of Brian’s wonderful experience in our community during the streetscape project, he and his wife Chelsea wanted to give back to our community.  In addition to Bilger’s Lawn and Landscape, Brian and Chelsea own and operate the Tiffin Candle Co.  They expressed interest in starting the Fostoria Candle Co. and asked if we would partner with them to bring the idea to life.  Of course, we jumped at the opportunity to showcase our community through a quality, small business made product.

It is with great pleasure we unveil the first four candles of the Fostoria Candle Co.  here this morning.  Each candle represents a local treasure, The Fostoria Farmers Market, The Fostoria Area Historical Museum, the Fostoria Glass Heritage Gallery and Historic Downtown Fostoria.   $1 from the sale of each candle will be donated to the non profit organization represented or designated by each candle. A special thank you to Brian and Chelsea for the Fostoria Candle Co. and to Great Lakes Ace for wonderfully agreeing to sell the candles.

We had the great privilege of participating in many celebrations last year, which are highlighted in the 2018 Review as well as in our 2018 Chamber highlight video.  The steady growth of new small business, continued reinvestment and growth show us Fostoria is moving in the right direction.  2019 has already brought many exciting announcements and openings-the announcement of Dunkin, the grand opening of the Urban Woody Brewery, St. Catherine’s Manor of Fostoria’s new assisted living neighborhood and physical therapy gym ribbon cutting and the reconstruction of a state of the art McDonald’s.  This year shows no sign of slowing.

And there is always more to come, as we never cease brainstorming and developing innovative ideas.  But of course none of this would be possible without you, our members.  We thank you for your continued membership and look forward to another exciting year.

Sarah Stephens Krupp

Chamber/Small Business Director

Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber 2018 Video

Visitor’s Bureau 2018 Video

Fostoria Economic Development Corp. 2018 Video

Fostoria Area Safety Council Announces Safety Awards

The Fostoria Area Safety Council in partnership with the Ohio BWC recognized area businesses for their accomplishments in workplace safety at their annual award luncheon on Wednesday, April 17 at the Fostoria Learning Center.

The luncheon will featured author, motivational speaker, trainer, columnist, and media personality, Bruce Boguski who is well known for his ability to inspire others to “do the impossible”.  Mr. Boguski knows first-hand the attitude and skills required to overcome physical and mental challenges.  At age 18, he was paralyzed as the result of an automobile accident. While doctors were wondering whether he would ever walk again, he was busy recuperating.  Two years later he had regained full use of his body and went on to become a two-time state champion in racquetball, a football and baseball coach at Van Buren High School and the men’s and women’s tennis coach at the University of Findlay.  Today, Boguski is President of The Winner’s Edge, a peak performance consulting firm in Findlay, Ohio.  He has become an internationally known presenter on motivational tactics and mental toughness training for education, sports, business and life.

Special awards were given to Charter Steel, Roppe, Morgan Advanced Materials and NSI Crankshaft for at 500,000 hours worked and at least six month without an injury resulting in a day or more away from work.  Both NIS Crankshaft and Morgan Advanced Materials have over 1 million hours worked with NSI having 1,073,143 hours worked since 2014 without injury resulting in a day or more away from work.  Morgan Advanced Material has logged 1,470,933 hours since 2014.  Charter Steel were recognized for 505,508 hours and Roppe were recognized for 693,042 hours.

Achievement Awards, awards for businesses with a 25% reduction in incident rate from the previous year, were given to the City of Fostoria, The D.S. Brown Company, Elmwood Local Schools, Roppe, and Seneca Millwork.

Aviation Manufacturing, Charter Steel, Frankart Electric, Geschwind Consignment, Morgan Advanced Materials, MRZ Inc., NSI Crankshaft, POET Biorefining, Roppe and Seneca Millwork were awarded the 100% Award for zero injuries or illnesses resulting in a day or more away from work in the previous calendar year.

Recipients of the Group Award, which recognizes businesses with the lowest incident rate in their group, were St. Catherine’s Manor of Fostoria, Charter Steel, Elmwood Local Schools, Frankart Electric, Geschwind Consignment, Morgan Advanced Materials, MRZ Inc., NSI Crankshaft, POET Biorefining and Roppe.

The Fostoria Area Safety Council is a facilitated through a partnership between the Ohio BWC and the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce.  The Fostoria Area Safety Council is a resource for local businesses to examine and resolve safety issues in the workplace, study reliable techniques and learn about safety related topics with the goal of creating and maintaining safe work environments.  For more information about Fostoria Area Safety Council visit www.fostoriaohio.org/fostoria-area-safety-council or call 419-435-0486.








Kid’s Makers Market Announced for July 20

FOSTORIA,OH- The Chamber is will host  Kid’s Makers Market in conjunction with the July 20 Fostoria Farmers’ Market, Christmas in July.

Christmas in July Kid’s Makers Market is open to youth under the age of 18 who would like to set up and sell handmade items at booths set up in the Farmers’ Market on the corner of Tiffin and Main Streets in Downtown Fostoria.

For youth to participate in the Christmas in July Kid’s Makers Market they must submit an application to the Chamber by May 15.  All kid maker items to be sold must be handmade, only two like sellers will be accepted and kid makers must provide their own table, chairs and tent if desired.  Kid makers will be asked to abide by all Farmers’ Market vendor rules and the cost to participate is $5.  The Christmas in July market will run from will run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on Saturday, July 20.

The Chamber hosted a Kid’s Makers Market Christmas Edition on December 1 in conjunction with the Rotary Holiday Parade and found it to be very successful.  According to Sarah Stephens Krupp, Chamber/Small Business Director, “Our goal with the Christmas Market was to capture and increase holiday parade traffic and support kid makers while bringing people into our Downtown.  We were blown away at the support and the number of people who ventured out in spite of the horrible weather that day.  Most of the participants sold out and had a wonderful experience and we knew we wanted to host other Kid Maker events.”

The Chamber plans to once again host the Christmas Market again in the hours leading up the Rotary Holiday Parade but saw an opportunity to partner with the Farmers’ Market and give Kid Makers another opportunity to showcase their talents and entrepreneurial skills. Kid Maker applications are available at www.fostoriaohio.org/kidsmakersmarket .  The deadline to apply is May 15 and all selected makers will be notified by June 5.

For more information go to www.fostoriaohio.org/kidsmakersmarket

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Sarah Stephens Krupp, at 419-435-0486 or via email at sarah@fostoriachamber.com.