Safety Council Announces Scholarship Recipient

FOSTORIA,OH- The Fostoria Area Safety Council is pleased to announce Shay Olin as the winner of their annual $1,000 scholarship.  Olin is a Senior at Fostoria High School and plans to pursue a degree in Wildlife Conservation Biology at Ohio University.

 

Each year Fostoria Area Safety Council awards a scholarship to a high school senior living in the 44830 zip code, planning to pursue a degree in a safety related field.  Eligible applicants needed a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above and must be a U.S. Citizen and enrolled full-time at the senior level.  Scholarship applications were reviewed by the Safety Council Steering Committee. 

 

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.fostoriachamber.com/safetycouncil or call 419-435-0486.

 

LAUNCH Fostoria Business Competition Returns

The Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Fostoria Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), is excited to announce the second annual Launch Fostoria 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, March 21 with applications available at FostoriaChamber.com/Launch until May 5.   Eligible applicants must be a for-profit business, that has not earned more than $250,000 in revenue in the past year and 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 29, 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 August 5.  The public will be invited to attend the finals and may pay $5 to vote for their favorite business contestant. 

“We see the continuation of Launch Fostoria as a great way to continue 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 Stephens 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 a second time.”

The winner of Launch Fostoria will receive a prize package valued at almost $17,000 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, $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.

The competition was highly successful last year with over 500 people attending the finals.  $12,375 was collected from voting and passed on to the four finalists.  The winner of last year’s competition was Jena Stearns, Beyond Laser Creations who has since opened a storefront located at 101 S. Main Street in Downtown Fostoria.  Other finalists were Wavy Baby, Expressions Dance Center and Tiny Hands Childcare.

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

Chamber Proposes DORA & Revitalization District for Downtown

The Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau in partnership with Mayor Eric Keckler are working to propose a DORA, Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, in downtown Fostoria.  We believe a DORA will be a positive economic driver for the continued growth and development of downtown Fostoria.    

Results of the downtown survey from last spring, indicated a strong desire to pursue a DORA in downtown Fostoria. The feedback from the surveys, conversations with business owners as well as the increased number of events in downtown have led us to believe the time is right to move forward with this initiative.

We have compiled general information about a DORA, a map of the proposed DORA boundaries, as well as FAQs for  business/property owners and qualifying liquor permit holders located within the proposed area.  The proposed DORA hours of operation are Thursdays 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

We presented our proposal to City Council on February 15. Click here to view the presentation. Please keep in mind, the current state of the map and local DORA rules is merely a draft and a working document.

We encourage you to read through the information and please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns.  All questions may be directed to Sarah Stephens Krupp, Chamber/Small Business Director, Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau (sarah@fostoriachamber.com) or Mayor Eric Keckler, City of Fostoria (admin@fostoriaohio.gov).

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Safety Council Offers Scholarship

FOSTORIA,OH- The Fostoria Area Safety Council will award a $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior living in the 44830 zip code, wishing to pursue a degree in a safety related field. 

Eligible students must be a U.S. Citizen and enrolled full-time at the senior level, reside in the 44830 zip code, must demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in the field of Occupational Safety and Health, Industrial Hygiene, Environmental Science, Risk Management, Civil and Emergency Services (e.g. Law Enforcement, Fire Fighter, EMT), Occupational Rehabilitation or a related field. In addition applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.  Applications are available at the Chamber office, 342 Perry Street, on the Chamber web site at www.fostoriaohistg.wpengine.com/safetycouncil

or through the school counselor and on Fostoria Community schools web site on the scholarship page.  All completed applications must be received by April 15 to be eligible.

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.

Chamber Launches Youth Entrepreneur Program

FOSTORIA,OH- The Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce and the Fostoria Learning Center area launching an entrepreneur program for youth.  The Chamber and the Learning Center have successful run CO.STARTERS, which is a 10-week program for adults with a business idea or are running a small business and are seeking to grow since 2020.  The youth entrepreneur program, CO.STARTERS Generator is designed for youth ages 11-17 who have a business idea or are seeking to turn a hobby into a money making venture. 

CO.STARTERS Generator is a 12 week program and will begin March 7.  The classes will be held at the Fostoria Learning Center on Mondays from 4-5:15 p.m.  There is not cost to participate as the program is sponsored by The Fostoria United Way. 

Applications for Generator will be accepted through March 1 and more information and application may be found at  www.fostoriaohio.org/generator/

CO.STARTERS Generator will be facilitated by Renee Smith, President of Fostoria Economic Development Corporation and Sarah Stephens Krupp, Chamber/Small Business Director for the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce.  In addition to the facilitators 8 of the 10 weeks will feature guest speakers who are fellow entrepreneurs or experts in their field. 

“We have seen great success with our CO.STARTERS program for adults and we are excited to extend the program to a younger audience. The Generator program is an opportunity for young people to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and experience the business startup process,” said Sarah Stephens Krupp.

For more information about Fostoria CO.STARTERS Generator visit the Fostoria Chamber website, www.fostoriaohio.org/generator/ or call 419-435-0846. 

CO.STARTERS Enrolling Now

The Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce and the Fostoria Learning Center are currently accepting applications for those wanting to participate in CO.STARTERS, a 10-week program which draws from the experience of start up veterans to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with insights, relationships and tools needed to turn their ideas into action. 

Applications will be accepted until the maximum of 12 applicants are received or until March 2.  Classes will take place Mondays days at the Fostoria Learning Center from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  More information and applications are available at www.fostoriaohio.org/co-starters

CO.STARTERS will be facilitated by Renee Smith, President of Fostoria Economic Development Corporation and Sarah Stephens Krupp, Chamber/Small Business Director for the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce.  In addition to the facilitators 8 of the 10 weeks will feature guest speakers who are fellow entrepreneurs or experts in their field. 

“CO.STARTERS is a great opportunity for those with a brand new idea to take 10 weeks to focus on and refine it in a collaborative, small group environment.  It is also a great opportunity for those already in an established business who want to ensure they are making the best possible decisions to make their business sustainable,” said Sarah Stephens Krupp.

The CO.STARTERS program offered in Fostoria makes Fostoria the only CO.STARTER community in Ohio.  Fostoria launched the first 10-week program in the fall of 2020 with 14 participants and the current class will be the fourth offered to date.  The participants in the first course ranged from entrepreneurs who simply had an idea to seasoned entrepreneurs looking to refine their current business model and the feedback on the program was fantastic from participants, facilitators and guest speakers.

For more information about Fostoria CO.STARTERS visit the Fostoria Chamber website, fostoriaohio.org/co-starters or call 419-435-0846.