Supporting Our Businesses During The Coronavirus Pandemic

On September 3, 2020, Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz approached TSEP about developing a small business relief grant program for businesses using newly available CARES Act funding.

Three weeks later, TSEP launched the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief grant program. This was followed with the Seneca CARES program, which involved Seneca County, the City of Tiffin, Bettsville, Green Springs, and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell, and Pleasant Townships. It was one of the most collaborative efforts of its type in the state of Ohio. There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic had a large negative impact on the economy. Through our research, we know major employers reduced employment by 8.4%, and unemployment rose to 21.3% in April. Many small business saw their sales cut by an average of 45%, and some closed forever. The results of the CARES grant program (below), however, made a real difference to those businesses.

When the COVID-19 pandemic closed businesses down in March, TSEP took immediate decisive action to help:

  • On March 30, TSEP launched a website dedicated to coronavirus resources.
  • A free text alert system was developed for businesses to notify them of any resources or changes.
  • Direct assistance was provided to businesses to access SBA loans and grants (PPP, EIDL, etc.).
  • Webinars on resources and various other topics were held with experts to assist businesses with various issues.
  • TSEP hosted weekly and monthly online business forums.
  • TSEP helped distribute PPE from JobsOhio and other sources.
  • Special assistance was provided to businesses related to unemployment benefits, layoffs, and hiring.

was distributed through the Tiffin and Seneca CARES programs. Tiffin provided $574,000; Seneca County $390,000; and $205,000 came from participating townships and villages.

186 Businesses 
Were helped through the Tiffin and Seneca CARES programs, employing more than 700 people. No grantee had more than 30 employees or $2 million in annual revenue.