Visitors bring cash, jobs to community
Destination Seneca County promoting area on national scale
By Brittany Cook
Destination Seneca County
2019 was once again a busy and successful year for the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services. Through our Chamber services, we strive every year to help our local businesses save money, attract and retain employees, increase their brand awareness and network with other like-minded community members. Under the Destination Seneca County brand, we have continued to promote our local attractions, restaurants, shopping and events on a national scale.
With each new business that opens its doors in Seneca County, it is one more attraction, restaurant or shop that we can tell our visitors about. With the arrival of businesses such as Tiffin Pedal Company, The Laird Arcade Brewery, and The Renaissance of Tiffin, our visitors are getting an experience they can’t get anywhere else.
Our continued mission of “heads in beds” is only made easier by the continued growth in our community. A 2018 Tourism Economics study reported that the total economic impact of visitors to Seneca County resulted in $90 million in sales, $11 million in taxes, $27 million in wages, sustaining over 1,500 jobs.
With our eighth year operating under the Destination Seneca County name, our lodging tax continues to increase, giving us the ability to further our cohesive brand and unified county identity.
With these funds, we advertise in Seneca County and beyond: our annual visitors guide reaches thousands along the Ohio turnpikes and interstates. Our local electronic billboards help us advertise our events to local residents and visitors alike.
Our websites, newsletters and Facebook pages draw over 75,000 interactions monthly. This year, with the help of Spire Advertising, we launched a new Destination Seneca County website, where we can further our mission of sharing what makes Seneca County worth visiting. We advertise from Tiffin to Toledo, Cincinnati to Columbus, and everywhere in between.
We continue to assist in the marketing and planning of upcoming events, such as the Tiffin 2022 Bicentennial, the Seneca County 2024 Bicentennial, the Tiffin Glass Collectors Club annual glass shows and the annual Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival.
Stay tuned as we complete our 2020 Visitors Guide and start distribution early next year. Every year, we strive to make a complete and comprehensive look into what our county has to offer, and we hope you too will share what makes our county special and truly a destination.
Through the Chamber, we have continued our annual mission to assist our local businesses in all of their needs. In addition to a number of new members, we’ve offered new member benefits, organized the annual Farmers Markets, and informed our local businesses on how to grow through Christmas University and our Be in the Know breakfasts.
In our constant push to get the word out to the community, we have continued our Be In the Know Breakfast series, where we bring in speakers to share their knowledge about marketing, social media, or any subject a business may ask for.
Our monthly Business Basics seminar attracts over 60 individuals interested in owning or operating a business.
In addition to sharing our members’ events, sales, and milestones through our website, our Chamber members can advertise through our electronic billboards at 224 and 18 and Market and Sandusky Streets.
So far this year, we have celebrated milestones at local businesses with 18 ribbon cuttings and two After Fives.
We have continued our efforts to reach the Heidelberg University and Tiffin University student communities by attending their move in days and orientations, and by organizing the Around the Town every year.
We also speak in a Tiffin University small business class every spring about the importance of joining your local chamber and what benefits we can provide.
We stimulate local purchasing through our Chamber Cash and Shop Small Shop Local Shop Chamber programs which put local money back into the coffers of our local retailers.
Our affiliate business units the Seneca County Industrial Management Council, the Seneca County Human Resource Association, and the Tiffin Area Safety Council continue to grow and prosper.
Stay tuned as we produce our annual Christmas events brochure, which will list all of the events in Tiffin, Fostoria, and the county throughout the month of December.
We also celebrated our 105th annual meeting on Oct. 24. Every year two awards are presented at this event. The Outstanding Citizenship Award is given to honor an individual who has proven to be outstanding among their peers in the areas of professional competence, civic contribution and personal qualities. This year’s recipient was Steve Shuff, Judge, Common Pleas Court II.
The Women’s Career Excellence Award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of professional accomplishment: women and men who excel in their chosen field, have devoted time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and who also open paths so that others may follow. The 2019 recipient was Kathy Oliver, Seneca County Department of Jobs & Family Services.
The keynote speaker was Lydia Mihalik, Director, Ohio Development Services Agency.
Thank you to all our partners as we continue to make the Chamber and visitors bureau a one-stop shop for information, networking, and promotion of your business. As we look to 2020, we hope you will continue to support our mission in making Seneca County a fantastic place to live, work, play, and stay.