Small Business Workshops on tap to highlight free resources, support

Apr 26, 2023 | Business | 0 comments

Shanny O’Rourke, left, and her daughter, Olive O’Rourke Scherf attended a recent Small Business Workshop because they plan to open a gift shop on Middle Bass Island this summer. The women talk with Elmore Village Councilman Bill Kieffer, who owns Kieffer & Associates. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)


The Ottawa County Improvement Corporation (OCIC) works hard to create a solid foundation for the local business community. It recently invested in the success of several local business owners when it partnered with the Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to host an SBDC Small Business Workshop at the Ottawa County Resource Center.

Ohio SBDC is located at Terra State Community College, and the workshops also serve to introduce the business community to SBDC Director Miranda Hoffman, who offers free business advising.

Any small business owner in Ottawa, Sandusky, Erie or Seneca counties can contact Hoffman at to schedule an advisory meeting or to register for one of the many free training classes available through SBDC. Upcoming seminars will be held on Wednesday, May 3 at 8:30 a.m. and on Wednesday, May 17 at 4:30 p.m.

“I offer one-on-one, in-depth, confidential, free business advising,” Hoffman said. “I help people with their business plan, financial projects, strategic planning and marketing, as well as help them register their business with the State of Ohio.”

The Business Resource Center (BRC) is also based at Terra and often works collaboratively with SBDC. BRC Manager Carolyn Rodenhauser also spoke with workshop attendees about resources for small business owners. BRC offers training classes on topics like Human Resources, social media and marketing and also connects business owners with resources throughout the community.

“The Business Resource Center is more of a one-stop shop,” Hoffman said. “If you have questions, they will guide you to a resource. They will refer you to someone who can help, whereas I do one-on-one, in-depth advising.”

The Ohio Small Business Development Center’s Director Miranda Hoffman, left, stands with Ottawa County Improvement Corporation Communications and Programs Manager Jessica Grzechowiak after a recent Small Business Workshop at the Ottawa County Resource Center. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Information on Terra’s business support services can be found at Click on the Workforce and Community Ed tab and scroll down to Ohio Small Business Development Center or Business Resource Center. To schedule business advising appointments, email Miranda Hoffman at

OCIC hosted the SBDC Small Business Workshop to connect the local small business community to Hoffman and her resources.

“We wanted to make sure our business community knew about the resources available to them,” said OCIC Communications and Programs Manager Jessica Grzechowiak. “I don’t think all of our businesses and upcoming entrepreneurs know what’s out there. This allowed us to showcase the programs Terra is starting to offer.”

Information on OCIC can be found at

Elmore Village Councilman Bill Kieffer owns Kieffer & Associates LTD, a leadership coaching and talent management business. He attended the workshop to gain information for his own business, but also to ensure he has up-to-date business resource information for Elmore business owners.

“I was really pleased to see they talked a lot about business development services,” Kieffer said.

Shanny O’Rourke and her daughter, Olive O’Rourke Scherf, attended the workshop to learn about resources for their new gift shop, Aunt Olive’s, they plan to open on Middle Bass Island this summer.

“We’re a brand-new business, and I had no idea about the resources that are available,” Shanny said. “Now I know I’m not alone, trying to figure it all out on the internet. There are a lot of people on the island that could benefit from this, and it’s all free.”

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