July 18, 2022 – The Putnam County Community Improvement Corporation, and Chambers of Commerce in Ottawa, Columbus Grove, Leipsic, Ottoville and Pandora, are collaborating to launch a new small business entrepreneurship program, Open Local.

Open Local will prepare existing small business owners to take their business to the next level. The program will include a series of entrepreneurial business courses designed and instructed by Carla Treadway, Director of the BRITE Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center at the University of Findlay. Treadway is also a small business owner, has a MA in Organizational Leadership and is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Business Administration.

Business owners participating in the Open Local program will receive 8-10 sessions of an entrepreneurship curriculum paired with additional professional development from business owners/leaders. The unique element of this program is that participants will receive ongoing coaching and mentoring after the course ends. This helps further support and foster their business growth and success.

The Chambers of Commerce and economic development partners created Open Local based off of needs small business owners have shared during the last year. “We know locally owned businesses are the heart of a thriving community,” said Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rosemary Buerger about their involvement in creating the program.

Putnam County economic development Director Amy Sealts said the new collaboration from these six entities shows there is a strong network of local professionals to help existing and new small business owners.

“We’re being more proactive vs. reactive with small business development,” Sealts said. Collaboratively, we’re ensuring they have tools, resources, and real estate that will help them flourish and succeed in Putnam County,” Sealts said.

Participation guidelines will apply. An individual must have a business that is already operational (can be a retail location, web-based or home-based), or must have started a business plan and intend to launch their small business within 6-12 months of starting Open Local.

Applications to participate will be available in late summer or early fall. For more information, contact us and watch for details on websites and social media pages of all local Chambers of Commerce and https://putnamcountyohio.com