Helping Jobs Creators Lower Costs in a Tough Economy – By Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague

Helping Jobs Creators Lower Costs in a Tough Economy

By Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague

Forty-year high inflation. An unprecedented supply chain crisis. Record-breaking energy prices. And now, interest rate hikes at the Federal Reserve that will make the cost of borrowing more expensive. As small businesses try to stay afloat, they’re being confronted with no shortage of new and complicating challenges.

However, the Treasurer’s office is more committed than ever before to serving job creators and family businesses across Ohio. Through the long-standing linked deposit programs described below, we can assist Ohio-based businesses in accessing interest rate reductions on eligible loans to drive down the rising costs of borrowing.


Since 1986, the Ag-LINK program has been a trusted tool in helping farmers and agribusinesses to lower interest costs on new and existing operating loans. Every year, borrowers use the program to finance upfront costs for feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel, equipment, and other expenses.

As part of our Ohio Gains initiative and in direct response to feedback we received from the ag community, we recently made several reforms that modernize Ag-LINK and make it even more impactful amid the current economic climate. For the first time in the program’s history, loan applications are being accepted year-round. This new, year-long application period provides borrowers with greater flexibility and ensures they can access capital whenever they may need it most.

In addition to adding agricultural cooperatives as eligible Ag-LINK borrowers, we’ve also removed outdated programmatic and loan caps from statute. Previously, only loans up to $150,000 were eligible for reduced interest rates through Ag-LINK. That’s no longer the case, as we’ve removed these caps to allow the program to better keep pace with modern borrowing needs. Moving forward, loan caps will be assessed and set by our office on an annual basis.

GrowNOWDesigned to support Ohio-based small businesses, GrowNOW offers interest rate reductions on business loans. Under the program, loan proceeds must directly support job creation or retention efforts, which may be accomplished through a variety of means, including, but not limited to, start-up costs, on-going supply purchases, marketing, building expansions or renovations, or equipment purchases. To be eligible, a small business must also be organized for profit, headquartered in Ohio, and have less than 150 employees with the majority located in Ohio. Depending on your lending institution, additional requirements and restrictions may apply.

In the Treasurer’s office, we’re committed to putting the power of finance to work for Ohio and its communities. While the economy faces an uncertain road ahead, we’ll continue to look for new and innovative ways to put the state’s strong balance sheet to work for our residents, families, and job creators. And we’re ready to help more Ohioans and businesses lower their borrowing costs through our linked deposit programs.

For more information about these programs, please visit our website at As always, we encourage you to stay up to date on news from the office through social media. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram at @OhioTreasurer.

It’s Small Business Season!

It’s Small Business Season!

From October 31 – December 31st, we’re celebrating Small Business Season™. The chamber is encouraging every person of our community to support friends and neighbors by shopping, dining, and exploring our small businesses.

Small Businesses Are a Big Deal to Lima/Allen County!

Small business made up over 60% of all new jobs this year and yet they face many challenges from rising costs to filling vacancies. Plus, according to JP Morgan Chase, “The median small business holds (only) 27 cash buffer days in reserve. Half of all small businesses hold a cash buffer of less than one month. Moreover, 25% of small businesses hold fewer than 13 cash buffer days in reserve.” That means over 50% of small businesses wouldn’t last over a month on their reserves.

They need our help, and we need theirs. On average, $68 of every $100 spent locally stays in our community. Most of us turn to small businesses first when we’re seeking help for our nonprofits, youth activities, and sponsorships. When they thrive, we thrive!

Where you spend your money this holiday season matters.

Support small businesses by patronizing them and/or:

  • Writing reviews
  • Referring friends
  • Checking-in and taking pictures or videos and sharing them on social media when you’re visiting small businesses
  • Sharing small business posts on social media
  • Talking about your favorite businesses on social media
  • Participating in Chamber Gift Certificates

Join us and pledge to support local this holiday season. Shopping small can make a big difference.

If you’re a small business, visit the Small Business Season website for your free marketing collateral.



Acing the Basics of Grant Writing

Acing the Basics of Grant Writing


Hiring a grant writer isn’t cheap. Some charge a flat fee, while others base their fee as a percentage of the grant amount. If you’re a small business or nonprofit, you may not be able to afford to hire someone. But it is worth it. To take on grant writing yourself, you’ll miss out on the years of experience you’ll get with a professional and it will likely take more time. But if you’re looking for a DIY solution, you need to know the basics of grant writing.

Basics of Grant Writing

First, know that good grant writing is simply good writing. If you struggle with the basics of grammar, you either want to hire it out or hire an editor once you write it. However, one thing to keep in mind about grant writing is that even if you hired a grant writer, you would still need to give them the bullets to put together a compelling grant application. Knowing this, the rest of the writing is simply polishing. The points will always be yours anyway.

Another important aspect is research. Grant bestowers won’t contact you. You must apply. Half of the work in a grant is finding one that’s a good fit for you. Do you fit their criteria? If you’re lucky, you’ll be an obvious fit and hit all of their requirements, but for some you may need to (creatively) illustrate the fit for the person/group giving the money away to show them how you meet their specifications.

Assuming you’ve found a grant you’re interested in, do the following:

  1. Set aside time. A grant is not the same as a credit card application. It will likely take you hours to compile the information needed. If you want to be successful in your grant writing, clear the table, and make sure you have the bandwidth. Delegate, if you must. Applying for money is a big deal. Treat it that way. This is not something you want to write at home in front of the TV at night.
  2. Double check your eligibility. Don’t waste everyone else’s time applying for things you are not remotely eligible for. For instance, if the grant is for a Florida business, don’t apply as an orange grower from California hoping you can sneak in.
  3. Consider the fit between your group and the one giving out the money. Ever watch a sponsor drop a celebrity because they do or say something that is not in keeping with the sponsor’s brand? Well, you want to consider the same thing when applying for grants. Don’t take money from an organization that does not jive with your mission or beliefs. If you can’t tell from the grant offering write-up, do your own research on the group.
  4. Follow the instructions. Even if the grant is being awarded for creative pursuits, follow their directions. If they require a 500-word essay, don’t write a sentence, and submit that thinking it will be Avant Garde and make a statement. If they say 500 words, that’s what they want.
  5. Tell a story. If you watch America’s Got Talent or other talent show with judges or an audience selection process, you’ll notice that contestants who share their tearful stories of family members with cancer or lives spent living in vans, often when paired with a little talent, progress to the next level. A good voice can sound extraordinary when accompanied by a compelling story. Think about your focus, your passion, your successes, and your obstacles. Make people feel what you’ve gone through as you answer the grant questions. Your story will also help you stand out from other applicants.
  6. Use the right language. In addition to telling your story, you want to use persuasive, concise language. Don’t drone on and on thinking the more often you reiterate something, the more you’ll hit the point home. Imagine each word costs (you) money and use as few as possible (following their guidelines, of course) to prove your point and convince the decision maker that yours is the best entity for the money. Axe words like “really,” “actually,” and “very.” They add nothing to your application. Were things really hard or challenging? See the difference? The latter conveys feeling, the former doesn’t.
  7. Then do it again. And again. We all make mistakes but not on applications for large amounts of money. Run your finished application by several people. Ask them to read for grammar/typos, as well as understanding. If they can’t follow your reasoning as to why you should be awarded the money, the grantor certainly won’t be able to either.

Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?


Twitter: @christinagsmith

Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking

LinkedIn: @christinagsmith

Ten 2023 Trends Hand-picked for Small Business

Ten 2023 Trends Hand-picked for Small Business








Whether you sell food, things, or services, we’ve brought together a round-up of trends that you can incorporate into your business in 2023 for increased revenue and better market traction.

Ten 2023 Trends for Small Business

  1. According to Architectural Digest, kitsch is in. From vacation rentals to home décor, over-the-top is just the beginning.
  2. The New York Times proclaimed that climatarianism is the new Cabbage Patch Doll (what everyone wants and is willing to fight for – for those of you who didn’t grow up in the 80s). “It’s no longer about eating sustainably, which implies a state of preserving what is. A new generation wants food from companies that are actively healing the planet.”
  3. Creative employee incentives. The buzz around professional placement agencies is everyone wants to work from home. If you can offer that to your employees, great. But not everyone can. That’s why we’ll probably see a rise in creative employee incentives that will help offset the work-from-home benefit for companies that simply can’t offer that.
  4. Going remote. This is not a new trend but it’s likely because of the rising costs, we will see more businesses deciding to give up their physical space and support their employees going remote.
  5. Doing more with less. There are a lot of great technology options out there but not everyone can afford new technology. Many businesses will instead look for ways to maximize the technology they’re currently using; working with the help desk or consultants to get the most out of their existing software and tech.
  6. Reducing paper. According to Inc., “It’s time to actively reduce your company’s carbon footprint. This can both save you money and engage clients and customers who prioritize environmental concerns.” A focus on the environment is becoming increasingly popular. Businesses that continue to use non-essential things like paper may find themselves on the wrong end of a public relations kerfuffle.
  7. Performance media. With the increasing usage of video platforms like TikTok, organizations will find that they are now in the business of performance media. People want to see personalities and humor in brand videos along with products and services. Go ahead. Roll your eyes. Then get to streaming.
  8. Creating a Cheers environment. For those of us who are old enough to remember this popular 80s sitcom, you can’t hear the name Cheers without thinking of its theme song and the popular line, “…where everybody knows your name.” This type of familiarity is becoming an expectation for brands. Customers want to be remembered. This gives small business an advantage over the larger companies that can only do that virtually.
  9. Concentrate on supply chain security. While there are a lot of not-so-positive economic predictions for 2023, there is good news for local small business. Thought leaders like Forbes are warning, “Companies need to improve their resilience in any way that they can. This means reducing exposure to volatile market pricing of commodities, as well as building protective measures into supply chains to deal with shortages and rising logistical costs.” Local small business often relies on local suppliers so they may have an advantage with the supply chain. However, if you don’t, you should consider how you will navigate continued shortages and Forbes’ prediction of rising logistical costs.
  10. Become more human. This has been a trend on New Year’s lists for the past 10 years. But as many experts are predicting 2023 will be the year of digital transformation for many large companies, small companies can embrace their own secret weapon–humanity. While many companies combat hiring problems with an investment in mechanization, small businesses score big with what Forbes refers to as “… uniquely human skills that currently can’t be automated…skills such as creativity, critical thinking, interpersonal communication, leadership, and applying “humane” qualities like caring and compassion.”

Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?


Twitter: @christinagsmith

Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking

LinkedIn: @christinagsmith

Are You Ready for an Intern? 5 Things You Need to Consider Before You Hire One


It’s that time of year when businesses start thinking about summer help. Could you use an intern this summer? Here are several things you need to consider before bringing on your first intern.

5 Things You Need to Know About Hiring an Intern for Your Business


  1. Times have changed. If you were an intern before 2000, you may remember interning as something akin to being a pledge in a fraternity. You did the grunt work for little recognition and no pay. Times have changed. Interns want valuable experience these days, not a summer of making copies. They also expect to be paid, and maybe not even minimum wage. Check with the employment laws in your state or ask anyone from Conde Nast what they learned about unpaid interns.
  2. Interns bring things other employees don’t. Interns can be amazing company cheerleaders, have a vast following on social media, and bring a new perspective. This last consideration can be incredibly valuable if you are courting their demographic.
  3. Interns come with a cost. In addition to paying them, you are expected to train them or at least communicate your needs on the projects you’re assigning them to. That means someone in your business will lose productivity time while they train the intern(s)…at least initially. Your intern may also not have the long-term success of the company in mind, especially if they’re “only” summer help. That’s why it’s important to make them feel part of the bigger picture and outcome to get their best work.
  4. Intern programs should have a goal. If you’re going to hire an intern, don’t do so simply because you need an extra set of hands to cover summer vacations. Have a direct goal in mind for them. Do you have a special project or research? Can they run point on something you don’t have the bandwidth to do? Know what it is you want and how you will measure success.
  5. You need a plan. In addition to a goal, you’ll want a plan. Determine the following:
    • How long will the internship be?
    • How many interns do you need?
    • How much will you pay them, and will you work with their college or high school to provide credit or hours toward a desired program?
    • How will you recruit?
    • Will the program be for internal candidates only (like children and friends or family of employees) or open to the public?
    • What requirements are important in the role and what tasks will they be responsible for?
    • Does your state have a program that matches interns in a specified field with qualified companies? If so, some of the planning may already be completed for you.
    • Who is your ideal candidate? What skills should they have? How will you evaluate them during the program?
    • What’s the screening process? Who will review the applications and who will notify the applicants?
    • Is there the possibility for the summer internship to become something more?
    • Who will oversee the training and evaluation once the intern is in place? You’ll want to provide consistent, effective feedback so interns will gain valuable work experience. You may also need to provide constructive criticism and chart a path for growth when they do not meet your expectations.
    • Have you reviewed the labor laws of your state regarding interns?
    • How will you address professional development? Remember interns are with you to learn. If you can help them grow into a valuable employee, you are contributing to the future workforce even if they don’t become a star for you. Your guidance could shape them through their future career.



Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?


Twitter: @christinagsmith
Facebook: @tellyourstorygetemtalking
LinkedIn: @christinagsmith


“Small Businessing” Ain’t Easy

There was a time when the biggest concern a business had was bringing in customers. These days, we know you’re worrying about a lot more. You’re wondering where you will find qualified employees. When you do find them on paper or through an application, you keep your fingers crossed that they will show up for their first day of work, or better yet, the interview. Once you hire them, you hope they’ll come back the next day and the next.

You worry about how you will sell items if you can’t get anything on the shelf. And you’re so very tired of hearing your suppliers talk about the supply chain. Two years ago, you didn’t even think about a supply chain in reference to anything more than toilet paper.

You worry about baby formula or people getting sick, your loved ones, your friends, your employees. You wonder if you should ask the person who’s been coughing the entire time they’ve been in your business to leave. Will they be offended or angry?

You worry that if you raise prices to try to make the smallest of profits to help pay for your gas to get to work or the groceries that keep getting more expensive while the quantities shrink that people will stop buying from you. Lag times and scheduling keep you up at night.

Or you’re challenged with too much need of your product or service and an inability to deliver. You hope that when you tell people it will be two to three weeks before you can meet their needs that your competitors are in the same boat.

You want to learn more, do more, and help more but your profits are dwindling almost as quickly as your “rainy day” money and investments are. Rents are going up and you worry your business’ lease will increase above what you can afford or you worry your landlord will sell your building. Home prices are going up but if you sell now, you won’t be able to find an affordable place to live.

It’s summer and you want to take vacation but there’s no one to run your business and even if there was, plane tickets and gas prices look more like car payments these days.

And you worry about safety.

No, this is not an easy time. But we see you small business owner. We are working to connect need with solutions. We’re talking to municipal, county, state, and federal leaders and voicing what you need most. We are brainstorming solutions for these unprecedented times.

We know you’re stressed and anxious, but we are here for you. Small businesses like yours are the backbone of our community and our country. You are not in this alone even though it can feel that way as a business owner.

While it’s important to have a support system, many small business owners struggle when they turn to friends and family for advice. Unless your family and friends are/were business owners themselves, they likely do not fully understand what you are facing.

At the chamber, we do.

While these are unprecedented times, we are working with all our resources to find solutions. We have experience in business and are bringing business owners together.

We can’t make your anxiety go away, or fix the supply chain over night, but we’re working on viable solutions and growth for all.

And because we understand what you’re going through, we’re sharing the following. Please feel free to use it (or edit it) however you see fit:

<<feel free to share this with your customers>>

We’re Business Owners, Not Miracle Workers

Behind this business is a person and a family.

The employee you’re fed up with or questioning because prices are “too high” or service is  slow, is someone’s mother, father, child, friend, or loved one.

We’re not a faceless conglomerate.

We are your neighbors and we’re doing the best we can working in times no one prepared us for.

And while we seem to have everything together, we’re working round the clock just to help keep appearing like they used to be. In reality, we’re getting by and doing what we can to keep our doors open. A lot of people depend on us–our employees, our landlord, our vendors, our suppliers, our own family.

We are providing you service with a smile today even if you’re not showing us your best self.

And we’ll do it again tomorrow and as often as you want to patronize us. We will be here as long as we can keep our business open.

We thank you for sticking with us while we navigate unprecedented times. And yes, some days we’re going to run out of things or we’ll be short-staffed. That may inconvenience you for an hour or two, but please don’t take it out on the person who’s working a double shift because a co-worker called out.

We love being part of this community, but we’re worried, too, just like you. We drive to work, we buy groceries, we must take off when people who depend on us are ill.

No small business owner or employee signed up for the challenges we’re facing now. But we’re making the best of it—like you are—and we sure could use your continued help and understanding.

Thank you for your support. We want to continue to serve you long into the future—or at least as long as it takes for the supply chain to get untangled.

Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and believes the world would be a better place if we all had our own theme song that played when we entered the room. What would yours be?

6 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out During a Local Event

6 Ways to Make Your Business Stand Out During a Local Event


Does your town host a Wine Walk, Holiday Stroll, First Friday, or other downtown event where they close off streets and encourage people to get out and support business? If so, you may know that those events often bring the crowds but also bring “tire kickers,” people who are just out for a stroll, not really interested in what you sell. They’re just going into each business, poking around, and usually leaving empty handed.

The hard part of that is that you likely brought in full staff to ensure you had enough coverage only to deal with a lot of “lookers.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few suggestions on how to transform your looky-loos into looky heres.

6 Ways to Help Get the Sale

If you have an event that will bring a lot of commerce “tourists” to your business who do a lot of visiting and not much buying, you need to change that with these ideas.

  1. Tell a story. While you may not have the time to do this for everyone in the store, if you see someone eyeballing one of your items in a loving way, go up to them and tell them something interesting about the piece. You’d be surprised what may inspire a sale.
  2. Give a taste. If you sell food or drink, offer someone a taste before they buy. This works to create a sale in two ways: they’ll (hopefully) enjoy it and want more and/or because you kindly gave them a taste (and did something for them), they will feel obligated to buy from you.
  3. Teach a quick skill or use for your product. Draw the crowd into a quick presentation that features a product you sell. Have several products to hand people who want to buy right there. Alternately, have a pro available to answer questions. For instance, a store that sells painted furniture might have an expert on hand to walk people through how to do it themselves. Don’t worry that it will discourage them from buying from you. When they realize how hard it is, they will beg you to take their money.
  4. Get people on your mailing list. You never know when a “tire kicker” may see something in store and decide later that week they must have it. When people are in your store, ask them to join your mailing list. A few days after the event, follow up with a coupon, special offer, or sales notification. That call-to-action will likely send them your way.
  5. Offer a freebie for that night only. If it’s a special night or event, give away a little something to anyone who buys from you or offer specials for that night only.
  6. Create a singalong. In a crowded store, it’s hard to talk to everyone but you want to make sure people have fun and feel the energy of your business. You want them to remember you. A good way to accomplish that is by queuing up the tunes and encouraging people to sing with you. There are certain songs people just can’t help but sing along with—”Don’t stop believing.” You know what I mean. If you don’t, just put on Sweet Caroline and see what happens.



Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so. 

Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.


3 Creative Ways to Become Top of Mind

3 Creative Ways to Become Top of Mind

Do you want people to think about your business before all others? Of course, you do. The first step to patronizing your business is remembering it exists.

Imagine you have a free evening, and you want to go out to eat. It doesn’t matter how amazing the food is at the new place down the street; if it doesn’t pop into your mind, you won’t be going there.

The same is true of your potential customers. They need to think of you to spend money with you.

So how do you ensure you’re top of mind and that they will think about your business over the competition? You need to find a way to stand out and be memorable. A good product or service is the first step. Good customer service is also a solid choice. But to truly stand out you must do something slightly different.

Ways to Ensure Your Business Is Top of Mind


Hosting an event at your business is a great way to help people remember you. It also provides an experience, and many individuals admit to enjoying them over physical purchases. When you host an event encourage people to share the occasion on social media for even greater reach.

There are several types of events that draw crowds:

  1. Sampling your offerings or services. You can host an event that is directly related to what you do. For instance, a restaurant may have an invitation-only, special tasting night to sample its new menu.
  2. Education event. You could also offer an evening out based around something that you sell. For instance, a yarn store may hold classes on how to knit.
  3. Block party. Celebrate your customers and potential customers by throwing a party outside your store. A patio furniture store held a parking lot party every weekend with a band and hot dogs. It drew a crowd and people lingered. It was a nice tie in with the product they sold—outdoor furniture. It helped people imagine hosting their own parties later with their new furniture.

A Facebook Group

Depending on the nature of your business, and the things your ideal customer/target audience may have in common, a Facebook group can connect your buyers to you and to one another. This idea works well when you can find a connection or mutual interest among your customers. For instance, a bookstore might create a Facebook group for writers or for fans of a specific genre. In a Facebook group you can share information and flash sales, stream events, and invite your audience to talk about their favorite books. The online community will keep your brand center stage while uniting and engaging your audience.

Savings Clubs/Subscriptions

Have you noticed that a lot of companies are charging their customers a monthly fee for some sort of discount or benefit? It began with Amazon Prime, where customers paid an annual fee for free shipping. The program has expanded beyond that now, but you can certainly start with one benefit like that.

Panera has created an unlimited coffee subscription where coffee lovers are auto-charged a fee each month and given a free cup of coffee daily. Both programs drive sales (and loyalty). When people pay for something, they want to get their money’s worth. Often, that means buying from one store over another because they’re part of a savings club.

However, like gift certificates, there may be people who pay every month and don’t use your services. That’s OK too as the subscription (even if it’s only a few dollars) is a source of revenue you did not have before.

If you want strong sales at your business, you need to ensure that your target market thinks about you. You can do that through email marketing, social media participation, or these three ideas. But whatever you do, make sure you use consistent branding and tone. After all, you want them to remember you, not question who you are.



Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so. 

Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.

Allen County Agriculture Hall of Fame Presented by Nutrien

Allen County Agriculture Hall of Fame

Presented By:
Hosted By:


The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce initiated its hosting of an Allen County Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2013.  In 2020, Nutrien joined as the presenting sponsor. This annual award recognizes men and women who have been instrumental to the success and excellence of agriculture in Allen County, either as a farmer or in an agriculturally related field. With over $139 million in annual crop and livestock sales, production agriculture is Allen County’s largest industry.  Farms occupy over 80% of its land base. 


The purpose is to honor and give public recognition to those who have brought distinction to themselves, have made outstanding contributions to their professions, and whose community service has been a stimulus to others. 

 Award Selection    

The number of awards made each year may vary, and is at the complete discretion of the committee.  The number of posthumous awards made in a given year is preferred not to exceed half of the total inductees. Honorees are to be selected via a ballot vote of the Ag-Business committee of the Lima Allen County Chamber of Commerce.  They reserve the right to request that a nomination be held over for consideration the following year.   

 Commendable Nominees

The committee has the ability to annually recognize nominees who were not selected for induction into the Hall of Fame but have truly exemplified the spirit of the Allen County farmer as a dedicated and committed servant to their industry and community.

Who Can Be Nominated    

Nominations are honored in two categories: Producer/Breeder and Agricultural Related. 

Nominees must have made their major contribution to agriculture primarily as a result of being born, growing up, living in, or beginning their career in Allen County. The goal is for honorees to have at least 25 years of experience in agriculture.  Nominations can be made posthumously.

The Nomination Process    

Award applications can be secured through the Chamber office or website.  Partnership or husband & wife applications will be considered a single nomination and will use one application form.  Hall of Fame nominees may be submitted by an individual or organization completing a nomination form.  One additional page (8.5 x 11″ paper) may be used, if needed. Additional pieces will not be considered.

Deadline for 2022 Submissions

Deadline for submission of 2022 nominations is Monday, May 2nd.  The application with original signature is to be received in the Lima Allen County Chamber of Commerce office by 4:00 PM on the deadline date.  The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce office is located at 144 S. Main St., Lima, OH  45801 (other contact info below).

2022 Nomination Form

Annual Induction Ceremony     The Chamber will honor the 2022 inductees to the Allen County Agriculture Hall of Fame at a banquet to be held sometime during the summer. 

Roster of Hall of Fame Inductees

Calvin Leimbach
Thomas Fleming
J. Edgar Begg
Russel M. Long
Louis W. Harrod
Wendla Black
Ray W. Whetstone
C. Mark Hershberger
Donald P. Klingler
Calvin R. Kiracofe
Ross Clum
Robert and June Polter
Fred L. Arnold
Robert W. Core
Lester Fleming
Barrett D. Feigh, Sr.
William C. Strayer
William H. Bowersock
Robert W. Mayer
John R. Nixon
Sam B. Blythe
Lloyd B. Smith
John Jay Begg
Clyde E. Ditto
Gerald D. Brooks
Gene McCluer
Kewpee Hamburgers – Harry, Myrna and Scott Shutt

Commendable Nominees:
Elmer Maag and Bob and Phyllis Boyer

For more information contact:
Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce
144 S. Main St., Lima, OH  45801     419-222-6045

Efficiency Versus Effectiveness: which will you choose for 2022?

Efficiency Versus Effectiveness: which will you choose for 2022?

How do you like to work? Are you a speed or precision person? Do you like many small projects or one big, long one that you can dig into?

No, you’re not in the middle of a recruitment fair. These are simply questions that most self-aware professionals should know about themselves and about their teams.

My go-to answer used to be, “I can do either.” But that’s not really an answer, is it? What’s my preference? What do I excel in? After years of running my own business, I’ve come to realize that I like most of my days filled with many smaller projects, with a large one in the background that I can explore about once a week.

Because I like to go fast. What about you and your business?

An Ode to Speed

I am always looking for more efficient ways to do things. Maybe you are too. There are tons of productivity tools, suggestions on how to streamline operations, and the like. If you love efficiency, you are probably a mass consumer of this type of content. You likely fill your time in the car with podcasts and maximize learning or working opportunities whenever possible. You also either fall asleep the minute you turn off the light or you’re up for hours considering new ideas and solutions.

If you work for someone else, they likely pass you the ball often because they know you’ll get it done on time but…

There’s something speed demons often sacrifice and that’s effectiveness. That’s not to say they aren’t effective at their jobs. But as they develop a reputation for getting things done, those around them pile on more. After all, it’s fun to watch kind of like those strongest man contests where they sport truck tires around their arm as if they were bangle bracelets.

Get It Done

Speed allows for singular focus. Efficient people know what tasks can be performed when. If they have a few minutes in their schedule, they know how to use them. Effective people, on the other hand, allow themselves to take a step back. To make decisions about what tasks will advance their ultimate goals and what will detract from them. They weigh everything against what they want to accomplish, and they say “no” often. They would rather have a moment doing nothing than cramming it full of busy work.

Effective people are not the most efficient. They are not the peo

ple you hand something to when it needs to be completed ASAP. They probably wouldn’t put up with you dumping things on them anyway. They make deliberate decisions.

Choose Your Way

As a business owner or employee, there are times to concentrate on efficiency and there are times to gear your operation to effectiveness. If you are one or the other all the time, you will find yourself struggling either with burn out or missed deadlines.

Ask yourself if this week you moved the marker toward you

r goals be being deliberate in what you were trying to accomplish, or did you break the speed barrier and astound audiences everywhere?

Only you know which of these is the most important for your business this week, this month, this year. But you must recognize the differences between the two to realize what you need when in order to succeed.


Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so.

Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.