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Biz beat: Bluffton chamber revamps website
[December 22, 2012]

Biz beat: Bluffton chamber revamps website

BLUFFTON, Dec 22, 2012 (The Lima News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce's website has a new look and features.

The website includes a calendar of community events, a video channel promoting various aspects of the community and businesses, an improved photo gallery, feature stories on Bluffton, the current issue of the chamber newsletter and a feed from the chamber's Facebook page.

Chamber member and Bluffton web developer Ryan Lowry overhauled the page.

The new features join existing and remaining information, such as a list of chamber members, a map showing holiday lights in town and the current Explore Bluffton visitors guide.

As you visit the improved site, remember that Bluffton's Blaze of Lights continues nightly through Jan. 1.

Also happening on the biz beat: Com Net Inc. improves fiber-optic network FINDLAY -- Com Net Inc. has activated several new spans on its west-central Ohio fiber-optic network. The spans activated were between north Kenton and Findlay; Findlay and Bowling Green; and Van Wert and Antwerp.

In the first quarter of 2013, CNI plans to further expand its fiber-optic network in west central Ohio by lighting spans between Lima and the Indian Lake region; Indian Lake region and West Milton; West Milton and Springfield; and Antwerp and Archbold.

This expansion enables CNI and its GigE Plus Availability Coalition (GigEPAC) partners to expand broadband services throughout the region to bring improved and new broadband services to rural and underserved communities in 28 western Ohio counties. CNI maintains an open access policy in association with the GigEPAC network, which means any provider will be able to interconnect to the network at reasonable rates and terms. This benefits businesses and organizations connecting to the network by allowing them to select from multiple providers on a Best-in-Class and/or Best-in-Value basis or by deploying in-house services across the network. For more information on CNI's GigEPAC project coverage in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, visit

Ohio Northern's development center offers courses ADA -- The Community Economic Development Center at Ohio Northern University will hold six noncredit certification classes beginning in January. Classes are free and open to the public, and all events begin at 6:30 p.m.

Classes range in length from one to six weeks, and each class focuses on general topics relating to the development of a business. The classes range from exploring self-employment to computer literacy.

The Community Economic Development Center supports emerging and growing businesses by offering free one-on-one counseling to assist with business planning, marketing, bookkeeping, paperwork filings, and identification of lenders or investors. For more information, visit or contact Kevin Ernst, director of the CEDC, at 419-772-2753 or

Here's a list of courses coming up: --The "Exploring Self-Employment" class, scheduled for Jan. 9, Feb. 6 and March 21, is for individuals looking to start a new business or meet other new entrepreneurs in the area. This single-session class is offered on multiple occasions throughout the year.

--"Financial Literacy" moves beyond the basics of bookkeeping to cover the underlying fundamentals of a small business's finances. The class will be held on Jan. 10 and 17.

--"Marketing for a Small Business," held Jan. 23 and Jan. 30, introduces area entrepreneurs to marketing and the tools needed to help their businesses get recognized in the community.

--"Writing a Business Plan" gives both new and experienced business owners step-by-step instructions on how to write a concise business plan. The course will be held Wednesdays from Feb. 13 to March 20.

--"Computer Literacy" is a six-week noncredit course that teaches the basics of Windows and Microsoft Office. This class will be held Thursdays from Jan. 24 to Feb. 28.

--The "Human Resources" course, held March 6 and March 13, will cover small business human resource best practices and related laws and can assist with managing employees or the process of hiring new employees.

Basic manufacturing training offered at Rhodes State LIMA -- There are still seats available for free basic manufacturing training at Rhodes State College available in January.

Classes will be held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays Jan. 7-25.

This 40-hour course covers basic manufacturing terminology and practices, math and measurement, environment-health-safety, teamwork, soft skills and quality. Students will also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), create or upgrade their resumes and receive information on other certificates in this manufacturing pathway program.

Students who successfully complete the class receive referrals for employment consideration to West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium members and regularly receive information on job openings with other manufacturers, job fairs and other events that enhance their chances for employment.

There is no cost for the class. This class can be a first step in enabling students to enter or re-enter a career in manufacturing. For information, contact the consortium at 419-995-8353.

___ (c)2012 The Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Visit The Lima News (Lima, Ohio) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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