Wells County Chamber of Commerce Monthly Newsletter
Together We Are Stronger
May Member of the Month:
Ossian Hardware Receives May Recognition

Norris was raised in the hardware business with his parents in Berne. Norris’s parents owned the hardware store in downtown Berne and space was becoming an issue as services and products started to expand. “The Ossian hardware store became available and we decided to liquidate the store in Berne and open in Ossian in 2006,” explained Norris. “It was a big move for us to leave Berne because my grandfather started the business and I am now running a third-generation hardware business.”
Norris said that Ossian welcomed them with open arms and he and his wife, Kristy, and their family decided to make Ossian their home.

“Over the past two years we have been focusing on our mission statement which is , identifying our customers, their needs and provide them with exceptional pricing, products and service,” stated Norris. “We know there are a lot of choices with internet competition, but we encourage people to choose local. We know we need to be on top of our game and we will focus on our mission statement and do the best we can to serve.”

Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness
If you applied for and received funds through the Payroll Protection Program, you likely have questions about how you can ensure that your loan is forgiven. For example, did you know that your loan can ONLY be forgiven if the funds were used specifically for payroll or other predetermined expense?
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has compiled all of the answers you need in one handy guide, designed to help borrowers understand the process by which their loan forgiveness amount will be calculated and the overall approach of the loan forgiveness process.
Download your copy of the Payroll Protection Program Loan Forgiveness guidelines by clicking HERE .
Quick glance of Governor's Holcomb's Roadmap to Safely Reopen Indiana

  • Learn about the stage we are currently in
  • Small Business Restart Fund
  • 5 Stages to get Back on Track
  • Industry Guidelines
  • Places of Worship
  • PPE Marketplace
  • Latest info on Indiana Dept of Health
New small-business state grant program opens Wednesday, June 3
Gov. Holcomb approved $30 million in federal funding made available through the CARES Act to small business restart grants, helping accelerate the speed of economic recovery activity by providing working capital to cover certain expenses related to the global pandemic. Eligible Indiana small businesses can seek reimbursement for up to 80% of qualified expenses. Small Business Restart Grants can be issued in amounts of up to $10,000 per business. Of the $30 million allocated to the fund, at least $5 million will be reserved for certified minority- and women-owned businesses.
Grant Eligibility:
·      Business must be registered to operate in Indiana
·      Business must have had less than 50 employees at of 12/31/2019
·      Business must have had less than $5 million in revenue in 2019
·      Business must have been profitable in 2019
·      Businesses must demonstrate a monthly revenue loss of at least 40% compared to pre-COVID-19 revenues
·      Business must not have used funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), or a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
For more detailed information and to apply, please visit the Small Business Restart Grant program webpage .
NOTE: The grant application will open on Wednesday, June 3 rd . The Indiana Small Business Restart Grant site has NOT yet provided specific details on the time the grant opens (at the time of this correspondence.) Please understand that GFW Inc. is only able to provide general information on this grant. GFW Inc. is unable to assist applicants with potential technical difficulties associated with the grant application.
Are You In Need of PPE Materials?
  • Hand Sanitizer (2oz, 7.5oz, 48oz)
  • Medical Masks
  • Gloves
  • Disinfectant Cleaner Spray

Another option is to order a box of PPE Materials
from the State of Indiana:
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select
PLEASE NOTE: Supplies are free. Limited supplies available.
Not all businesses are guaranteed to receive materials.
Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Barb Schwartz
1529 S Harrison Plaza, Bluffton

Experience Audiology
Dr. Jennifer Wagner
2035 Commerce Dr, Ste 208
Hearing Testing, Fitting for Hearing Aids & Repairs

Cory Mann
Insurance & Financial Services
Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Dutch Mill Plaza and Harrison Plaza (Parking Lot South of Kroger)

Monday, July 20, 2020  Ÿ  Starting at 4:00 pm
Chicken Dinner Includes: Nelson’s Chicken, Pit-Potatoes, Roll, Applesauce, Cookie, and Beverage
33rd Annual Wells County Chamber of Commerce
Golf Outing

Thursday, August 6, 2020
Timber Ridge Golf Club


Is The Dark Web After You? 
And Why Should You Care?
Cyber-attacks have continued to grow in cost, size, and impact – causing 60% of Small and Medium Businesses to go out of business within 6 months of a cyber incident.

Over 80% of data breaches leverage stolen passwords often sold on the Dark Web.

Register for our can’t-miss Tech Tip Seminar to learn about cybersecurity best practices to protect your business without breaking the bank. Attendees will also receive a complimentary Dark Web scan to identify how many of their business credentials have been compromised.

Wednesday, June 24th
8:00am to 10:00am
$10 Per Chamber Member
$15 General Admission

Presentation conducted by:
Help us welcome our new member to the team for the summer.
Audry Estill is excited to get started as the Wells County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development intern.

As a born and raised Wells County resident and Bluffton High School graduate; she was involved in a copious amount of activities, sports, and received a wonderful education.

She is in the last few months of finishing her degree in Hospitality and Food Management from Ball State University. She loves supporting local businesses and has learned about small business management in her education. Throughout her internship she hopes to network with area business to learn and grow alongside them.

In her Internship she will be helping out with the Parlor City Market as we grow at the new Downtown Plaza, assisting Bluffton NOW, and working with Northeast Indiana Local Food Network.
Would you like to be a part of the Parlor City Market? We are seeking vendors to sell items and businesses and organizations to host activities each Saturday.

Businesses and Organizations: please contact Erin for more information and ideas: eprible@wellscoc.com or 260.824.0510 ext. 2

This year there are significant changes to the local Bluffton farmers market. We are excited to announce that Bluffton NOW!, Bluffton’s downtown revitalization group, will be managing the market and holding it on the Parlor City Plaza. In addition, the market is being re-branded to be called the Parlor City Market.
The goal is to offer activities, food and entertainment to the downtown each Saturday to promote the vendors and create a sense of community and increase a quality of place in Wells County.

The Parlor City Market will run from June 6th through September 19th from 9am to 1pm.
Welcome to the Community
Experience Audiology
Jennifer Wagner is a doctor of Audiology and has been practicing for 13 years in a private setting, currently working at Carter Hearing Clinic based out of Fort Wayne. “Carter Hearing Clinic has a location in Fort Wayne, where I work three days a week, and in Decatur where I work one day a week,” explained Wagner.
The purpose of opening the audiology center in Bluffton is to serve local patients. “Dr. Carter has been very supportive as I opened this practice and understands that someday, when he decides to retire, that I have had time to build the practice to serve patients in the Decatur and the Bluffton area,” said Wagner. “I honestly could not do this without Dr. Carter’s support and encouragement.”

Pitroad Collectibles
As the 2019-2020 Wells County Leadership Academy comes to a close, we want to thank everyone for participating to make this year a success. Congratulations Level 1 and Level 2. Thank you to the facilitators that devoted their time and energy into the success of the program, National Oil for donating gift cards, and the Scholarship Sponsors.

Congratulations Julie Thompson who is Bluffton Regional Medical Center’s New Chief Administrative Officer

In her 36 years with the organization, Julie has served in a variety of senior leadership roles. She spent the first three years of her healthcare career at the former Caylor-Nickel Medical Center (BRMC) as a staff/charge registered nurse.

Julie has deep roots in the Bluffton community and serves as a board member for the Caylor-Nickel Family YMCA and the Human Development Committee for Bi-County of Adams and Wells counties. She also is an elected board member of the Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District, where she serves as vice president, and is a member of Hope Missionary Church in Bluffton.
Applications Being Accepted for the
2020-2021 Year
Deadline: June 12th

Anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills, develop stronger communication skills, and focus on creating a network of peer-mentor-business relationships. Our desire is that these individuals would then make a life-long commitment to community service, mentor new leaders, and make a positive impact in the workplace.
"I wish I would have been through Wells County Leadership Academy when I was younger. I have been given so many ideas and options that I now use every day of my life in business and life itself. The materials used have been outstanding and the concepts are easy to understand. The facilitators have been very professional, and you can feel their passion. If you want to invest in yourself or an employee in a program that has proven results, then the Leadership Academy is the answer.”
– Kevin Keller, Helping Hands, Level 2 Graduate
As an employer are you looking for a leadership training program for your employees?
As a working professional, do you need a program that will enhance your career, teach you principles of leadership and help make a difference in Wells County?
YOUR SOLUTION... the Wells County Leadership Academy offers participants solutions to the fast-paced ever-changing needs of business and industry in the 21st century.
When Do We Meet?
Sessions are held once a month from September through May from 8am to 12pm.
How Many are in the Program?
Class sizes are limited to 20 participants. Please submit your application as soon as possible.
Applications are due June 12, 2020.
Please click HERE for an application.
Click HERE for a Leadership Flyer.
Please contact Erin Prible at 260.824.0510 ext. 2 or eprible@wellscoc.com for questions or additional information.
Be a part of a first-ever excursion through the Chamber, partnering with member Rochester Travel, as we travel to Alaska in 2021. Many are signing up and excited to travel to this awesome destination.

Bookings can be made until December 2020.
Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Community Events
Click on any event for more information
Member businesses provide a discount to other Chamber Members when they show their membership card.

The Member2Member provides value to all participating Chamber Members by offering them a discount on goods and services, while also driving new customers to YOUR business.

Thank You to Our Gold Member!
Thank You to Our Gold Member!