2021 – Oh how we have waited for this year to begin!  Most of us have high hopes for 2021 – to begin to be ‘normal’ again. However, I believe the new normal will be different – and perhaps better – than the old normal.The vaccines are here and there is hope at the end of this very long COVID tunnel.Nevertheless, we must keep our guard up about adhering to safety guidelines to protect ourselves and others – wearing our masks, social distancing, washing our hands, staying in our ‘bubbles’ as much as we can for the time being. Doing our best to stay safe and well will help reduce infection rates and give the vaccines time to make a difference. So, stay strong and stay safe.

Here’s some good news. In an effort to keep money circulating in Oberlin – to help our small businesses – to provide a win-win for people who were looking for ways to support our community while also give holiday gifts – we initiated the Oberlin Gift Certificates Holiday Promotion. People who bought $50 in certificates, received an extra $10 certificate. People who bought $25 in certificates received an extra $5 certificate. The good news is that we sold $23,610 in gift certificates and gave away certificates totaling $4,725 for the promotion. That’s $28,335 that people will spend in Oberlin! So…now’s your chance to make a difference…go spend those certificates!

We also ran a Holiday Shopping Passport Contest from November 26th through December 24th. To be eligible to win a $25 gift certificate, people shopped or dined in at least three businesses and turned in their passport at Ginko Gallery or Ben Franklin’s. Seventy-six people participated. Five people won $25 gift certificates. People from Oberlin Elyria, Amherst, Huron, Bay Village, Kent, North Ridgeville, Wakeman, New London, Sandusky, Solon, Vermilion, Avon, Willoughby, and Medina turned in passports. The top number of purchases were made at Ginko Gallery–58; Ben Franklin–58; Ratsy’s–27. One of the weekly winners was an 11-year-old from Wellington – she said we made her day!
Oberlin Community Calendar  Are you up to date with community events happening around Oberlin? Or do you have an event that you wish community members were more aware of? The Oberlin Community Calendar is a resource that is available to all town and college residents and is on the OBP website at Oberlin.org. You can upload events yourself as well as see a full list of events posted by other community members. There is also a free email subscription for a weekly newsletter that summarizes upcoming programs. Just enter your email address in the box on the right side of the homepage. To view the calendar, visit:   https://environmentaldashboard.org/calendar/. The Environmental Dashboard Team hopes that you use this free resource to become an active and informed Oberlin resident! To contact the calendar team, email: dashboard@oberlin.edu.
OBP Board Member Profile:
Leo Braido, OBP Board of Trustees
Tell me a little bit about your business. I am the owner-Operator of Oberlin IGA. I purchased the store and relocated to Oberlin in 2014 and began to do extensive remodeling and equipment upgrades to the store with goal of making it the best it can be. I came to Oberlin to make a living and make a difference and I’m focused on making the store and community a better place as a result of my work here.

Tell me a little bit about you – what are your interests, passions? I began working in the grocery business in 1983 in Barnesville, Ohio as a service clerk at Riesbeck Food Markets and worked my way up the company ranks over the years to eventually be the general manager of what was then a 15-location family of stores in Southeast Ohio primarily. 

Why did/do you volunteer to be a board of trustees’ member? To make a difference in my community and join with other like-minded people to collectively do things to make our great town even better.

What have you learned through your board membership involvement? I am honestly humbled to work with such a great group of people and I’ve learned how different perspectives can be blended to do good things that individually we couldn’t accomplish.
Would you encourage others to become involved as a board member, committee member, or program or event volunteer? Absolutely. It’s a great way to translate intentions into actions and make a difference.

What is one piece of advice or input you would like to share with our readers? Please help Oberlin be the best it can be by supporting local businesses and getting involved as you are able.
OBP Member Profile:
Shirley Hull, Business Advisory Services
You can contact Shirley at: 440.774.3704; Shirley@BAS.Rocks

Tell me a little bit about your business. In 1985, at the age of 23, I started a video rental business in Oberlin. During the first year, I grew it to over fourteen times the original investment. As owner/operator, I was responsible for all aspects of store management and training including but not limited to daily operation, customer service, budgeting, projections, and marketing.As the demands of the customers, changes in formats, and competition grew; I kept moving forward just ahead of those changingtimes. After 10 years of business success, I sold the store. Next, I developed the Small Business Program at the Lorain County JVS Adult Career Center. As a result, I missed being self-employed and in 2004, started Business Advisory Services to helping others succeed in their business providing services in Finance, Marketing and Business Planning.

Tell me a little bit about you, your interests, passions. I enjoy cooking, reading, and road racing. I am an active Oberlin Rotarian and strongly believe in giving back.

Why did you decide to open your business in Oberlin? Growing up in Elyria, I realized there wasn’t a video store in Oberlin, so, I moved here to support the community that supported my first business. Soon after, I met a local guy, Larry Funk, and we have lived in town ever since.

Why did you join the Oberlin Business Partnership? Ever since its inception, I have supported the Chamber and Oberlin Business Partnership because supporting the Community has always been important to me.

Would you encourage others to join? If so, why? Yes. When I was a retailer, the Chamber and Merchant Association were important organizations in the growth of my business relationships. Those contacts have stood the test of time throughout the years in addition to the development of new business partners and clients as a result of my membership in OBP..

What is one piece of advice or input you would like to share with our readers –especially during the COVID-19 challenges? Be Innovative! Once COVID-19 hit, I contacted each of my clients to determine ways that I could assist in their business success. We formulated a customized plan that allowed them to focus on their business while I took care of thefinancial commitments and the marketing of their business.
New OBP Members
Thank you to these members who have invested in OBP and their organizations 
by joining OBP since our December 2020 newsletter
Welcome Nursing Home
Pradnya Martz
AgriNomix LLC
Sperry-Gorske Agency, Inc.
Perales Law
Ottica Eyecare
Community Hub
Oberlin City Schools
League of Women Voters
Oberlin Early Childhood Center
Bethany & Jeff Hobbs
A Virtual Certainty
Mavrich & Mavrich Insurance
Ridge Cleaners
Oberlin Heritage Center
Lorain County Health & Dentistry
Oberlin Heritage Center
Cadence Editorial Services
GoGreen Landscaping and Garden Center
Lorain County Chamber of Commerce
Community Foundation of Lorain County
Thursday, January 14, 2020
via Zoom

To receive monthly invitations, send your email address to obp.org@gmail.com or just click on "I'll be there!" below.

We invite you to settle in with your morning beverage and share your stories with us and learn what other people are doing and how you can engage in new opportunities.

Our January meeting includes delving into some of the things on the OBP website that you may not have explored - and that can enlighten you about Oberlin and various opportunities to learn and share. We will meet the Foster Family - Parents Samuel and Abbie who are planning to open a brewpub in downtown Oberlin and son Eldon who is a very young entrepreneur with a coffee business - "Eldon's Amazing Coffee."

We hope you will join us for this opportunity to learn, grow and share!
RSVP for Good Morning Oberlin
Online - Zoom

1/14/21 9:00am - 01/14/21 10:00am

We'll send you a Zoom link prior to the event.
I'll be there!
I can't make it
by Megan Apple
Banish those New Year’s Resolutions. Do this instead.
Megan Apple, CoWork Oberlin Business Advisor & Coach

We have all done it, right? Decided on our New Year’s resolutions. We all need a fresh start as the year turns over, especially after 2020. I am all for banishing them once and for all.

Why, you ask? Because we usually set ourselves up for failure. After weeks of indulgent eating, we decide, “This is the year! I am going to eat healthy every day, work out for an hour 5 days a week, and never eat sugar again.” We buy a gym membership, a vegan meal prep subscription, get rid of all the sweet treats in the houses. January 1 arrives, and we are ready to go. 

You know the drill. By February 10, we are dragging ourselves to the gym two days a week out of guilt, the meal prep kits are piling up and starting to spoil, and our neighbor just brought over a plate of freshly baked cookies.

Just stopSeriously. We should banish those resolutions and take small steps in the right direction
  • Make sure that what we are doing is sustainable. For example, work out one time a week to start, have pizza once a month rather than every week.
  • Make sure our goals are achievable.
  • Sign up for programs focused on helping us achieve our goals—learn from others and experts in your field.
  • Just start. Our plan doesn’t need to be perfect.
  • Be proud of each step we are taking – no matter how small.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, safe 2021. Now get started on one tiny step today!
One of those steps could be to register for one or more opportunities to grow your business this year. See the upcoming offerings from CoWork Oberlin and OBP below.
Profit Joyfully Network for Women
Beginning Tuesday, January 7, 2021 -- 9–10:30am  
A twice monthly coach-facilitated group for female entrepreneurs to provide support, networking opportunities, business coaching and advising. You can join at any time.
Register here.

Profit Joyfully Six Week Intensive Workshop
Beginning Thursday, February 4th, 2021 -- 6–7pm
The Profit Joyfully six-week intensive group gives you the space you need alongside like-minded female entrepreneurs.  We want you to have your business, your life, your way. A successful business requires three things: an audience, an offer and a way to connect the two.  That’s it. During our 6 weeks together, you will become unbelievably clear, and have roadmap for rolling out the life and business you are envisioning. Your deep understanding of what you are meant to do is the foundation to create a brand that resonates with your audience. Register here.
February 3,10,17,24
and March 3,10
Time:  6–7:30 p.m.

Book Yourself Solid is a proven system for marketing your business. Wouldn't it be great if you had all the clients you needed AND were making the money you deserve? 
Now you can. Book Yourself Solid is a complete marketing system that not only works but is fun too. In fact, you will fall in love with marketing.

Want to see if you are a good fit? Just give Megan Apple a call at 216-704-6568 or email m.apple@coworkoberlin.org

The health, safety and well-being of Oberlin employees, residents and businesses is our highest priority. Although City buildings are still closed to the public, Oberlin services are still operational. Please visit www.cityofoberlin.com/coronavirus for information how to contact City offices, information on services, state of Ohio orders/advisories, assistance options, etc. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up to date information!

Office Closure: City Offices will be closed on Monday, January 18th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Emergency services and regular refuse/recycling pick-up are always available.

Efficiency Smart Incentives: The City of Oberlin partners with Efficiency Smart to help its residents and businesses reduce their energy use and save money. For a limited time, Efficiency Smart is offering Oberlin small businesses an increased incentive for purchasing qualifying LED products from a designated local supplier or contractor. Pre-approval is required to receive the increased incentive, and standard incentives still apply for all other qualifying purchases. You can learn more about this offer HERE. For more information on the increased LED incentives or for help on your next project, contact your local account manager, Bob Golden, at rgolden@efficiencysmart.org or 614-468-4904. For information about other services available for Oberlin Municipal Light and Power customers, visit www.efficiencysmart.org/oberlin-ohio.
Snow/Ice Removal: As the weather gets colder, please remember that it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove snow/ice from the sidewalks abutting the property.  Snow and ice shall be removed from the sidewalks in a timely manner, typically within 12 hours of accumulation. If there are any issues related to snow/ice removal, please contact Oberlin Code Administrator Chris Yates at 440-775-7251 or CYates@CityofOberlin.com.
City Email Updates: Keep up to date on important City announcements, including City programming and service updates, job openings, event announcements and more! Sign up today: https://bit.ly/3fwR5kc.

Emergency Notification System: It’s more important than ever to stay informed.  Members of the local workforce are encouraged to register for the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS). This system is used by the City of Oberlin and Lorain County to alert the community about emergency situations, such as boil alerts, power outages, street closures, weather alerts, etc. Alerts can be received via email, text message and/or voicemail. Register HERE. For more information, contact the Oberlin Fire Department at 440-774-3211 or fireinfo@cityofoberlin.com.