Mikesell’s Potato Chip Co. joins area businesses in winning JobsOhio grants

A trio of area companies has won JobsOhio inclusion grants totaling $125,000, the Dayton Development Coalition announced.

Those companies are Mikesell’s Potato Chip Co. in Dayton, Tri-State Media LLC in Wilmington and Wicked Welding Inc., found in Harrison Twp.

The grant aims to support eligible projects in “distressed” communities and for businesses owned by underrepresented populations across the state. The coalition, JobsOhio’s network partner for the Dayton Region, supported the companies through the grant application process.

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“The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant has proven to be a powerful tool for our small businesses, providing the support they need to continue to grow and create new jobs,” said Julie Sullivan, coalition executive vice president for regional development. “Small businesses are a critical source of job creation and we are thrilled to have this tool in our economic development toolbox to support them.”

The grants broke down this way, according to a coalition release late last week:

Mikesell’s Potato Chip Co.: One of the oldest potato chip companies in the country and a privately held manufacturer and distributor of snack foods ranging from potato chips and pretzels, to corn products, pork rinds and dips.

The grant will help the business with the purchase of new equipment to grow product lines.

“Our company is very excited about this Inclusion Grant from JobsOhio. We continuously look for ways to increase production efficiencies through more modern manufacturing equipment, which will allow us to invest in jobs in other areas of the business. This grant will do just that, assisting in the purchase of new packaging equipment,” said Robert Carmean, Mikesell’s chief financial officer.

Grant amount: $25,000

• Capital investment: $200,000

• Jobs created: 4

• Jobs retained: 72

Tri State Media, LLC: (Wilmington): Tri-State Media is a supplier and manufacturer of labels, tags, drum labels and warning labels for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food & beverage industries.

“The company’s sales were dramatically impacted early in COVID-19 pandemic,” the coalition said in its release. “As the company waited for traditional business lines to rebound, they pivoted to PPE (personal protective equipment) production with creation of a strapless, adhesive one-time use face mask made from medical-grade materials. The grant will be used to help pay for new equipment.”

“We saw more than 80 percent of our orders disappear as the pandemic increased and we knew we needed to think creatively to stay in business,” said John Clary, president of Tri-State Media. “We came up with the idea of a ‘One & Done Mask’ (patent pending) that uses an adhesive instead of straps or ear loops.”

Added Clary: “The investment from JobsOhio will help us support the shift in our manufacturing facility and explore online markets for selling this innovative new product..”

Grant amount: $50,000

• Capital investment: $289,000

• Jobs created: 7

• Jobs retained: 24

Wicked Welding, Inc.: Wicked Welding provides laser welding and marking, precision microscopic GTA (gas tungsten arc) welding, mold, tool & die repair welding, medical device welding, and short-run production and tool repair to many Dayton aerospace and medical manufacturers.

The company will use the support to help purchase a CNC (computer numeric control or computer programmed) laser welding machine to support aerospace and medical device clients.

Grant amount: $50,000

• Capital investment: $100,000

• Jobs created: 2

• Jobs retained: 3

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