DOWNTOWN AKRON — The IRS Small Business Seminar will take place May 3 at The University of Akron (UA). Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program runs from 9 a.m. to noon. Topics will include: employee vs. independent contractor status, employee law and electronic resources available through the IRS Web site. The free seminar is co-sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, UA, the Employers Resource Association, the Small Business Administration and the Small Business Development Centers of Ohio. For more information, call (216) 522-3145.
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) will host its 2007 Kick Off May 3 at the Holiday Inn on Lakeshore Drive. The event will begin at 6 p.m. with the introduction of the new NSHMBA Cleveland Board and its plans to foster Hispanic leadership in the Northeast Ohio corporate community. At the event, NSHMBA members and friends will have the opportunity to network and hear from keynote speaker Andrew Zalesky, president and general manager of The Sherwin-Williams Co.’s International Division. A native of La Paz, Bolivia, Zalesky joined Sherwin-Williams from Eastman Chemical Co.
EAST AKRON — Annaco Inc., a recycler of scrap metal, is celebrating Earth Day this week by paying a special premium price of 75 cents per pound for aluminum cans, and providing free snacks and refreshments to all customers throughout the week. The Earth Week price is the highest it has ever been for aluminum cans, significantly above the current market price, according to company officials. Annaco, located at 943 Hazel St., recycled millions of aluminum cans from local residents during its 2006 Earth Week event. All of the recycled cans were made into new aluminum rather than being dumped and buried in landfills, according to company officials. The goal of the Earth Week event is to encourage recycling and environmental responsibility while stimulating community interest in Earth Day. For more information, call Brian Carlone at (330) 376-1400, ext. 109.
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Greater Akron Chamber will present “An Employer’s Most Valuable Asset ... Employees” at the Morning Buzz, a quarterly economic development breakfast addressing hot topics on regional issues. The breakfast will take place May 9 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Martin University Center, 105 Fir Hill. Two local companies’ representatives, including Michael McCann, director of human capital development at Babcock & Wilcox Co., and Rebecca Osborne, director of human resources for SS&G Financial Services Inc., will share the culture of their workplaces and identify how the benefits of putting the right practices into place outweigh the costs associated with the revolving-door scenario. The cost is $15 for members and $18 for nonmembers and includes a continental breakfast. To make a reservation, due by May 4, call the chamber at (330) 376-5550 or register online at www.great erakronchamber.org.
WEST AKRON — The Akron Bar Association and The University of Akron School of Law will present a real property law forum, “Hot Topics in Real Property Practice,” May 10 at the St. Joseph Family Center, 610 W. Exchange St. The forum will begin at 8 a.m. with registration and adjourn at 4:15 p.m. Six continuing legal educations credits will be available. The seminar will provide updates on critical areas of real estate practice and is geared toward those who do not specialize in real property practice as well as real property practitioners who want to keep abreast of current developments in this area of the law. Visit www.akronbar.org/event.asp?ID=1245 for more information.
COLUMBUS — Nominations are being accepted for the 2007 Conservation Farm Family Awards. Nomination forms can be obtained from county Soil & Water Conservation Districts, local Ohio Farm Bureau Federation offices or Ohio Farmer Magazine. They must be returned by May 1 to Ohio Farmer Magazine, 117 W. Main St., Suite 202, Lancaster, OH 43130. Individual farmers, partnerships or family farm corporations are eligible, provided a substantial portion of their income is derived from farming. Judging is based on the nominee’s use of: new and traditional conservation techniques; comprehensive management; individual initiative in applying conservation measures; and the nominee’s willingness to share conservation information, experiences and philosophy with others. Five finalists will be chosen from around the state and recognized at the annual Farm Science Review in September. They also will receive a $400 check courtesy of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and be featured in the September issue of Ohio Farmer Magazine.
OHIO — Farmers who want to preserve their farmland through the Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (AEPP) can now apply online, through their local sponsors. Applications for the 2007, sixth funding round must be submitted electronically from the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Web site, www.ohioagriculture.gov/farmland/aepp2007, no later than June 1 at 5 p.m. An agricultural easement is an agreement between the landowner, the state and the local community to keep a piece of property in agricultural production in perpetuity. Landowners interested in preserving their farmland should contact a local sponsor of their choice (i.e., board of county commissioners, board of township trustees, municipal officials, land trust or local soil and water conservation district), which must submit an application to the Ohio Department of Agriculture on the landowner’s behalf. The local sponsor can access the online application by creating a user account and following the instructions. For more information about the program, contact the Office of Farmland Preservation at (614) 728-6210.
OHIO — The Ohio Psychological Association’s (OPA) Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards recognize businesses and organizations that demonstrate a commitment to the psychological health and well being of its employees. Awards will be given to up to six companies, one each in the categories of large, medium and small for-profit companies, and large, medium and small not-for-profit companies. Each applicant will be judged on criteria including work-life balance, family support, employee recognition, organization awards, employee involvement, employee growth and development and health and safety. Employers may call (800) 783-1983 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application or to get details, or they can apply online at www.ohpsych.org/Public/phwa.htm. The deadline for entries is Aug. 15. Winners will be honored at an awards luncheon Oct. 24 in Columbus.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns recently announced the availability of $176.5 million in loan guarantees and $11.4 million in grants to support investments in renewable energy and energy-efficiency improvements by agricultural producers and small businesses. The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency loan and grant program was established in the 2002 Farm Bill. It provides loan guarantees and grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems or for energy-efficiency improvements. Loan guarantees cover up to 50 percent of a project’s cost, not to exceed $10 million. Grants are available for up to 25 percent of a project’s cost, not to exceed $250,000 for energy-efficiency improvements and $500,000 for renewable energy systems. The deadline for submitting loan applications as well as for loan and grant combinations is July 2. For more information, refer to the announcement in the March 20 Federal Register or contact any state Rural Development office. Further information on rural programs is available by visiting the Web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov.