Business news briefs -- Nov. 8

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Fund for farmers

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and a group of Ohio investors are launching a loan fund for entrepreneurs and small- and mid-size sustainable and organic farmers.

The association and a group of Ohio investors have launched the OEFFA Investment Fund, initially putting in $500,000. Loans are expected to be in the $5,000 to $50,000 range. Equity and revenue-sharing agreements will be considered, based on applicants’ requests and other circumstances, the association said.

The fund is open to Ohio-based association members who are farms or related businesses in the agricultural supply chain. Entities receiving money from the fund must commit to support sustainable agricultural products throughout the life of the investment, the association said. For more information, go online to or call Carol Goland at 614-421-2022 or email


AT&T to invest

AT&T said it will invest $14 billion over the next three years to expand and enhance its wireless and wireline broadband networks to support growing customer demand for high-speed Internet access and new mobile, app and cloud services.

The company is not breaking out investment plans by state, but the Ohio president said the news is important to Ohioans.

“Today’s announcement is a critical step to bringing state-of-the-art communications technology to consumers and business owners in Ohio,” said Tom Pelto, president, AT&T Ohio. “Working alongside our state and local officials, the immeasurable benefits of our ongoing investments will provide the infrastructure needed to propel the state forward for years to come.”


Volunteer helpers wanted

Kent State University’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is seeking volunteers — from the general public, as well as students — to help with a free tax-filing service for low-to moderate-income individuals who qualify for free service.

Volunteers will receive free IRS training and support. Organizers of Kent State’s programs note that the training and volunteering provides skills that could be listed on a resume.

Training sessions will begin the week of Jan. 14, 2013. Sessions related to tax returns for foreign students and scholars will be Jan. 26 and Feb. 23. Volunteers are required to attend a training class or go online to train. Some positions are available that do not require certification, including greeters, clerical assistants and receptionists.

For information, email or call 330-672-8622. Information about the VITA program is online at


Chop It at Summit Mall

Northeast Ohio-owned and operated Chop It will open at Summit Mall. It is the chain’s fifth location.

Chop It serves made-to-order salads, wraps and smoothies, among other items. The menu offers more than 50 toppings and 30 salad dressings with healthful options, featuring local suppliers. Chop It’s grand opening will be noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The event will feature free samples and discounts.


U.S. to honor employers

The Department of Defense honors civilian employers who support their workers serving in the National Guard and Reserve. The agency called the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is accepting nominations for 2013 awards, called the Defense Employer Support Freedom Awards. Nominations may be submitted by members of the National Guard, Reservists, or family members acting on their behalf, at through Jan. 21, 2013.

Compiled from staff and wire reports

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