U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) organized a small business informational seminar last Friday at the Buckeye Lake Winery. The objective was to make it easier for businesses affected by the draw-down of Buckeye Lake to discuss assistance opportunities from a number of federal agencies at one time. The following agencies and organizations participated: U.S. Small Business Administration; U.S. Department of Agriculture Agency, Ohio Rural Development; U.S. Economic Development Administration; Small Business Development Center; East Central SCORE; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service; and U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce; Perry County Economic Development; Fairfield County Economic Development; and Licking County Economic Development helped organize the event. Top right, Portman discusses how the low water has affected lake-area businesses with Buckeye Lake Winery co-owner Tracy Higginbotham. An ODNR dredge is operating in the background. It was Portman’s second extended visit to Buckeye Lake in a year. Last August, he spent about 30 minutes on a boat lake tour then meet with more than two dozen local, county and state officials for an hour-long Buckeye Lake Summit that focused on water quality issues, particularly harmful algal blooms. Beacon photos by Charles Prince.