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Main Street Iowa Announces Open 4 Business Winners

September 10, 2015 (West Des Moines) – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) hosted the Main Street Iowa Open 4 Business State Contest, which showcased five businesses from across Iowa, in West Des Moines in conjunction with the Iowa Downtown Summit August 26. Building Grounds from Woodbine, Iowa, was selected as the 2015 Winner, and The Giving Tree Theater from Uptown Marion was the runner-up.

This is the first year of the Open 4 Business contest which is open to businesses located in the 51 Main Street Iowa districts across the state. The grants, administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs, will assist finalists with business expansion projects.

IEDA Director Debi Durham served as emcee for the event as businesses made their 15-minute business pitch in front of a panel of judges for a chance to win $20,000 to execute their business plan. The five finalists included Jefferson and Nikki Davis, Building Grounds, Woodbine; Ann and Guy Booth and Sarah Booth Fried, The Perfect Blend Gift Shop & Shortbread Company, Mount Vernon; Quinton and Ana McClain, Lion Bridge Brewing Company, Czech Village-New Bohemia, Cedar Rapids; Casey and Naomi Hulteng, Rockadot, LLC, Elkader; and Heather and Richie Akers, The Giving Tree Theater, Marion.

Each district winner was awarded $8,000 and a year of business coaching services from Action Coach, Andy O’Brien. The overall winner received an additional $20,000, and the runner-up an additional $2,000. Over 75 businesses entered the competition and competed at district sites for a chance to advance to the state competition.

For more information about the Main Street Iowa Open 4 Business Grant program, contact Robin Bostrom at 515.725.3053 or robin.bostrom@iowa.gov.

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