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Uptown Marion Open 4 Business Competition Winner Announced

Uptown Marion is pleased to announce Giving Tree Theater as the winner of its local Open 4 Business Competition.

Giving Tree Theater will receive $500 from Uptown Marion and will advance to the Regional Open 4 Business Competition next month hosted by Main Street Iowa and Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Giving Tree Theater launched last fall in Uptown Marion as a private community theater committed to sharing a portion of its profits with a different local human services non-profit at the completion of each show. The theater is planning to purchase additional lighting and sound equipment to increase the quality and capabilities of its productions, offer more educational programing, and increase its marketing efforts in the greater Linn County and Johnson County area for long-term sustainability.

“Giving Tree Theater is a unique business concept that currently fills a gap in the Uptown Marion District. We were thrilled when they chose Uptown as their home, but even more excited that they are already looking at ways to expand in production and programing, as well as in their overall reach,” stated Jill Ackerman, president of the Marion Chamber of Commerce and a competition judge.

Six companies, ranging from early-stage startups to businesses wanting to expand, presented their ideas to the panel of judges on Friday, May 22nd. These companies were: Ali’s Weeds Floral and Gift Boutique, Climb Lab, JP Plumbing & Heating, Paulies Family Style Restaurant, and Ramsey’s Metro Market. Uptown Marion will see that each of these businesses receive additional resources they need to help make their ideas a reality.

The Regional Open 4 Business Competition will take place on Wednesday, June 24th, at 4:00pm, in Cedar Rapids. The winner of that competition will receive $8,000 and move on to compete at the State Competition on August 26th in Valley Junction for a chance at an additional $20,000.

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