Bauman’s to compete for $8,000

Bauman & Co. will be representing Mount Vernon at the 2020 State Open 4 Business Contest. The contest that offers up to $28,000 in small business grant funds to grow or build small Iowa businesses is offered by Main Street Iowa for Main Street Communities through the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

A virtual local contest managed by volunteers from the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) concluded this past week over video chat. Bauman & Co. owners Josh and Olivia Randall were one of five 2020 Mount Vernon Main Street businesses that competed in the annual contest.

If the Randalls win at the regional level, they will be the 6th Mount Vernon business to win $8,000 or more and will be joining past winners The Perfect Blend, One Mission Fundraising, The Bijou Theater, Fuel Art Espresso and Blooming Acres. Mount Vernon remains the only community in Iowa to have won the contest five years in a row.

Interested businesses were required to complete an online application and submit a five-minute video. If successful, the winning business will be required to provide a 25% cash match toward business improvements.

A state judging panel will participate in whittling down the state applicants into a pool of 12 semi-finalists. From there, the state judging team will pick five finalists to advance to the state competition in July.

“This program gets harder and harder to judge every year,” said longtime Open 4 Business volunteer Chair Sonia Redmond. “We had several very good applications, but in the end, the local judging team thought that Bauman & Co. had the strongest application. We were honored to ask the Randalls to represent Mount Vernon at the state level.”

About the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group exists to improve the social and economic well-being of Mount Vernon and Lisbon by capitalizing on their unique identity, assets and character. Mount Vernon was selected as a Main Street community in 2008, and practices economic development within the context of historic preservation.