Open4Biz 2017 Winner

Bijou competes for $20,000 Open4Biz Grant

The Bijou Movie Theater will be representing Mount Vernon in the Finals at the annual Main Street Iowa Open4Business grant award competition August 1.

The Bijou owners Chris and Kira Moore (pictured with baby Fia and Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group volunteer Sonia Redmond) won $8,000 and the opportunity to compete at the state level for an additional $20,000.

Nine local businesses competed for the opportunity to participate in the regional and state competition. Mount Vernon could only send one business to represent Mount Vernon Main Street and a local team of judges picked The Bijou.

The competition included a multi-page grant application, a five-minute video presentation and a live 15-minute pitch, which they will perform for state judges in front of a live audience at the state competition in Sioux City.

If they win at state, the Moore’s will win an additional $20,000 to use toward new seats and curtains and a point of sale machine.

Sonia Redmond has chaired the Open4Business Grant committee for all three years of the contest, and Mount Vernon is the only Iowa community to have won the Open4Business Regional contest two years in a row — The Perfect Blend won $8,000 in 2015, and One Mission Fundraising won $19,000 in 2016.