The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), a Main Street organization, today announced that Bauman & Company, a Mount Vernon-based retail store, has been awarded an $8,000 grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Open 4 Business grant competition.
As a winner, owners Josh and Olivia Randall have also won the opportunity to compete for an additional $20,000 in a final round pitch-off alongside four other small business owners from across the state. The final live contest will take place at the Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City, on Monday, August 2, at 5 p.m., in conjunction with the IEDA’s annual Iowa Downtown Conference. The live pitch event is free and open to the public.
Bauman & Company has been selling men’s clothing and accessories from its uptown location since 1909. In its 112-year history, Bauman’s has only had four owners. Since purchasing the business in 2019, the Randall’s have remodeled a portion of the store to house a women’s boutique. In addition to clothing and accessories for men and women, Bauman’s also does wedding party attire, alterations, work wear, and has a full shoe department.
“We are thrilled that Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority have chosen to invest in Bauman’s,” said Olivia Randall. “With the initial $8,000 we are planning to purchase a POS (point of sale) system to better track our inventory both online and in the store.”
The Open 4 Business grant program is part of the Challenge Grant program that is funded through an appropriation from the Iowa Legislature. Since the first appropriation in 2002, more than $6 million in state and federal funds have leveraged more than $37 million in private reinvestment. This represents 115 projects in 43 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state.
Mount Vernon small businesses have been very successful in this contest over the years with now six $8,000 winners in seven years. Past winners include The Perfect Blend, 2015; One Mission Fundraising, 2016; The Bijou Theater, 2017; Fuel Art & Espresso, 2018; and Blooming Acres, 2019.
For more information about the Main Street Iowa Open 4 Business Grant program, contact Robin Bostrom, Business Specialist, Main Street Iowa, at 515.348.6176 or Robin.Bostrom@IowaEDA.com.