The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG), a Main Street Iowa organization, today announced that Fuel Art and Espresso, a Mount Vernon-based coffee house and retail shop, has been awarded an $8,000 grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Open 4 Business grant competition.
A total of $40,000 was invested into five Main Street programs around the state via the Open 4 Business grant program. The goal of the program is to further develop the economic vitality in Iowa’s Main Street districts. This grant program is administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs, and funds awarded today will benefit five Iowa-based entities’ business development and expansion projects
Thirteen businesses located in Main Street districts from across the state competed in first round pitch-off events in front of a panel of judges to earn the chance to advance to the state contest. The state Open 4 Business contest will be held on August 28, 2018, in conjunction with the Iowa Downtown Conference in Waterloo and all five finalists will be competing for an additional $20,000.
Fuel is a destination coffee and retail shop in the heart of Mount Vernon’s Main Street District. The coffee house/retail space is owned and operated by mother/daughter team Tommie and Pat Ouverson. Fuel offers baked goods made from scratch daily, a full coffee menu, art, antiques, unusual gifts, and handcrafted items made both in Iowa and internationally.
“We are thrilled that Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority have chosen to invest in Fuel,” said Tommie Ouverson. “This entire project has forced us to think about who we are as a business and where we are going, and it is clear that we are turning a corner in our business and that we are prepared and ready to grow beyond our current capacity.”
You can view Fuel’s winning application video here:
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, approximately $6 million in state and federal funds have leveraged over $37 million in private reinvestment. This represents 115 projects in 43 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state.
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 [email protected].
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.
About Main Street
The Main Street Approach is a copyrighted process of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Program has been used in Iowa since 1986 with a total of 56 communities having participated. Mount Vernon was selected as a Main Street community on March 4, 2008 by the State of Iowa, after submitting a comprehensive application and presenting to a select board of reviewers.