The Open 4 Business contest, launched in 2015, is an opportunity for businesses located within a state-designated Main Street district, to compete for a chance to win up to $28,000 in grant funds to assist with a business development or expansion project that will benefit the local community. Last year’s Cedar Rapids-area regional winner was Ann and Guy Booth and their Mount Vernon-based shortbread business, The Perfect Blend, who took home $8,000 to purchase equipment and build a competitive Web site.
One Mission is a fundraising platform for churches, schools, non-profits, adoptive parents, missionaries, mission groups, basically any “world changer.” One Mission exists to help good causes raise the money needed to accomplish their missions through online fundraising programs.
The grant funds are administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa program. Each designated Main Street community may submit one local business applicant. One Mission will represent Mount Vernon at the sub-state competitions held in five locations across the state June 13-16, 2016. Sub-state winners will receive $8,000 and advance to the state contest which will be held in Mason City, Iowa the evening of August 2, 2016. The state winner will win an additional $20,000.
If they win, the Rhombergs plan to use the money to update and expand their Web site by offering backend usability tools, list sorting capabilities and update their Search Engine Optimization upgrades.