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Open 4 Business Contest now open

Do you have a great business idea? Have you always wanted to own a business in downtown Fort Dodge? Is your current business planning to expand services or add a new product line? Do you have a piece of equipment you wish you could purchase for your business?

Main Street Fort Dodge is looking for interested entrepreneurs who could use $28,000 to expand and grow their business idea within the Fort Dodge Main Street district. 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 help them grow their business.

Main Street Fort Dodge is holding a local contest for existing businesses within the Main Street District. The local winner will receive $250. The business should fill a gap that currently exists within our district. The deadline for local applications is 3 p.m. on March 1. Applications are available on mainstreetfd.org.

Businesses must complete an online application and submit a short video outlining their business idea and how it will benefit the local economic climate in their community. A 25% cash match is required. Businesses must have been in operation for at least one year to apply. The grant funds are administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa program.

There will be a live pitch contest on March 4 at 10 a.m. The location will be announced on the Main Street Fort Dodge Facebook page soon. Businesses will be required to complete an online application and submit a five minute “video pitch” about their business idea. The video pitch is a simple video that tells about the business and how they would invest the Open 4 Business grant funds to help expand and grow their business. Videos will be judged on content and can be recorded with a smart phone. Videos cannot exceed five minutes. Be creative and have fun.

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