(Photo Contributed) Winners of the Le Mars Open for Business competition are The Browns Century Theater. Pictured from left are, Andrew Brown, Shelly Brown, Vice President of Main Street Rich Ziettlow, Michaela Brown and Adam Brown. This grant opportunity is made possible through the Iowa Economic Development Authority Main Street Program. The Browns will continue on to the district competition in June.

LE MARS — The Le Mars competition for the State of Iowa Open 4 Business contest was recently held. The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street program oversees the local competition. Three Le Mars businesses participated — SnS Barbeque, John MacGregor representing the building space of the former Close to Home store, and The Browns Century Theater.

The Iowa Main Street Program 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 business development or an expansion project that will benefit the local community. The three Le Mars competitors completed a five minute video outlining their business idea and how it would benefit the local economic climate downtown

Each business had 15 minutes to present their business proposition. Then they were questioned by the judges.

“All three presentations were very good. I’m excited about the new business concepts, additional growth for the businesses through equipment acquisition and plans for the future of their businesses,” stated Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street Manager Mary Reynolds.

Judges were: Wade Druin, professor at Northwestern College, Renee Billings, economic development specialist with the City of Sioux City, and Denny Bixenman, CPA/consultant.

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