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2021 Small Business Grant Contest - Winners Announced

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Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2021 Time: 9:50 AM

Warren County Economic Development Corp.’s sixth annual Warren County Small Business Grant Contest has concluded and the winners have been determined.

West Hill Brewing Company was awarded the $6,000 Existing Business Grant and Whip It Good was awarded the $4,000 Start-Up Business Grant.

West Hill Brewing, owned by Doug and Heather Gaumer, plans to use the funds to help purchase new equipment to expand their production capabilities, which will allow them to increase distribution, offer additional packing options, promote several current team members, and bring on additional employees.

Whip It Good, owned by Emmalee Bowlin, plans to use the funds to purchase needed kitchen equipment which will allow her to have the capacity to greatly expand the hot meal and freezer meal services, increase customer base and sales, and expand the “Whip It Forward” program.

The grant winners were determined at an event held on September 28th at Salem Connection where three businesses in each category presented their business pitches to a panel of judges. The Existing Business Finalists included: Indianola Precast of Indianola, Main Street School of Norwalk, and West Hill Brewing of Indianola. The Start-up Business Finalists included: Gun Food Industries of Hartford, Magnolia Connection of Norwalk, and Whip It Good of Indianola.

The judging panels were comprised of business-minded individuals from around the metro. The Start-Up judging panel included: Jade Handy - Business Incubator Networking Group, and Stacie LoVan- Greater Des Moines Partnership, and Diana Wright - Greater Des Moines Partnership. The Existing Business judging panel included: Alicia Benson- AB Coaching, and Andrew Collings – Des Moines Area MPO, and Tom Leners - Madison County Development Group.

Each finalist went home with a 1-year free membership courtesy of the Indianola Chamber of Commerce and a packet full of business resources and coupons/gift cards for services from AB Coaching, Blue Pencil, and Studio Fusco. Thank you to the investor supporters of WCEDC for making this contest possible and to everyone who entered, promoted, attended, and participated!