Deadline to enter small business competition in Brown County is April 1


MOUNT STERLING, Ill. — The deadline for aspiring Brown County small business owners to compete for up to $20,000 in cash prizes is April 1.

The competition to drive economic development in Brown County will culminate in a pitch competition at Brown County High School on May 11. Each competitor will give a 10-minute pitch to a panel of judges and the public. Competitors will be judged on a pre-pitch interview, their written business plan and their pitch.

Before May 11, competitors will attend a series of business-centered workshops to assist in the development of their business idea and aid in the preparation of their pitch. Participants will learn about writing a business plan, marketing and branding, and preparing their pitch. Competitors also will receive support after the competition. These educational presentations will focus on business legalities, retail best practices and the financial basics of getting a business started.

Applications can be submitted at 

Applicants are not required to be a resident of Brown County, but they must propose and establish a physical business in Brown County if selected as a winner. A successful candidate is expected to propose a sustainable business that generates employment, foot traffic and/or retail sales in Brown County. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

The competition is facilitated by Action Brown County in the hopes of attracting aspiring business owners who have explored various ideas but never sought to develop their concept into a viable business. The competition is funded through a grant from the Tracy Family Foundation.

Action Brown County is a nonprofit organization that enhances Brown County by inspiring community, celebrating Hornet spirit and promoting economic growth.

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