The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 5, 2013

Businesses make it to next level of contest

By Katie Dahlstrom Herald Assistant Editor
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Two downtown Clinton businesses are moving on to the next level of a regional contest in hopes of receiving a $5,000 grant.

Déjà Vu Furniture and the Painted Rooster are among eight Quad-City area businesses that will pitch their business ideas to the Dream Big, Grow Here panel on Dec. 10.

The pitch is the second phase of the contest. The first phase entailed people voting for one of 14 businesses that were selected for the contest, which started on Nov. 11 and ran until Nov. 25.

Deja Vu co-owner Lou Ray came in fourth place, earning her business an automatic spot in the pitch-off.

Her idea is to place a large sign on the western side of her building at the corner of First Street and Fifth Avenue South that will call attention to not only her business, but downtown Clinton.

“I’m pretty confident. Even if I don’t win, my name’s out there, but I’m pretty confident,” Ray said. “And there are some very worthy opponents so I won’t be sad if I don’t win. I’ll be ecstatic if I do, though.”

The Painted Rooster was one of four wild-card businesses chosen to move forward to the pitch stage.

Co-owners Sandra Land, Emily Steenhard and Erin George would use the grant seed money for a prospective new business owner to purchase and remodel another downtown Clinton business.

“We’re excited and flattered that they would choose us to help further the dream of growing Clinton,” Steenhard said.

The winner will receive a $5,000 prize to make a business dream a reality. The winner of the regional contest also will move on to compete in the state contest for the chance to win $10,000.