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Wayne Economic Development Corporation holds competition to kickstart local business

The Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is gearing up to help kick start one more local, new business through the annual StartUp Pitch Competition. The winning applicant will receive $25,000. Applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

The Startup Pitch Competition is open to all Wayne County residents with a business in the concept stage, or with less than three years in operation, and less than $250,000 in annual revenue. Applicants must provide an executive summary of their business plan, completed application form, current financial statements and financial projections, and proof that they watched or participated in at least one business counseling class offered exclusively for Wayne County by SCORE of Greater Rochester. All eligible applications will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges to determine the final round of participants.

The finalists will pitch their business plan to a separate panel of judges at a live event to be held on Wednesday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m. at The Ohmann Theatre in Lyons, NY. Each finalist will have a few minutes to deliver their pitch followed by a question and answer session with the judges. The winner will be announced that evening and will receive $25,000 to help kick start their new business.

“We are very excited about offering these young businesses in Wayne County an opportunity to showcase their ideas. New businesses are critical to the future of Wayne County.” said Katie Bronson, Deputy Director of the WEDC. She emphasized the importance of the independent judges. “We couldn’t do this without all our judges from the community who volunteer their time, and we thank them in advance for their expertise.”

WEDC has other financial assistance opportunities for young businesses, especially those operating for less than one year. One opportunity is the Microburst Program which offers a 1:1 grant and loan combo ranging from $10,000 to $40,000. Applications must include a full business plan, completion of the 5-part series of online business counseling classes provided by SCORE, as well as other information. This application is competitive but open to more than one recipient. Some eligible uses of Microburst funds include furniture, fixtures, equipment, working capital, inventory, and employee training. Applications for Microburst are due by Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

For more information on these programs contact the Economic Development office at 315-946-5919 or visit WEDC is a local development corporation of New York established to assist Wayne County businesses with loans and grants.