Amory Venture doubles business award money

By Chris Wilson/Monroe Journal

AMORY – A unique contest to lure new businesses to Amory has doubled the monetary incentive.
Amory Venture 2011, a program launched by the Gilmore Foundation in partnership with Amory Main Street, the city of Amory and the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, originally had offered a contest in which two start-up businesses wanting to locate in Amory could win $15,000 each to help with opening expenses.
After getting a strong response from the public and receiving several good early entries, the Gilmore Foundation has decided to up the ante. Now, besides the $15,000 prize money to be given to the two selected businesses judged that have the best business plan for Amory, the foundation plans to award both winners another $5,000 after six months in business, followed by an additional $10,000 at the end of the business’ first year.
That brings total prize money in the first year of the program to $60,000.
Entries for the contest must be in by May 1 and applicants must have attended one orientation session at the Gilmore Conference Center in April.
A panel of judges will review business plans, which must be turned in by Sept. 1. The awards will be announced in October.
In addition to the Gilmore Foundation’s cash awards, training will be available, and other resources will be brought together for the business owners to tap into. Other grant opportunities also will be made available.
Local banks, attorneys and a printer also are providing the start-up businesses with special incentives and discounts.
To get more information about or enter the contest, visit www.amoryventure.org.