Winners of $15,000 small business pitch competition announced
Clinton, IL, December 10, 2021 - In partnership with the DeWitt County Development Council, First National Bank and Trust Company awarded a total of $15,000 to three local businesses on Thursday, November 4, 2021 as part of the REV pitch competition, an event which helps local business owners to ignite their business.
REV, the small business pitch competition, is held in an effort to reinvest in local businesses and entrepreneurs. This year’s winners included Shear Paradise at $8,000, Gold Standard Barber Shop at $6,000 and Wapella Farmer’s and Merchants Bank Historic Building at $1,000.
Sixteen applications were received this year and the top five applicants presented in-person on November 4. Judges included Rhett Hillard, mortgage banker and Danielle Decker, branch manager of First National Bank and Trust Company along with Curt Homan with DeWitt County Development Council and Marian Brisard with Clinton Chamber of Commerce.
Shear Paradise, a local salon and beauty services, took home the grand prize of $8,000 to improve the salon flooring and invest in more retail inventory items.
“I am so thankful for the $8000 grant that I am receiving from REV! There are a few improvements I need to make in the salon, one major project is the floor. I am also going to use this money to buy new retail to sell in hopes to use the rest of the grant and the amount I make off the retail to put towards the new floor. This grant is a huge relief for me. So glad I was chosen to be a part of this program,” said owner Tracie Shaefer.
Gold Standard Barber Shop, a local all service barbershop, was awarded $6,000 to purchase another chair and set up additional lobby area seating. “The REV program is such a great thing for small businesses. The whole process was smooth. We couldn't be more excited to be a winner this year and take our business to the next level,” said owner Ryan Goldman.
Wapella Farmer’s and Merchants Bank Historic Building is a repurposed history building to bring vitality to the town of Wapella. The $1,000 in funds will be put toward ongoing renovations and helping launch their small business Saturday pop-up shops.
“We look forward to hosting the REV event every year and the panel of judges was certainly impressed by all of the participants in this year’s event. We love to support small businesses in and around our communities and help create community prosperity. REV is a great extension of making this happen in our local area and proud to host this each year,” said First National Bank and Trust Company President, Josh Shofner.
About First National Bank & Trust Company: First National Bank & Trust Company is a community bank located in Clinton, Illinois as well as Arcadia, Whitehall and Independence, Wisconsin. Dedicated to community prosperity, the First National Bank and Trust Company was chartered in 1872 under the name DeWitt County National Bank and became part of the TS Banking Group in 2017. With $400 million in assets, First National Bank and Trust Company is dedicated to community reinvestment and gives 10% of its net income back to the community. For more information, visit firstnbtc.com.