The Wayne Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will help kick start local startups with another round of programs for new and emerging entrepreneurs. This year there are two opportunities for entrepreneurs where applicants are eligible to enter the Wayne County Startup Pitch competition or a Microburst combined grant and loan program. Applicants cannot apply for both programs at the same time, but could receive $25,000 for the winning business pitch or up to $40,000 in a Microburst grant-loan award.
Being held for the third consecutive year, 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 and also complete at least one business counseling class before applying. After the initial round of scoring from a panel of independent judges, the finalist will be invited to pitch their business to a panel of judges at a live event. The winner will receive $25,000 to help kick start their new business. The application deadline for the pitch competition is September 21, 2021.
New this year, the Microburst Program requires a business to be in operation less than one year and is also open to all Wayne County residents. This program offers a 1:1 grant and loan combo ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for each part of the funding. Applicants are required to submit a full business plan, as well as complete a series of online business counseling classes provided by SCORE of Greater Rochester. Eligible uses of funds includes furniture, fixtures, equipment, working capital, inventory, and employee training expenses but cannot be used for construction costs. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are expended.
“We encourage Wayne County residents to follow their entrepreneurial spirit and apply for one of these KickStart programs,” said Katie Bronson, Deputy Director of the WEDC. “There is some work involved,” she says, “but this is a great opportunity to learn how to take a business concept to market and to get expert advice and funding along the way.” Economic Development Director, Brian Pincelli is pleased to be able to bring more resources to the table this year. “Now more than ever, we need to be supporting entrepreneurship and assisting with economic recovery. These programs are intended to help boost our local economies by supporting local entrepreneurs and assisting them in taking the next steps.”
For more information on these programs contact the Economic Development office at 315-946-5919 or visit www.WEDCny.com.