$25,000 grant will boost a new or expanding business

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Oldham Chamber & Economic Development has announced a business plan contest to encourage the creation, acceleration and expansion of businesses in the county.

The winner will receive a grant of up to $25,000 and a package of legal, marketing and accounting services that will help them launch or expand their venture in Oldham County.

The contest runs from Nov. 14 through March 2012 and is divided into three rounds.
Competing in the contest will help contestants improve skills necessary to create a business plan and may lead to valuable public and media exposure.

Also, participants will gain access to potential investors and mentors through formal and informal channels.

“It takes a special discipline and drive to be an entrepreneur. Many of our current Oldham County businesses were started, nurtured and grown here,” said Deana Karem, executive director of Oldham Chamber and Economic Development. “We’re hoping, through this initiative, to find the next big idea and that the creators will be excited to call Oldham County its home.”

The contest hopes to attract entrepreneurs desiring to start a new business, build or test a prototype, improve an existing product, purchase equipment or machinery for expansion, expand an Internet business, test the viability of a new product/ service, or acquire another business.

The grant money is provided by private donors.

“Few resources were available to start-ups in Oldham County when I created a business in my garage nearly 20 years ago,” said Mark Haertzen, founder/president of Rocket Man Inc. based in La Grange. “This contest will provide valuable mentoring and services to help entrepreneurs launch or expand their venture.”

The deadline for the entry form and initial business plan summary is Dec. 9.

For information, call (502) 222-1635, email DEKarem@OldhamCountyChamber.com or visit www.oldhamcountychamber.com.