QCA businesses competing for $5,000 grant

Dream Big Grow Here, a business grant contest for Iowans will give $5,000 to a small business in the Quad Cities Area.

14 businesses are competing for the money and are now in the voting phase. Voting can be done online and is open until 5 p.m. on November 25. In order to vote you need a Facebook account and can vote once each day.

The top four businesses with the most votes, along with some wildcard picks, will go before a panel that will ultimately choose the winner. If the businesses are based in Iowa they can move on to win a possible $10,000 grand prize at a state-wide competition called EntreFest!

The businesses in the contest from Davenport include The Plaid Rabbit, Barrel House, Downtown Central Perk, My Girls Cake Shop, Camp McClellan Cellars, and Military Cost Cutters LLC.

Other businesses include Tiffiny’s Tipton Bakery in Tipton, Creative Dreams Photograph in Muscatine, Human Capital in Muscatine, Déjà vu Furniture and Accessories in Clinton, The Painted Rooster in Clinton, Coding Forces in Rock Island, Tipton Adaptive Daycare LLC in Tipton and Necker’s Jewelers in Dewitt.

For Deborah Vandergaast, owner of Tipton Adaptive Daycare, the money would mean expanding her daycare services to a new building.

“The program is growing.  I am turning away people all the time. I am the only special needs childcare provider in our county,” said Vandergaast.

She has purchased a building and is slowly making improvements. Half of the building has been remodeled, but in order to finish the building, she needs money.

“We’ve borrowed against this home, we’ve borrowed against this building,” she said.

She wants to take in 75 kids and hire a dozen people.

“People are desperately looking for good jobs. They want to be able to get a job in childcare that they can make a career,” said Vandergaast.

At Tiffiny’s Tipton Bakery in Tipton, the Crescent is the most sought after item.

“We have out-of-towners that come strictly for the Crescent,” said Tiffiny Meinert, owner of Tiffiny’s Tipton Bakery.

“It’s just a mouth full of heaven,” she added.

The baked good has been eaten by people all over Iowa, the country, even the world. Meinert wants to make them available nationwide, but there’s just one problem with the more than century old bakery.

“Our oven is very dated, from like the 1950s. So we nurse it along, but we know the day is coming,” said Meinert.

She’s hoping $5,000 could take care of that. Aaron Serrano, wants the $5,000 to help him, help vets.

“It would be able to get the operations going and help spread across the state of Iowa,” said Serrano.

His website and app, Military Cost Cutters, connects vets with businesses that provide discounts or deals for military.

“Any little bit counts to help them save money and stretch that dollar the extra mile,” said Serrano.

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