Five businesses win Brown County Business Innovation Competition

Los Rancheros management found out they won $5,000.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 5:58 PM CDT
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MT. STERLING, Ill. (WGEM) - Money is on the way to improve five Brown County businesses. Back in April, economic group Action Brown County put on a Business Innovation Competition.

Officials from ABC said a dozen businesses came up with new ideas to help expand their business in a way that would benefit the community. In May, judges visited each applicant’s business and chose five finalists who were all awarded a sum of the $30,000.

“It was a tough decision,” said ABC board member and judge Sarah Goers. “All the applications were just great. If we could have funded them all we would have.”

On Friday morning, Los Rancheros management found out they won $5,000.

“With that money, we’re going to do an enclosed patio,” said Los Rancheros Manager Adrian Guerrero.

Guerrero said since this is one of few outdoor dining options in Mt. Sterling, this will help his business grow.

Goers said their decisions were based on how the ideas help the economy.

“And really enhance life in Brown County,” Goers said. “And provide something that people need and want.”

The other four contestants included:

  • Brenna Pherigo Photography for new equipment to expand into videography services.
  • Brews for new equipment to increase efficiency and the menu
  • The Lion’s Realm for facility renovation and host board game play
  • Renee’s Place for a drive thru window

Goers said ABC initially put aside $25,000 for the competition, but increased that amount to $30,000 to support each project fully.

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