Pressed in Main Street Spencer Wins Statewide Open 4 Business Contest

July 21, 2020

For more information, contact:
Staci Hupp Ballard, 515.348.6245 

Pressed in Main Street Spencer Wins Statewide Open 4 Business Contest
Five Iowa businesses take home awards

July 21, 2020 (Des Moines, Iowa) – Pressed, a boutique in Spencer, topped four competitors in a statewide virtual pitch contest on Tuesday. Five businesses from Main Street Iowa communities across the state competed in the final round of the Open 4 Business contest, which began in May with 19 applicants. All five businesses received awards.

“We don’t typically award everyone, but this year is anything but typical so everyone is going home a winner,” said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority. “Our competitors have done not only what it takes to survive the extraordinary economic impact of the past few months, they also have dared to dream big. These small businesses exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment that is evident in our Main Street communities statewide.”

Pressed owners Kristen and Eric Meeter will receive a $20,000 grant, which they plan to use to update their website platform and purchase equipment for a rentable photo, video and audio recording studio above the store to help small businesses tell their digital story with high-quality images.

“Your presentation was exceptional, but more so than that, we just loved the way you pivoted so quickly to your online business during COVID and how you’ll help other companies go to e-commerce,” Durham told the Meeters during the award announcement.

The following four finalists each will receive a $10,000 grant for their business plans:

  • Almost Famous Popcorn in Cedar Rapids plans to partner with local companies to design, build and install a product wall to hold popcorn, drinks and other Iowa-made treats.
  • Cutting Edge Archery in Elkader plans to expand its equipment, including 4D software, and space to accommodate special events and an archery league.
  • Dungeons & Dodgers, a game store in Fort Dodge, plans to expand its products and accessories, purchase new furniture and create a party room for events.
  • Unique Memories by Rachel, a photography studio in West Union, plans to purchase new camera and studio equipment and convert photos into wall art to attract new customers.

Judges for the event included Dan Beeken of Advance Iowa, Vada Grantham of Des Moines Area Community College, Sandy Ehrig of Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and Lisa Shimkat of the Iowa Small Business Development Center.

“Main Street Open 4 Business has never had such powerful meaning as it does this year during this time of economic uncertainty and small business challenges,” said Main Street Iowa Coordinator Michael Wagler. “Each of this year’s applicants are demonstrating inspiring examples of small businesses innovating in the face of adversity and working to expand their operations to better serve and support their local communities.”

This is the sixth year of the Open 4 Business contest, which is open to businesses located in the 55 Main Street Iowa districts across the state. The grants are administered through IEDA’s Iowa Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa programs. The funding will assist with business expansion projects for each of the businesses.

Open 4 Business is part of the Challenge Grant program. Since 2002, approximately $7 million in state and federal funds has leveraged over $37 million in private reinvestment in 115 projects in 55 Main Street Iowa commercial districts across the state.

For more information about the Main Street Iowa Open 4 Business program, contact Robin Bostrom, Business Specialist, Main Street Iowa, at 515.348.6176 or

For photos of the local businesses who competed, please contact the local Main Street office.

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