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Bauman and Company in Main Street Mount Vernon Wins Statewide Open 4 Business Contest

August 2, 2021

For more information, contact:

Staci Hupp Ballard, 515.348.6245

Bauman and Company in Main Street Mount Vernon wins statewide Open 4 Business Contest 
Five Businesses Compete for State Honor

August 2, 2021 (Des Moines, Iowa) – Bauman and Company, a 112-year-old clothing store in Mount Vernon, topped four competitors in a pitch contest held in Iowa City on Monday evening. Five businesses from Main Street Iowa communities across the state competed in the final round of the Open 4 Business contest, which began in April with 17 applicants. 

“These small business owners have dared to dream big at a challenging time, and that is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and strength of small businesses and Main Street communities across Iowa,” said Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and Iowa Finance Authority. 

Bauman and Company owners Olivia and Josh Randall will receive a $20,000 grant, which they plan to use to convert the store’s basement into a full shoe department, step up marketing efforts, and work with local chiropractors and physical therapists to help fit people with shoes. 

Runner-up Avoca Flower Shop will receive a $10,000 grant and third-place winner Grill Works in Marion will receive a $5,000 grant. All three businesses are located within a designated Main Street district. Each semi-finalist winner also was awarded $8,000. 

Read more about the five semi-finalists.

The business owners submitted applications and videos outlining their plans and had 10 minutes to pitch their ideas to the following judges: Rand Fisher of Iowa Area Development Group, Lisa Shimkat of the Iowa Small Business Development Center, and Kaitlyn Byers of Kiva Iowa.

“It was a very difficult decision,” Durham said in announcing the winner. “Every year this contest gets harder because of the caliber of the contestants.” 

This is the seventh year of the Open 4 Business contest, which is open to businesses 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. 

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

Photos are available for download


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