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Progress reported on entrepreneur competition

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

A proposed agreement is in place to bring a small business competition to Dixon.

Mayor Jim Burke and representatives from area businesses and organizations met with Lee Crockett, of Venture Advisors LLC, 2 weeks ago to discuss bringing an entrepreneur competition to Dixon.

In an email Feb. 21, Burke sent a copy of a proposed agreement to the nearly 2 dozen local business representatives who, he said, have voiced support for bringing in the competition.

The competition, Crockett said during the first meeting, will be aimed at giving local entrepreneurs the tools and opportunity to develop a business idea into an actual business.

The proposed agreement will pay Venture Advisors $8,500 in addition to out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of about $10,300.

The cost of the competition, and the prizes for first, second and third place, Burke said, will come from funds pooled together by the city and businesses interested in promoting the competition.

The prizes, Crockett said during the first meeting, didn’t have to be more than $5,000 for first place in order to get a good response from interested residents. Free rent on a downtown storefront, for example, could also be a good prize, he added.

Crockett will meet with Burke and representatives from local businesses on Friday to discuss the competition further.

Burke said he hoped the agreement could be finalized by the end of March.

It hasn’t been determined if the agreement will be between Venture Advisors and the city or if it will be between the company and another local organization, Burke said.

If the agreement were to be with the city, it would have to be approved by the Dixon City Council.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at mmencarini@saukvalley.com or at 815-625-3600, ext. 529. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

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