DIXON – The first Dixon Business Competition ended with a video production company taking the top prize, followed by a soon-to-be-open bistro.
In a surprise move, after the judging had been finished Wednesday night, Mayor Jim Burke announced that the night’s five finalists would all receive money toward their businesses, not just those finishing in first, second and third place.
Genesis Hey, of Dixon, and her company, Genesis Hey Productions, came in first and was awarded $5,000, a result that came as a bit of a surprise.
“I just felt that everyone that was a part of this did such a great job,” Hey said after the awards had been announced. “It was tough competition. ... Everybody put a lot of effort into their business plans.
“I definitely worked hard. It was a very wonderful surprise.”
The company works with businesses on video production, from storyboards to the finished product, that can be used for Internet videos or TV commercials, Hey said during her presentation.
She will use the money to buy a new camera and take additional video production classes, she said.
Hey’s business was one of three making a presentations Wednesday night that are already up and running.
The competition allowed for any business that has been open for less than a year to enter.
Linda Knoll, of Dixon, took second place and received $3,000 to help her business, 319 Bistro.
Knoll made her way to the podium for her pitch on crutches, having recently ruptured her Achilles tendon while working to prepare the restaurant, which she said could be open in the next 30 days.
She described her restaurant’s food as “redneck French,” and said it will be a comfortable, family-style restaurant that will also serve American and Mexican food.
Amy Fenwick and Roxie’s Boutique, 302 W. First St., took third place and received $2,000.
Effervesce Vapors, 112 S. Peoria Ave., and Choffee House both received $1,000.
“Every one of these people has product knowledge and knows what they’re talking about,” Burke said after the presentations. “... You have to admire them for being able to put everything out on the line here and tell about their business, open themselves up for questions. It’s not easy to do.”
$5,000 – Genesis Hey Productions: Video production company to help local businesses with commercials or YouTube videos
$3,000 – 319 Bistro: French-countryside themed bistro set to open downtown in the next 30 days
$2,000 – Roxie’s Boutique: Thrift store that sells new, used and vintage items, located at 302 W. First St.
$1,000 – Choffee House: Hybrid coffee house and confectionery
$1,000 – Effervesce Vapors: New vapor cigarette store at 112 S. Peoria Ave.