It was a Denver-area sweep for the 2016 Calvert Foundation Small Business Competition
, with three local businesses winning the top three prizes in the national competition.
Outdoor adventure and clothing store Feral Mountain Company
, took the top prize, $10,000. Denver's Pearl Wine Company
took second, winning $3,000 and Golden-based rock and ice-climbing service Golden Mountain Guides
, took third, winning $2,000.
"We are very proud of all our borrowers who participated in this competition and heartily congratulate those who won," says Ceyl Prinster, CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund
(CEF), which supported each of the winners. "Starting a business can be cash-intensive, so when our borrowers are able to access additional funding that can help them grow to the next level, we are all for it."
It was the first time the Calvert Foundation held the competition, which was open to small businesses that received financing from nonprofit lenders like CEF. The goals of the contest, sponsored by the Calvert Foundation, were to promote small businesses with ties to the local community, enhancing business operations and educating people on investing in the local community and businesses that create local jobs. The contest also was aimed at generating awareness of the Calvert Foundation's Community Investment Note, which supports investments in small businesses.
"We had over 5,000 votes -- way more than we expected," says Senior Officer of Investor Relations at the Calvert Foundation Katherine St. Onge. "We are so thrilled that the participants were able to showcase the value of small businesses to so many people!"
The Maryland-based Calvert Foundation launched the Ours To Own (OTO) Denver campaign in 2014. That effort is designed to channel capital towards community development efforts in Denver.
Contact Confluence Denver Innovation & Jobs News Editor Chris Meehan with tips and leads for future stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.