|Embroidery Coop wins Business Plan Challenge|
|Tuesday, February 11, 2014 9:26 PM|
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
VAN WERT — The opening of a new small business is celebrated throughout the city and the area. Local economic leaders helped make more celebrations possible with the 2014 Business Plan Challenge Award, which was presented Friday to Ernie Geyer and Shelly Becker of the Embroidery Coop.
The process began with the Entrepreneurship Fair in November. From that point, nine persons or groups decided to take on the Business Plan Challenge in which potential business owners put together business plans and presented them to a three-judge panel.
The 2014 winners had already opened their business last year and realized they could take advantage of the help offered through this challenge.
“Going to these classes we really learned, between Gary Corcoran and the people he’s brought in, the avenues we can use to market the business better and where to get these facts and figures and the people to talk to,” stated Geyer.
“It was a totally eye-opening experience,” added Becker. “We opened our business without doing any of this, so to actually put our facts and figures on paper and to come up with a three-year plan that had to be reality, that was the most eye-opening part of it; actually planning it and planning to carry out the plan. I think it gave us more direction.”
“Now we have goals. We had goals in our own minds at one point. Now they’re on paper. Now they’re realistic,” Geyer clarified.
Becker piped up, “And now people know about them which makes them even more real!”
The Embroidery Coop opened last year at 126 E. Main St., right across from the Courthouse in Van Wert. They do custom embroidery work on shirts, hats and many other items. They also are the sole Van Wert dealer of Stephanie Dawn handbags.
The second place winner was Paul Barton who plans to open a facility for kids age four and up to use Airsoft and Nerf guns.
For second place, Barton was awarded $1,000 in business development funds, business cards and a certificate for a training program at Wright State University’s Business Enterprise Center.
First-place winners Geyer and Becker won $2,500 in business development funds, business cards, a one-year business membership to the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce and certificates for two training programs at the WSU Business Development Center.
Monetary awards were made possible through donations from sponsors First Financial Bank, the First Bank of Berne and the OSU Extension Community Development County and City Revolving Loan Funds. The Entrepreneurship Fair and the Business Plan Challenge were conducted through the cooperation of OSU Extension Community Development, the Van Wert Area Chamber of Commerce, Community Improvement Corporation, Main Street Van Wert, the WSU Business Enterprise Center, and the city and county of Van Wert.