FNBT announces small business pitch competition winners

Courtesy of FNBT — Lance White (FNBT), Kyle Morris and Melissa Tarter-Morris, owners of Sweet Mae’s.

CLINTON — In partnership with the DeWitt County Development Council, First National Bank and Trust Company awarded a total of $15,000 to five local businesses on Thursday, November 17.  The awards were part of the REV pitch competition, an event that helps local business owners.

FNBT  hosts REV in an effort to reinvest in local businesses and entrepreneurs. This year’s winners included Sweet Mae’s for $4,450, Loud Bros Pressure Washing for $4,000, Mariah’s Mums & More for $2,625, Clinton Flower Corner for $2,625 and Jake’s Candy Spot for $1,300.

The top five applicants were present in-person on November 17. Judges included Lance White, vice president of ag and business banking, Danielle Decker, branch manager, and Glenna Rogers, universal banker all of First National Bank and Trust Company.

Also present were Paul Skowron CEO of Warner Hospital & Health Services, Curt Homan, of the DeWitt County Development Council, and Marian Brisard DCDC secretary.

Sweet Mae’s LLC took home the top prize of $4,450 for startup costs to expand and offer a quality shaved ice product line.

“We would like to thank DCDC and First National Bank for this opportunity and believing in our new business,”said Kyle Morris and Melissa Tarter-Morris, owners of Sweet Mae’s. “We will be using the funds to bring Tropical Sno Shaved Ice to Sweet Mae’s Spring 2023.

Loud Bros. Pressure Washing was awarded, $4,000 toward the cost of a new commercial grinder to expand their commercial flooring business.

“Not only will this grant help our business grow, but it will also have a positive impact on our community,” said Jackson Stephenson and Talon Myer, owners of  Loud Bros.  “As a locally owned and operated company, we are committed to giving back and making a difference in the lives of those around us.”

The owners continued, “With this grant, we will be able to offer discounted services to nonprofit organizations and schools in our area ...”

Mariah’s Mums received $2,625 in funds to be used for a sampling and concession trailer called “Taste of the Farm.”

“We are honored to be selected as an award recipient for the 2022 REV competition,” said Mariah and Gregg Anderson, farmer/owners of Mariah’s Mums & More. “The funds will be used to purchase materials to fast-track construction of our Taste of the Farm food concession and sampling trailer. Providing opportunities to enhance food concessions and sampling of our farm’s products will provide an overall improved experience for customers who visit our farm from May until October.”

“I am thankful for the opportunity I was given to share the vision for our store and our desire to build community,” said Clinton Flower Corner manager, Jess McCleary.

Jake’s Candy Spot Inc. was awarded $1,300 to put toward the purchase of technology to more efficiently market and track business sales.

“The REV program was what first drew me to the bank before even becoming an employee, so to be part of the process this year had a personal impact,” said Lance White, First National Bank & Trust Company vice president of Ag and business banking. “The panel of judges was certainly impressed by all of the participants in this year’s event. We like to support small businesses in our communities and help create community prosperity - REV is a great extension of making this happen in our local area.”

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