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‘Shark tank’ competition returning to Macomb

Rich Egger
Forgottonia Brewing won Macomb's first small retail business competition in 2018.

The city held its first small retail business competition in 2018. Marketing and Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry told the city council that the pandemic delayed plans to hold a second.

“And now it’s time to bring it back,” she said. “The goal of the small business competition is to bring new entrepreneurs and businesses to Macomb.”

Terry said she has not determined when the contest will begin.

The city will use $25,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay for the contest. Most of that money will be for prizes.

Terry said some businesses that participated in 2018 are still open.

“It (the contest) did work and it’s still working, and we look forward to the next one,” Terry said.

One of those businesses from 2018 is Forgottonia Brewing, which won the event.

Another is the Crafty Coop.

A third business, Lakeview Medical and Psychiatric Healthcare, is also still open. It participated in the workshops that the businesses were required to take but it was not eligible to win the prize because it’s not a retailer.

The Small Business Development Center at Western Illinois University conducted the workshops.

15 groups signed up for the contest in 2018. Eight completed the workshops and presented public pitches about their businesses.

Those who dropped out reportedly did so after learning how much goes into running a business.

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