Minneapolis, MN and Medford, OR Are Intuit's August City Challenge Winners!

by Pamela Lue on September 15, 2011
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Over 800 businesses were nominated in the top ten cities of Intuit’s Love A Local Business August City-by-City Challenge. Congratulations to our winners: Minneapolis, Minnesota and Medford, Oregon!

Minneapolis, the “City of Lakes,” is the largest city in Minnesota. One business located here nominated itself, which is a requirement to win. Intuit will donate the remaining unclaimed grants to the community: $5,000 to a local non-profit organization and the remaining grant to the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce to support its local businesses.

Stand Up MN is a paddleboarding tour company that provides “a beautiful experience with nature, a delicious experience with food” along the Mississippi River. It is working with other local businesses to enhance its tours. Founder Austin Aho plans to use the grant to help hire another employee. He says, “Thank you — you are saving our business! It’s a real blessing.”

The non-profit organization that will be receiving a $5,000 donation is Catalyst Community Partners, which focuses on commercial property revitalization, business development, and community engagement in North Minneapolis. Its efforts have helped bring an estimated 222 jobs and 40 employers to the area through successful programs like Kindred Kitchen.

Medford is a neighbor to last month’s city winner, Central Point, in southern Oregon. Three organizations nominated themselves during the contest period, and Intuit will be donating an additional $11,000 to the Medford Chamber of Commerce.

Rogue Art Glass is an art glass studio that markets and sells hand-blown glass pieces and art glass memorials crafted by local artists. Owner Eli Beard says he is honored that these memorials help provide grieving families comfort. He plans to use the grant to promote his businesses further at art shows and conventions.

Southern Oregon Humane Society provides adoption services for homeless pets and provides educational services. When told SOHS had won a $5,000 grant, director Hillary Hulen exclaimed, “This couldn’t have come at a better time!” With the current economic climate, the organization has been struggling with the influx of surrendered pets from families who have had to move due to foreclosures. Hulen plans to put the grant toward remodeling the facility.

The IT Doctor helps medical providers streamline operations with managed services, consulting, and solution implementation. CEO Bob Ernst plans to use the grant to help fund part-time positions to grow the business.

Does your city love its local small businesses? September will be the last City-By-City Challenge, so be sure to vote and tell the small businesses in your community to nominate themselves at Love A Local Business!

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