LYONS — The Wayne Economic Development Corp. held its third annual Wayne County Startup Pitch Competition Nov. 17, and Jennifer Evans of Sodus Bay Outfitters in Sodus Point was awarded the grand prize of $25,000.
Sodus Bay Outfitters is a new, seasonal recreation equipment rental shop with kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards and beach bikes available for daily use. The business will also feature a retail shop with beach supplies, local souvenirs, and grocery items for boaters and campers.
Evans, the entrepreneur and owner, already has secured a storefront at 8487 Greig St. in Sodus Point.
“The KickStart Contest was an invaluable experience for me,” Evans said. “The people and the process, including mentors, workshops, templates for my business plan, and financial projections, guided my business concept to a reality. The feedback from all of the judges was impactful, and the final event was a great experience.”
Among the applicants, five promising finalists were chosen to pitch their business plans to a live panel of five independent judges. The finalists included Tricia Kuntz of Fig Hollow Barn in Palmyra, Vicky Nguyen of Professionals Only: A Consignment Shop in Macedon, Jeannine King of Reaching New Heights in Reading in Palmyra, and Kellie Newton of Kellie Esthetics in Newark.
WEDC has another financial assistance opportunity for new businesses called the Microburst Program which offers a 1:1 grant-loan combo ranging from $10,000 to $40,000. Applications must complete a full business plan, participate in a SCORE seminar video series, and submit a more detailed application. This money can be awarded to more than one recipient.
Applications for Microburst are due by Wednesday, Dec. 1. WEDC is a local development corporation of New York established to assist Wayne County businesses with loans and grants. For more information on these programs contact the Economic Development office at (315) 946-5919 or visit www.WEDCny.com.