Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU) announced today that 10 small business owners have been named semifinalists in the Chattanooga-area Idea Leap Grant, nine in the Northwest Georgia area and seven in the Cleveland-area competition. Entrepreneurs are competing for a total of $75,000 in grants in the Chattanooga area and $50,000 each in the Cleveland and Northwest Georgia areas.
“Although the Idea Leap Grant opportunity has always been open to small businesses across the credit union’s entire service area, this is the first year we’ve expanded the Idea Leap Grant into three competitions,” said Tommy Nix, vice president of business and commercial services. “Each small business was asked to apply in the area they primarily serve and, as a result, the number of applicants nearly doubled from las year, making this program even more competitive. We offer sincere congratulations to the small business owners who have been named semifinalists in the 6th Annual Idea Leap Grant, and we encourage entrepreneurs who are no longer in the competition to apply again next year.”
Chattanooga-Area Semifinalists are competing for five grants – first place receives $30,000, second place wins $15,000 and three runners-up will receive $10,000 each. The Chattanooga-area semifinalists are:
· Alchemy Spice Company
· Cocoa Asante
· RMJ USA
· Simply Props
· The Local Juicery
· The Professional Cleaning Solution
· The Speech Language Reading Center
· W Salon
· We Clean Chattanooga
Cleveland-Area Semifinalists are competing for three grants – first place receives $25,000, second place wins $15,000 and third place receives $10,000. The Cleveland-area semifinalists are:
· Anistasis Wellness
· Biskit NV
· Carroll Printing Company
· Direct Primary Care Associates, PLLC
· Happy Tails Grooming Salon
· Mayfield Farm Park
· Rod’s Rocking Rolls
Northwest Georgia-Area Semifinalists are competing for three grants – first place receives $25,000, second place wins $15,000 and third place receives $10,000. The Northwest Georgia-area semifinalists are:
· Alarm City
· Battlefield Outdoors
· Baxter Dean Studio
· Birria Broz
· Dalton Brewing Company
· DIRT Design & Décor
· Foundation Direct Family Care
· Hillside Farm
· Inflated LLC
TVFCU initially received nearly 300 Idea Leap Grant applications before independent panels of volunteer judges from each area selected quarterfinalists in each competition. The 22 Chattanooga-area, 15 Cleveland-area and 16 Northwest Georgia-area quarterfinalists were asked to submit 5-minute videos detailing their business, their intentions for the grant funding and how they support their community. The judges in each community selected semifinalists after reviewing the videos.
In the coming weeks, TVFCU will ask for the public’s help in choosing one People’s Choice Finalist in each competition. Follow TVFCU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for continual Idea Leap updates.
The Idea Leap Grant, which started in 2018, is an extension of the credit union’s Idea Leap Loan Initiative that was created specifically for small businesses in 2016. To date, TVFCU has funded more than $5 million in loans to emerging and early-stage businesses through the loan initiative and has awarded over $300,000 in Idea Leap Grants and related scholarships.
For more information about the Idea Leap Grant, please visit tvfcu.com/idealeap.