Editorial: Have an idea for a business?

Published 8:38 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Entrepreneurship has always been an important characteristic of the Albert Lea community.

In fact, some of the strongest members of our business community are companies that once started with only a few people and have since grown to be respectable establishments. Some still have only a few employees, while others have grown to dozens if not hundreds of employees.

Starting a business can be a challenge, as there are many hurdles to cross; however, it all starts with a good idea.

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The Albert Lea Economic Development Agency has launched a new competition called Tiger Cage to spur entrepreneurial activity in Albert Lea and Freeborn County. If you think you have a good idea you would like to launch, we encourage you to take your idea and submit an application in the competition. Business concepts that will be eligible are new businesses, significant expansions of an existing business, or a second or third retail or restaurant business satellite location from an existing business in another town.

ALEDA organizers announced information about the competition in June, and the deadline to submit an application is Oct. 5.

Not only will you gain guidance from business professionals in getting your business off the ground, but you could win cash.

Business ideas that make it to the final stage in January will present their pitch to a judging panel. Prizes will be awarded to one winner in each of two categories: a new business and an existing business. Prize packages will consist of a cash grant and in-kind donations of professional services.

The Tiger Cage committee has been soliciting local businesses to match a $10,000 grant from the Albert Lea Business Development Center and a $5,000 grant from Farmers State Bank. If there two grants can be matched, then there will be $30,000 to split between the two winning businesses.

We hope entrepreneurs take advantage of the opportunity that would give a nice kickstart for a new business.