Winners of DECI Jump-Start Downtown Business Plan Competition announced

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (DOWNTOWN EAU CLAIRE INC. NEWS RELEASE) – Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (DECI) announced the winners of the ninth annual Jump-Start Downtown Business Plan Competition during an Awards Luncheon on August 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm. The reception was held in the RCU Corporate Center at 200 Riverfront Terrace in Downtown Eau Claire.

The 1st Place Prize of $5,000 along with a $500 media package from DECI was awarded to John and Rose Vincent who entered a business plan to relocate their business, Offbeats Violin & Guitar, to the downtown area. Offbeats Violin & Guitar is a multi-faceted, stringed-instrument shop serving the varied needs of musicians. They provide a growing teaching studio, full-service repair/restoration shop, and a wide-ranging inventory of fine instruments.

The Runner Up Prize of a $500 media package from DECI was awarded to William Glass who entered a business plan to open his business The Eau Claire Brewing Project, LLC, a defined Craft Brewery specializing in the production of unique beers. This will be a destination where beer enthusiasts can enjoy a one-of-a-kind brew in a relaxed taproom atmosphere.

The Innovative Idea Prize of a $1,000 scholarship to the UW- Small Business Development Center went to Mike Milewski and Vicki Milewski for Galaudet Gallery, a gallery that contributes to the area’s revitalization and will be a vibrant gathering place for artists, collectors and art lovers. The gallery will celebrate the region’s contribution to the visual arts world by maintaining a commitment to artistic excellence and aesthetic experience.

Sam Zordich, CEO of RAI Stone Group, delivered the keynote speech. “Every year we are so impressed with the quality of the business plans that we receive,” said Mike Schatz, Executive Director of Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. “We look forward to working with these new and exciting businesses that will help to grow our downtown.”

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