Businesses win thousands in Rev Up Strasburg funds
Anneise Green of Po Green’s Catering, specializing in barbecue and Southern food, and Tammy Dellinger’s Battlefield Fitness, a Crossfit gym, were the big winners in Rev Up Straburg’s award presentations this week. Each took home $15,000 plus incentives to go toward furthering their businesses.
Heidi Flynn, of Dream Day Formal Rental & Cinderella’s Attic Boutique, took home $6,000 during the awards ceremony on Wednesday. Debbie Ritenour, with Simply Divine Candles and Décor, received $4,995 plus incentives and money for a website, and Tippy’s Bakery’s Tiffany Akers was awarded $2,000.
Through the program, Green was also able to secure a $25,000 loan with a 1 percent interest rate in addition to her $15,000 winnings to get the ball rolling on the business’ process of moving to town from its location in Front Royal.
“We’re looking to enhance the location we’re going to go in,” Green said. “We’re looking to go into Bygones downtown and we’d use that ($15,000) to get the kitchen equipment. We’re willing to go used, wholesale and new. Our ultimate goal is to have everything new eventually… We want a state-of-the-art kitchen.”
Green said the Rev Up Strasburg experience has been crucial to her business.
“It was a valuable experience. There’s room for more learning but it put me on the right path to know what to look for to be successful,” she said. “We knew that if we worked hard and followed the program that we had a shot to do something we’ve wanted to do for a long time… Rev Up Strasburg did a whole lot for us thus far and we’re looking to bring traffic to Strasburg with our food.”
Green said that she hopes to finalize the real estate process next week and hopes to be a fully functioning restaurant by the end of September.
Dellinger said the money will be a huge help to outfitting the gym she plans to open, along with getting her accreditation.
“The grant money I won will have a huge impact in helping me purchase the equipment I need to complete my gym setup and become Crossfit-affiliated. Crossfit is a trademark and it’s $3,000 a year to be affiliated,” she said.
Dellinger said there are certain required aspects of Crossfit that are more expensive, such as flooring and the equipment itself.
“The big thing about this is that the equipment is super expensive,” she said. “The pull-up rig where we do our pull ups can range from $1,500 to well into $4,000 or $5,000. The $15,000 is going to help me significantly with the gym setup and the flooring. Most people don’t realize when you walk into a Crossfit facility, we have to have special flooring.”
Dellinger said she hopes to be open no later than October, and has looked into property near the Napa Auto Parts Building on King Street. She said she may opt for a temporary location as the real estate process progresses to help get her name out there.
Ritenour, who received nearly $5,000 plus marketing and website incentives totaling roughly $2,000, said her winnings will have an immediate effect on her business’ capabilities.
“It’s going to help me get inventory. I’m going to get an inventory control system,” she said. “I want a website, and with the $5,000 I’m going to be able to get a camera and lighting because taking pictures of stuff in my store is crucial. People need to see the visual of what I have.”
Ritenour said that what she learned from Rev Up Strasburg was very valuable to her business, but the camaraderie among the contestants was something she enjoyed.
“(I enjoyed) the friendships we made because when you first go through the process you think you want to win — I need to beat these people, but when you meet the people, you’re more focused on helping each other so we can all help each other’s business.”
Ritenour said the workshops throughout the six-week program were valuable because they kept contestants in the entrepreneurial spirit and were inspired by the stories of entrepreneurs who led the workshops.
Jay Winkfield, vice president of commercial lending for City National Bank, was a judge for the competition and said that the two big winners’ presentations were very good, but that all participants performed well.
“I don’t want to say they (Green and Dellinger) were head and shoulders above everybody else,” Winkfield said. “They certainly made good presentations but there were others that did too. It could have been that the vote was very close.”
Winkfield, a Strasburg native, said he is excited about what all the winners can do for the town.
“I’m anxious as any resident of Strasburg to see buildings filled downtown, storefronts being full, and certainly what I hope happens is obviously that they open in Strasburg and are able to stay,” he said. “We’ve had businesses come and go and it would be nice to have some businesses that would open and stay open.”
Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org