Pageler advances to state

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
(Sentinel Photo by Kim Fickett) Scott Pageler, owner of Hardware Hank, has advanced his business to the finals of the Open4Business competition sponsored by Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. His is one of five businesses that will compete Aug. 1 in Pella.

LE MARS — A Le Mars business is one of five to advance to the state pitch competition of the Open4Business competition.

Hardware Hank Owner Scott Pageler competed in a virtual interview on June 15 with a panel of judges who watched his video and then asked questions about his idea.

The competition is sponsored by the Main Street Iowa Program and the Iowa Economic Development Authority to assist participating cities to improve the physical and economic health of their designated Main Street districts.

This state appropriation allows Main Street Iowa to offer Open4Business grants to participating communities for business expansion projects.

Pageler said his grant proposal would have him “taking Main Street to your house” with a mobile flooring showroom.

Pageler said his proposal would enable him to go directly to the customer’s house, taking photos, and plugging those photos directly into the manufacturer’s websites to show different flooring options on the spot.

Pageler’s virtual interview was held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 15, in the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce office.

Once the judges had viewed Pageler’s video and listened to his presentation, they were able to ask questions about his concept and plans.

“I felt very good after the interview,” Pageler said.

As a finalist, Pageler receives an $8,000 grant.

“It’s a matching grant and is considered a $10,000 grant. I as the business owner have to put $2,000 forth. That is the same for the next round as well,” he explained.

The final round will consist of an in-person presentation on Aug. 1, in Pella.

There he will compete with businesses from Burlington, Dubuque, Greenfield and Keokuk.

There were 24 communities that applied for grants this year. Twelve semi-finalists were selected from those statewide applications, with four semi-finalists chosen in each demographic region, a population of less than 2,500; population of 2,500 to 20,000; and population over 20,000.

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