Mount Ayr business wins $5,000

OSCEOLA — A Mount Ayr business walked away with $5,000 Tuesday evening.

Podium Ink of Mount Ayr — up against four other southwest Iowa businesses — won the pitchoff event for the Dream Big, Grow Here grant competition here at Lakeside Casino.

Podium Ink will use the money to expand in one of two areas — direct-to-garment T-shirt printing or hydrographic printing for signs and graphics.

“We are very excited, as winning this money gives fresh oxygen into plans we’ve considered developing up to this point,” said Podium Ink co-owner Brad Elliot. “We were up against four other very worthy businesses who were all deserving of the prize money, too. We are happy to win and this gives us confidence to start our new ventures.”

The four other businesses Podium Ink competed against in the pitchoff were Afton Fitness Center, Upper Crust Culinary Creations of Creston, Sew and Sew of Lamoni and She-Nae’s Rescued and Renewed of Creston.

Placing second though fifth at the pitchoff, in order, were Afton Fitness Center receiving $1,000, Upper Crust ($500), She-Nae’s ($250) and Sew and Sew ($250).

Podium Ink will now advance to a state competition slated for spring 2014. They will compete against 10 other businesses across Iowa for a chance to win an additional $10,000.

“This is our first year in this grant competition, and we have been overwhelmed and thankful for all the support,” said Podium Ink co-owner Burton Murphy. “Even last night it was great to see everyone commenting on social media. Now, we move on to the state competition. We are confident we can win that pitchoff and will be prepared. That money would mean a great deal to our company in terms of buying new equipment and possibly bringing on more employees.”

Podium Ink is a creative studio located at 105 E. Adams St. in Mount Ayr.

Podium Ink currently produces vinyl decals for application to almost any smooth, clean surface. They specialize in full vehicle wraps used on delivery vans, trucks, buses, cars, storefront windows, office interiors, off-road vehicles and more.

They also have apparel and printing service including custom artwork on a variety of apparel pieces such as T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, coffee cups, full color banners, graphic wraps and more.