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Valpak Contest Offers Small Businesses Cash Infusion

decision making . / Credit: Money Grab Image via Shutterstock

A new contest is giving small business owners a chance to get their hands on what they desire most — a little extra cash.

Direct marketer Valpak is getting ready to kick off its second annual Dough to Grow Award, which provides cash prizes of up to $7,500 for small businesses striving to expand. To compete, small business owners must write essays on why they could use some extra money, and then rally friends, family and customers to vote for their companies online.

"At Valpak, we recognize that our local economies depend on small businesses to stay healthy and thrive," said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media, providers of Valpak. "So we encourage owners to enter the contest and persuade everyone they know to vote for them."

To enter this year's contest, business owners must submit an essay of no longer than 750 words describing how they plan to expand. Send the essay to the Dough to Grow website. Businesses are encouraged to then share their entries with friends, family, loyal customers and local supporters to build up their vote tally. Voting is limited to one vote per day per Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email account.

Businesses with the most votes make it to the finals. Valpak then picks the winners based on several factors, including number of votes, creativity and energy in business growth strategy, demonstration of solid leadership and management, and positive impact on the community.

The grand prize winner will receive $7,500, with the two runners up taking home $1,500 and $1,000, respectively.

Vivio said last year's winner — Chuck Markos, owner of Arizona-based Firebird CrossFit — has already put his winnings to good use. 

"We were able to award $10,000 to a dynamic entrepreneur who started his CrossFit business with one client in the park and now has a brand new facility with a full roster of staff members," said Vivio. "We hope to repeat this success again and for many years to come."

Small businesses in the United States and Canada, with the exception of Quebec, can enter the contest anytime between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31. Vivio will announce winners around Thanksgiving.

To learn more about the contest, or to enter starting in September, visit www.doughtogrowaward.com.

Originally on BusinessNewsDaily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.