Open 4 Business

2020 O4B Competition

Are you a small business owner who has been in business for at least one year? Do you have a great idea to make your business better? Are you planning to expand services or add a new product line? Do you have a piece of equipment you wish you could purchase for your business? Have you always wanted to own a business downtown?


Main Street Ottumwa (MSO) is seeking entrepreneurs who want to grow their business within the MSO district to apply for the 2020 Open 4 Business competition and a chance to win $28,000.

Local Competition

Because each Main Street organization may sponsor only ONE applicant, MSO is holding a local competition to determine our representative business. The local application deadline is Friday, March 6, 2020 at 12:00 PM.

If more than one application is received, a panel of local economic development professionals will review, score, and rank the applications. The winning local applicant will be announced Friday, March 13th. MSO staff and volunteers will work with the successful business to complete the State application.

Detailed program information, including the local application form and scoring criteria are available in the "Documents" section below.

State Competition

Applications are due to Main Street Iowa by Friday, April 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM. The first round of judging will take place in May to narrow the pool of applicants to 12. A semi-final round of judging will occur on May 28 to select 5 applicants who will compete in the State contest at the Iowa Downtown Conference in Iowa City on July 27. Each finalist will receive an $8,000 grant. The winner will receive an additional $20,000 grant!

Contact Info

For complete details about this program, please contact:

Fred Zesiger, Executive Director of Main Street Ottumwa

641-682-3465 |


Robin Bostrom, Business Specialist of Main Street Iowa

515-348-6176 |


Main Street Ottumwa

Executive Director: Fred Zesiger


Phone: (641) 682-3465

Address: 217 East Main Street

                 Ottumwa, IA 52501

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