dancers and employees pose with large check

Where are they now? A follow up with our 2019 REV winners

August 26, 2020

With applications opening last week for the annual REV competition at The Bank of Tioga, we wanted to take a trip down memory lane with last year’s winners. Read our follow up conversations with some of the 2019 business recipients to see where they are now!

The top five 2019 REV winners included Black Gold Dance winning $3,500, Hygge Hills winning $1,750. Crosby Self-Serve winning $1,750. Northern Prairie Market winning $1,500. In The Potter’s Hand winning $1,500.

Black Gold Dance, Shavaun Tonini

What was the REV experience like for you?
It was exciting and humbling! It actually opened the door to us getting our studio opened and operating. The REV award was the first step in that journey. We are continually grateful for the opportunities we were able to have because of REV!

How has COVID-19 effected your business and how can others help?
COVID-19 forced us to close at the end of February but we did open back up in the middle of May. We still offered online classes at half tuition but we unfortunately lost half our students. As a result, we are fundraising as we speak. Our families are selling popcorn and art made by our dancers. We are in the works of setting up a fundraising night and a bring your friend to dance week.

What are some new things happening in your business now?
We are actually in the process of fundraising. The studio is still operating and taking new dancers! 

 

Hygge Hills, Lucy Frandsen

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What was the REV experience like for you?
Our experience was fantastic. When we were interviewed, everyone was helpful and threw out suggestions and ideas for future.

How has COVID-19 effected your business and how can others help?
We had to cancel a spring event, but I decided to make some Easter baskets with spring themed crafts. With local deliveries in the area, we were able to sell most of our stock. We were very thankful for those who bought from us at the time. We were able to purchase new summer themed crafts and now have a fun supply available again. We have been very pleased with the support of our cafe so far. We do understand some aren't comfortable coming out to visit us, so are willing to work out craft deliveries anytime. For those wanting to come out, we love to host parties so bring your friends and come craft with us!

What are some new things happening in your business now?
Right now, we are busy serving a breakfast and lunch menu this summer. We have extra business right now due to the wind tower project that is based down the road from us; we decided it would be a great time to provide a needed service to those employees and also get our name out to the locals in the area. We have expanded our building to add a storage room off the back of our kitchen and a covered porch off the front so visitors can sit outside and enjoy their coffee or lunch.

We are proud of what we have accomplished so far out at Hygge Hills and could not have done it without the support of our old friends and all the new friends we have met out here. We look forward to many more years and expanding with new ideas along the way.

Northern Prairie Market, Morgan Jacobs

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What was the REV experience like for you?
The REV application and presentation process was very applicant friendly. The Bank of Tioga staff members involved were eager to help with any questions or issues that came up. During the presentation, members of the judges' panel gave great feedback and pointers to us. I recommend any small business in the area take a look at the REV grant opportunity.

How has COVID-19 effected your business and how can others help?
Like many businesses, COVID-19 has presented its share of challenges. Maybe the most significant is the long wait times for processing availability. Fortunately, our online ordering platform was operational due to the REV funds before the current pandemic set in and we were ready for the influx of online orders. When meat prices surged at the local grocery stores, people started looking locally for a steady, reliable source of meat products. This large increase in the interest of locally grown meats really overwhelmed the small packing industry in our state. Many processors are now booked for many months. This, of course, causes various challenges to our businesses supply chain.

What are some new things happening in your business now?
At Northern Prairie Market, we have started offering the service of shipping our locally raised meat products directly to our consumer's doorstep. This has been a welcomed option with the current situation affecting our day to day lives. We also have continued to better our ability to have a steady supply of locally grown foods for our customers.

Thank you to the Bank of Tioga and the REV grant for the opportunities you provide to area small businesses. Northern Prairie Market is grateful for your support and commitment to the economy in our small communities.

In The Potter’s Hand Inc., Amy Shaw

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What was the REV experience like for you? 
A great opportunity to share not only our company’s story but what we have planned for the future. We were able to show our products to those that may not have known what exactly we do! It also gave us a sense that other businesses are supporting us along this amazing and challenging journey. This was an amazing opportunity and recommend any business to apply with the REV Grant.  It’s a great way to learn not only about your own business, but also the opportunity to hope and dream what your business can look like in the future.

How has COVID-19 effected your business and how can others help? 
We have considered ourselves blessed when dealing with COVID-19. We were able to shift schedules and work from home if needed fairly well. Our sales have increased during this time because of what we manufacture and offer. Both bar and liquid soap sales have increased since March 2020, and now offer sanitizing products that do not contain perfume and other irritants. We do not have a typical store front which helps to relieve the stress with so many things changing.

What are some new things happening in your business now? 
Our new website just went live recently! We have released a few products that have been “in the works” with confidence they will sell well! We have also designed and updated three of our logos.

This year’s REV event will be held virtually on November 6th. We have increased the prize pot from $10,000 to $15,000. The application deadline is October 5th. To apply, visit thebankoftioga.com/rev and download the REV application. If you have any questions, please reach out to David Grubb at The Bank of Tioga at 701-664-3388.