The Metro East Start-Up Challenge is returning for a second year, and is now taking entries.  The Challenge seeks to identify, reward and support entrepreneurs across the Small Business Development Center’s nine-county service area.  The first-place winner will receive a $15,000 cash prize, while the two runners-up will receive $5,000 each.

Both awards also include an array of in-kind professional services, according to Development Center Director Patrick McKeehan.  He tells The Big Z those services include the help of business mentors.

Click here for McKeehan's comments

In order for an existing small business to be eligible, it must have been established after April 30, 2012, and be headquartered in the nine-county St. Louis Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph.  The entry deadline is Friday, June 12.  For more information, follow the link at this story at


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