One start up business and two existing businesses took home the $10,000 prize money during THE PITCH by FEDCO last Thursday evening.

Last month, businesses that met the size standard of less than a million dollars in gross annual sales and fewer than 50 employees were invited to complete an online application to enter the business pitch competition, sponsored by Fulton Economic Development Corporation and it partners.

On Thursday, October 18, the six finalists had five minutes to present their business “pitch” to a panel of judges to compete for $10,000 in prize money that was awarded at the judges’ discretion.

The winners were Crossroad Peppers, a startup business offering dry rubs and hot sauce, who were awarded $2,000.

Existing businesses Uncorked and Brooch Boutique, were awarded $4,000 each. Uncorked will expand to include a rum bar and Brooch will expand online sales by launching a new shopping app.

Winners must execute their business or expansion plan no later than six months after the award is presented. Existing business entries must be in full-time operations with a primary office in Fulton County for at least two years.

“We’re really happy and encouraged about this first time event”, said Amy Beechy, FEDCO’s Entrepreneurship Program Manager, “all of the contestants worked hard to prepare, the public came out to watch, and now we will support these businesses as they move forward and grow.”

Judges for the competition were Susan Sciame-Giesecke, Ph.D, Chancellor, Indiana University Kokomo; Joe McCarter, President, RTC FIber Communications, and Eric Walsh, CPA, partner with H.J. Umbaugh and Associates.

Event sponsors include NIPSCO, Fulton County REMC, RapidView LLC, Smith Sawyer Smith Insurance, North Central Indiana Small Business Development Center and the USDA.

For questions about THE PITCH, contact Amy Beechy at 574-709-7955 or

Finance Made Simple Workshop

Breaking News!  The #1 topic our business clients ask to learn about is Finances. Darrell Mullis, Author of the popular book, The Accounting Game is coming to Fulton County for a one day workshop,  where he'll walk small business owners through the basics of "business numbers" in a fun, hands on format. Maximum number of participants is 30, so sign up today. Don't miss this unique opportunity.

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Click  Here  to Register!

Click Here to Register!

U.S. Small Business Administration offers Disaster Loans

If you are located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  Application deadlines for those affected by severe storms and flooding occurring February 14, 2018 through March 4, 2018 are July 5, 2018 for physical damage and February 5, 2019 for economic injury.  Click here for more information.

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Rochester RTP Extension - Nickel Plate Trail Additional Information



Des. No. 1601754

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, as a sponsor to the City of Rochester, is developing plans for the Rochester Recreational Trails Program Extension Nickel Plate Trail project in Fulton County, Indiana. The project will use federal and local funds. The purpose of the project is to improve connectivity of existing trails and provide safer pedestrian transportation to downtown Rochester. The primary concern to be addressed is to continue the Nickel Plate Trail so that it can connect to existing trails and to the assets of the City of Rochester.

This trail project involves construction of a trail along a railroad corridor from Mitchell Street to 8th Street in the City of Rochester. The proposed trail will extend the Nickel Plate Trail along the west side of the railbed, cross 12th Street, cross to the east side of the railbed at 9th Street, then continue east along the south side of 8th Street toward where it will meet with the existing Rochester City Pathway. The trail length will be approximately 1.04 miles and will be constructed as a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail and with approximately 330 linear feet of raised boardwalk through a wetland area. The project will involve the construction of a trailhead at 9th Street that will feature benches, signage, parking, and bike racks. Installation of safety signage and striped crossings at all road crossings will also be included in this project. The project is being funded federally through a Recreational Trails Program grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The total cost estimate for the project, including construction, right-of-way, and engineering, is $250,000.

Approximately 2.56 acre of permanent right-of-way will be required for the project, 2.00 acres of which will be from a railroad easement. Flagging and temporary lane closures are anticipated for striping at the road crossings. Impacts to traffic will be temporary and minimal. There will be no relocations of businesses or residences. It is estimated that under 0.10 acre of wetlands will be impacted by this project. No significant adverse impacts to the human and natural environment were found during the creation of the environmental document.

An Additional Information (AI) environmental document has been prepared as an addendum to the Categorical Exclusion (CE) Level 2 document (Des. No. 1173235.) that was for previous work on the Nickel Plate Trail. The AI document is being prepared due to changes in the original project scope. The CE for Des. No. 1173235 was approved by the Indiana Department of Transportation on July 17, 2012. The AI document, which describes the proposed project and potential impacts to environmental, social, and cultural resources, can be viewed at the following location during normal business hours:

Fulton County Public Library

320 West 7th Street

Rochester, IN 46975

The AI document is also available for viewing online at: and

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you have a disability for which the City of Rochester needs to provide accessibility to the above documents such as interpreters or readers, please contact Shoda Beehler at 574-223-2510 or

All interested persons may request a public hearing or express their concerns by submitting comments to Green3 LLC at 1104 Prospect Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46203 or to the City of Rochester Clerk-Treasurer Office at 320 Main Street, Rochester, Indiana 46975. All comments must be received by January 21, 2018.  If a hearing is determined to be in the best interest of the public, additional notification will be prepared and the public notified. Otherwise, any comments or materials received will be considered in the decision-making process.

This notice is published in compliance with: 1) Code of Federal Regulations, Title 23, Section 771 (CFR 771.111(h)(1) stating: “Each State must have procedures approved by the FHWA to carry out a public involvement/public hearing program.”; 2) 23 CFR 450.210(a)(1)(ix) stating: “Provide for the periodic review of the effectiveness of the public involvement process to ensure that the process provides full and open access to all interested parties and revise the process, as appropriate.”; and 3) The INDOT Public Involvement Policies and Procedures approved by the Federal Highway Administration on August 16, 2012. 

Rochester RTP Extension - Nickel Plate Trail Additional Information

FEDCO Awarded Additional Funding for Fulton County Businesses

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The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded Fulton Economic Development Corporation (FEDCO) $73,250 in a Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG).  Funds from the grant will be used to continue FEDCO’s low interest loan program and to provide funding for training to eligible businesses in Fulton County.  Eligible businesses include start-ups that have met application requirements or existing businesses based in Fulton County with less than $1 million in gross annual sales and fewer than 50 employees. This is the fourth Rural Business Grant the USDA has awarded to FEDCO in the last six years.  Terry Lee, FEDCO’s Executive Director, says this funding will provide a boost to an already successful program, “This award symbolizes so many great things for Fulton County: our ongoing relationship with the USDA, the growth of our program to support small businesses, and additional opportunities for our businesses to start and grow with low interest loans and training funds.”   Amy Beechy, Director of Entrepreneurship Programs for FEDCO commented, “We’ve created a very comprehensive program for small businesses that includes a wide range of resources and our outcomes prove it’s working.  This latest USDA grant and our positive partnership with the USDA allow us to keep growing small business in Fulton County.“  For more information about FEDCO’s offerings, contact Amy Beechy at or 574-709-7955.