The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) and Strolling of the Heifers announce the finalists for the 2011 Business Plan Competition. From the 39 submissions received by the April 11th deadline, the selection committee chose 20 finalists as follows below. Finalists in the “General Business Existing Business” category are (in alphabetical order): (1) Dreamcatcher Entertainment by Bill Forchion; (2) Kaye Audio, Inc., by George Kaye; (3) Laura Zindel Design by Laura Zindel; (4) Saxtons River Distillery, LLC, by Christian Stromberg; and (5) Spirit Hill Farm Back Roads Granola by Virginia Vogel.Finalists in the “General Business New Business” category are (in alphabetical order): (1) Muse Tec by Daniel Kasnitz; (2) Next Step Sustainable Business Consultancy by Ben Griffin and Bonnie Sigwalt; (3) Pinewood TMS, LLC, by Julie Plummer; (4) Rock River Studio by Christine Triebert; and (5) Student Cultural Exchange, LLC, by Peter and Jesse Friedman. Finalists in the “Food/Farm New Business” category are (in alphabetical order): (1) Big Picture Farm by Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrlell; (2) Entera Artisanal Catering by Tristan Toleno; (3) Just Pies by Andrea Waisman; (4) The Fox Shop by Cindy Logan; and (5) Whetstone Cider Works, LLC, by Jason MacArthur. The finalists’ full business plans are due at BDCC by 4 p.m. May 23. Final presentations, lasting up to 12 minutes per finalist with an additional 10 minutes for questions, will take place on the morning of June 1 at the Marlboro College Graduate School. Winners will be announced that afternoon, and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has been invited to present the awards.For the General Business division, the top prize in the ‘Existing Business’ category will be $12,000, the second-place prize will be $6,000, and the prizes for up to three runners-up will be $2,000 each. For the General Business ‘New Business’ category, the top prize will be $6,000, the second-place prize will be $3,000, and the prizes for up to three runners-up will be $1,500 each.In the Food/Farm division, the top prize in the ‘Existing Business’ category will be $10,000, the second-place prize will be $5,000, and the prizes for up to three runners-up will be $1,500 each. For the Food/Farm ‘New Business’ category, the top prize will be $5,000, the second-place prize will be $2,500, and the prizes for up to three runners-up will be $1,000 each.More information about the Business Plan Competition can be found online at the BDCC website http://www.brattleborodevelopment.com(link is external) or by contacting BDCC at 802-257-7731.BDCC is a private, nonprofit economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for industrial and commercial growth in southeastern Vermont. Its primary objective is to create and retain a flourishing business community that supports vibrant fiscal activity, and improves the quality of life of all its residents. Founded in 1954, BDCC owns and manages the Cotton Mill industrial park/incubator and the new Business Park at the former Book Press building, among other facilities, and is one of 12 Vermont Regional Development Corporations. Finalists in the “Food/Farm Existing Business” category are (in alphabetical order): (1) Downstreet Cafe by Adreana Porteur; (2) High Meadows Farm by Howard Prussack; (3) New Leaf CSA by Elizabeth Wood; (4) Putney Mountain Winery by Kate and Charles Dodge; and (5) Side Hill Farm by Kelt and Kristina Naylor. Strolling of the Heifers, based in Brattleboro, Vermont, was founded in 2001 with the goal of helping to save and sustain family farms by connecting people with healthy local food. Annually in June, it presents the Strolling of the Heifers Parade, in which heifer calves and other farm animals, bedecked with flowers, are led up Brattleboro’s Main Street. When it’s over, the crowd follows the parade to the Live Green Expo for food, entertainment, education and fun. As part of its 10th anniversary in 2011, Strolling will also present the first Slow Living Conference, the first Tour de Heifer bicycle fund-raising event, and the first Farm/Food Short Film Festival. A summer internship program placing youth on family farms, developed and piloted by Strolling of the Heifers, will become part of the Windham Regional Career Center’s new agricultural curriculum.