Kim Bauman is justifiably proud and excited. Her business, Hidden Path Arts has been named a winner of the 2018 American Small Business Championship by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. The Championship sponsored by SCORE awarded this title to 102 entrepreneurs for their dedication to the success of their small businesses, awarding them an all-expense-paid trip to a training and networking event in Reno, NV in April, SCORE mentoring and publicity throughout the year, and a chance to win one of three $15,000 grand prizes, made possible with the support of Sam’s Club.

Hidden Path Arts earned the title of American Small Business Champion by submitting an online application describing what makes their business one of the best small businesses in their community, and how they plan to use the prizes to grow their business. Nominations that garnered at least 100 votes were then presented to a judging panel of small business experts that determined 102 winners including Hidden Path Arts. Criteria for winning included:

a. Response to the Judged Question (40%): Answer the Judged Question in a compelling fashion.

b. Public Relations and SCORE Benefit (25%): Clearly indicates how the business will utilize the public relations and SCORE benefits accruing from winning the Championship.

c. Successful Business (20%): Information presented conveys that the business organization is successful by the manner in which it helps the community or through specific business successes (such as people employed, revenue growth, customers served, etc.).

d. Public Support (15%): Number of Votes received for Entry during Public Support Phase. The final number of votes for each entry (up to a maximum of 5000) will be rewarded in the Public Support judging criterion.

The business is located at 821 East Grant Hwy in Marengo, has committed to bringing sport karate to their community since 2003, and has supplied athletes to the AAU international team. Owner Kim Bauman has touched the lives of many people, young and old, helping them to tap into their inner strength. She stated,” I am so grateful to receive this recognition on behalf of Hidden Path Arts! We are committed to our community and they have shown us enormous support. We share this success with our studio members and our community!”

Bauman added, “I can’t say enough good things about SCORE. They provide free mentorship and these competitive opportunities. I am grateful to be an Illinois Champion and I believe the training in Reno will be invaluable.

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