Entrepreneurs in Botetourt County and Roanoke County have competed in The Advancement Foundation’s Third Annual Gauntlet Business Competition, and the winners will be awarded prizes during a ceremony Thursday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in Vinton.

The Gauntlet business program attracted 84 entrepreneurs, representing 54 businesses that will open or expand in Roanoke County or Botetourt County— 34 of these businesses have been competing for over $200,000.00 in cash and in-kind prizes that will be announced Thursday.

These entrepreneurs have been a part of an extraordinary community effort to engage and support small business development in the two counties, according to an announcement from The Advancement Foundation.

Over 200 community and business leaders were involved in serving as advisers and supporting the program.

Gauntlet participants completed the 12-week business program, and have turned in their business plans and presented to a panel of judges.

The program is funded by the Governor’s Building Collaborative Communities grant through the Department of Housing and Community Development and is led by The Advancement Foundation along with many local businesses that have donated cash and in-kind products and services to be awarded.

The Gauntlet is the region’s largest business competition and the public is invited to the awards ceremony at the Vinton War Memorial.