GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Local small business owners faced off in a pitch competition for thousands of dollars Thursday night with the West Michigan Small Business Development Center. 

The competition was held at GVSU’s Richard M. DeVos Center. Pitch Black Grand Rapids was aimed toward uplifting Black-owned businesses.

Seven finalists pitched their business plans to a panel of judges for cash prizes. 

The West Michigan SBDC regional director Ed Garner said the pitch competition is one of the first of its kind for businesses in Grand Rapids.

“We are giving them a little money, but really the training they got was instrumental. Six weeks of pitch training that they can take that and use anywhere in the future,” explained Garner.

The winner received $5,000 to help scale their business. The runner-up won $3,500 and third place took home $1,500.