Five Puget Sound-area businesses will compete Nov. 21 for a $25,000 cash prize in Kitsap Bank’s sixth annual edg3 FUND Small Business Competition, which recognizes entrepreneurs dedicated to growing their community economically, socially and environmentally.

The five businesses emerged as finalists from a pool of 14 semifinalists and were chosen, in part, by a public vote in September. Finalists will make their culminating edg3 FUND pitch on Nov. 21 before a live audience and independent panel of judges, the latter of which will choose the winner.

Finalists are: Port Townsend-based Camp N Car, Bothell-based Fuchsia Shoes Inc., Gig Harbor-based JT’s Original Louisiana Bar-B-Que, Tacoma-based The Art of Crunch, and Port Orchard-based Unity Skate Shop.

While one of those companies will win $25,000 to advance their business, Kitsap Bank also will award a $5,000 cash prize, the Community edg3 Award, to one of the 14 semifinalists that judges believe best embodies the spirit of the community.

The event’s judges are unaffiliated with the bank and typically include experienced entrepreneurs, small business owners, and investors, said Shannon Childs, the bank’s chief marketing officer.

Last year’s grand prize winner was Port Angeles-based Sequim Bee Farm, which took home $20,000. After five years, the grand prize was boosted this year to increase its impact on helping businesses get to the next level, Childs said.

The keynote speaker at edg3 FUND Live will be May McCarthy, a serial entrepreneur who founded several successful companies. She’s also an investor, philanthropist, startup adviser, and author of The Path to Wealth and The Gratitude Formula. The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. at the Kitsap Conference Center at Harborside in Bremerton. Tickets benefit the new Small Business Development Center in Kitsap County and are available at here.

Thumbnail photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash.