A competition is expanding to help more small businesses

VINTON, Va. (WDBJ7) A competition designed to promote and help grow small start-up businesses is expanding.

Dustin Smith, Discount Computer Services, said "Its almost like a dream, like wake up pinch yourself" A year ago Dustin Smith opened his own computer, tablet, and smart phone repair business in Vinton.

Smith said, "Its wonderful to be your own boss and call the shots." It was actually after a business competition that Discount Computer Services was able to open it's own store.

Smith said," I didn't think it would happen this fast, business has grown exponentially. I think it is because of the experience I was able to get in the program I took part in."

The Gauntlet business competition started by the Advancement Foundation is expanding this year. The program hopes to serve 75 business in Roanoke and Botetourt County. The program has $200,000 worth of prizes and money award entrepreneurs.

Annette Peterson, The Advancement Foundation, said "Small business owners are the ones that invest and live in the community. Small business creates more jobs. So I think everyone has recognized the importance of small business and want to help make that possible. "

As a small business owner, Smith is looking forward to the future.
Smith said, "I enjoy what I do and its one of those things, where I'll see how far I can take it."