Intuit announces winners of $20,000 grants
One plans to bring new services to a low-income Hispanic community. Another wants to revitalize a small town devastated by a tornado. A third plans to offer new job training to the unemployed. Yet another wants to assist those on the verge of financial disaster.
These are just a few examples of how the 10 winners of Intuit Inc.'s Power to Get More Done Stimulus Grant winners plan to use their $20,000 prizes to expand their businesses and better serve their communities. 
The winners were among 700 who participated in the Intuit initiative, created to help accounting professionals succeed in uncertain economic times. Each winner receives $10,000 in cash and up to $10,000 in Intuit products and services to make their dreams of growing their businesses come true. The winners are:
- Rebecca Bambarger, a tax professional servicing the equine industry, from Chino Hills, Calif.
- Robert Beninger, owner of B&J Business Solutions, Inc. in Cocoa, Fla.
- Aliyah T. Bonaparte, owner of Pyramid Accounting Solutions, Inc., in Philadelphia.
- John W. Davis, co-owner of Davis & Hodgdon Associates CPAs, in Williston, Vt.
- Gerri Harrison, owner of Gerri Harrison Financial Services, Johnson City, N.Y.
- Reynaldo Lozano, owner of Superior Tax Service, in Greeley, Colo.
- Randall Kelly, co-owner of Randy Kelly Accounting, in Lewis, Kan.
- Amy Mezo, a certified public accountant, in Jonesboro, Ill.
- Susan Schutz, co-owner of Apis Business Solutions, LLC, in Glendale, Colo.
- Marybea Varvel, owner of House of Numbers, in Camino, Calif.
Helping Accountants Help Communities
"I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to be a winner of Intuit's Stimulus Grant competition," said Varvel, who will use her grant to design services and resources that help struggling homeowners and small businesses. "I will always be grateful for the opportunity it will provide me to grow my business in the most direct and efficient way possible."
Georg Gerstenfeld, vice president of marketing for Intuit's Accounting Professionals Division, said that tax and accounting professionals play vital roles in the health of the country's overall economy. 
"Awarding these grants gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation," Gerstenfeld said. "I look forward to watching the winners' businesses grow from the combination of the Intuit grants and the accountants' hard work and dedication to improve their communities."
Support for Accounting and Tax Professionals
Intuit designed the Power to Get More Done initiative to help tax and accounting professionals either expand an existing firm or start a new one. Judges evaluated applicants based on the quality of business strategy, their need for the grant, the expected return on investment from the use of the grant funds, and the applicant's ability to implement its business plan.
Co-sponsors include the National Society of Accountants, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, and the National Association of Tax Professionals.
In addition to the grant competition, the Power to Get More Done initiative offers accounting and tax professionals discounts that they can pass on to their small business clients to help them save time and money.