Wilmington in Top 20 for $500K small-town makeover


By Tom Barr - tbarr@wnewsj.com



WILMINGTON — Wilmington is one of the 20 communities in the running for Season 4 of the “Small Business Revolution – Main Street” series, chosen from among nearly 12,000 nominations from small towns across all 50 states, according to the Deluxe Corporation.

On Oct. 4, Deluxe launched Season 3 of “Small Business Revolution – Main Street”, featuring the community of Alton, Illinois and six businesses selected to receive the $500,000 makeover.

With encouragement from Main Street Wilmington board member Angela Mitchell and Main Street Co-Directors Darcy Reynolds and Ruth Brindle, Wilmington submitted its application last month.

“We are so excited that Wilmington was chosen as part of the top 20 from over 12,000 nominations,” said Reynolds. “Winning this competition would be beneficial in so many ways. The $500,000 makeover award would be transformational.

“If we are chosen in the Top 10, a crew will come and do a site visit in Wilmington. Any filming that takes place on that visit will be used on the Small Business Revolution blog and social media channels.

Reynolds said that if Wilmington is chosen in the top five towns, the winner will be chosen by a national vote.

“It will be a great opportunity for the community to rally and organize to encourage voters from all over the region and country to put Wilmington in contention for the win,” she said.

“Our town is a great example of small business is all about,” said Reynolds. “Our local entrepreneurs are risk takers who work so hard to achieve their dreams while adding to our community’s character and visitor appeal.”

The series, which airs on www.smallbusinessrevolution.org, Hulu and YouTube, features marketing and business expertise for small businesses in one small town.

Host Amanda Brinkman, Deluxe’s chief brand and communications officer, along with marketing experts from Deluxe and renovation icon Ty Pennington, help struggling business owners find their path to success.

The Top 20 list is comprised of:

• Albemarle, North Carolina

• Arkansas City, Kansas

• Arlington, Washington

• Biddeford, Maine

• Camas, Washington

• Canon City, Colorado

• Corsicana, Texas

• Durant, Oklahoma

• Fergus Falls, Minnesota

• Gallatin, Tennessee

• Lockport, New York

• Marinette, Wisconsin/Menominee, Mchigan

• Morgan City, Louisiana

• Pageland, South Carolina

• Rock Springs, Wyoming

• Searcy, Arkansas

• Taos, New Mexico

• Washington, North Carolin

• Wilmington, Ohio

• Winchester, Kentucky

Over the next month, Deluxe executives will gather more information from the Top 20 communities before narrowing its list to 10 finalists to visit in the month of January.

Eventually, five communities will be selected for a national vote to determine the winner.

“Last year, we added the Top 20 round to gather even more information about communities nominated,” Brinkman said. “It is inspiring to watch how people in these towns love their communities and advocate for a chance to be in our final five. Watching communities come together to support their small businesses is what makes the Small Business Revolution so incredible.”

Following an announcement on Dec. 11 for the Top 10, representatives from Deluxe will travel to the towns in early 2019 to determine the final five that will compete in a nationwide vote.

The winner will be announced in late February. All announcements regarding Season 4 can be found on SmallBusinessRevolution.org.

For more information, visit www.deluxe.com, www.facebook.com/deluxecorp or www.twitter.com/deluxecorp.

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By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com