Small Business Revolution: Vote to Give One Small Town a $500,000 Main Street Makeover

Big businesses and brands usually get all the spotlight, but small businesses are the true economic drivers of our country, creating about 65 percent of new jobs each year. Over the years, many events have been established to celebrate small businesses and encourage people to shop small. Small Business Week and Small Business Saturday are two well-known events; however, in 2015 the small business marketing company Deluxe added to the list by launching Small Business Revolution, an initiative that honors small businesses by sharing their stories and bringing attention to our local small business heroes.

Recently, I had a chance to speak with Amanda Brinkman, CMO of Deluxe, the company behind Small Business Revolution. In our interview, we focused on the second annual Small Business Revolution and Amanda also shared some small business marketing tips.

Small Business Revolution

Small Business Revolution is a Deluxe venture that began in 2015. That year, they collected stories from small business owners and showcased 100 of the best stories through photo essays, videos, and a half-hour documentary. The event helped to bring attention to the many small business employers who have impacted all of our lives. As Amanda mentions in the interview, Deluxe created Small Business Revolution because “We really wanted to do something that was purposeful and meaningful and something that really just stopped and celebrated how hard it is to be an entrepreneur.”

In 2016, Deluxe made the initiative even bigger by launching “Small Business Revolution on Main Street.” This contest allowed Main Street small business owners to nominate their town for a chance at a $500,000 makeover to revitalize the town’s Main Street.

During Small Business Week 2016, the finalists were announced:

  • Wabash, Indiana, a small town located about 85 miles from Indianapolis that has a diverse group of small businesses yet suffered when the industrial base left and stores moved out of the city’s core.
  • Silverton, Oregon, a small town in Oregon that has a unique and artistic downtown environment yet has suffered from two devastating fires that hurt their Main Street businesses.

Voting is currently open now through May 10, 2016. You can vote once per day, and every person who votes is entered to win a trip to the winning town along with a meet-and-greet with Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank.

Amanda’s Small Business Marketing Tips

In our interview, Amanda also shares some marketing tips for small business owners. She identifies three key ways you can help your small business stand out:

  • Find new customers and build loyalty
  • Develop your online presence so you can easily be found online.
  • Nurture your relationships to increase sales.

To learn more about Amanda’s tips (especially as she elaborates on developing your online presence), make sure to watch the full video above. We also encourage you to vote for your favorite town in the Small Business on Main Street contest and stay connected to the story as the winner gets their amazing $500,000 Main Street makeover.

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