February 23, 2017
Whirlwind week brings out the best in everyone
On Feb. 22, residents from five communities across America crammed into local theaters, museums and other gathering spaces, anxiously awaiting news of whether their town had won the Small Business Revolution.
The stakes were high: We started with 14,000 nominations spanning all 50 states, whittled the list to five finalists, asking America to vote. By the nature of the competition, only one town would win the $500,000 revitalization and a starring role in season two of the acclaimed series. (You can see the announcement video here.)
As soon as the news broke, social media lit up with comment after comment showcasing how each town recognized that they had accomplished something amazing. For example, this note from Facebook: “Congratulations Bristol. #MyKingsburg had my heart but great job by all five communities. We are all winners just keeping out towns moving forward. What’s Next?”
While the announcement marked the culmination of months of incredibly hard work among these inspiring communities, it doesn’t mark the end of anything. In fact, it’s an exciting beginning. As we like to say at Deluxe: The revolution has just begun.
My Message to Our Finalists
To the four finalists that worked tirelessly to rally votes but did not win, the entire Deluxe Corporation implores you look at everything you’ve accomplished over the past weeks and months.
You gained new insights into all of the things that make your communities great and that propelled you to the finalist stage in the first place. Residents, business owners and community advocates came out of the woodwork, and you found awe-inspiring ways of building something even greater, all working together toward a common goal in ways we could’ve never imagined.
Your efforts reached more than 11 million people on social media in just one week. More than 300 news stories about your communities were told. It’s astonishing. Using emails, flyers, Facebook messages and tweets, you blanketed your networks with calls to vote. You even garnered shout outs from elected representatives, hometown heroes and celebrities.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) February 15, 2017
Follow the Link in my Bio and Vote for my home town of Red Wing.If you’ve already voted you can vote again. Polls stay open for two more hrs @smallbusinessrevolution will reward a 500,000 dollar small business grant to the town with the most votes by 12a.m. Eastern…To all of you that voted for R.W. Thank you so much. Red Wing is a special place as are (im sure) all of the towns in the final competition. Thank you to @smallbusinessrevolution for putting on such a thoughtful & forward thinking contest. And thank you to all of you for taking a lil time outta your day to lend a helping hand 🙂
Not even a severe winter storms could stop North Adams, who took to snowy streets for a “Snow Angel Flash Mob”:
— North Adams (@NA_Mass_tourism) February 13, 2017
Showcasing Your Communities Throughout 2017
Our entire team was moved by how much these finalists valued this process. A single blog post could never convey all of the incredible feats that we witnessed over the last weeks and months.
Luckily, we captured a wealth of inspiring stories, video footage and other content in each of the eight semifinalist communities that we visited. And we’re excited to announce that we’ll be shining a spotlight on each of those towns throughout 2017, highlighting some of the things that make them special, and to show how they’re poised for an even greater future.
The voting period was equal parts exciting, exhausting and exhilarating, and you should be incredibly proud. But now it’s time to keep up the momentum – to take this amazing movement and put the pedal to the metal.
Keep supporting small businesses. Find ways to keep in consistent contact with the incredible networks you’ve built. Keep working together to make your community stronger. Keep finding ways to showcase your successes. Keep conversations going even across communities, so you can continue learning from one another and making each other stronger. And stay tuned with the Small Business Revolution to continue finding more ways to strengthen your small businesses and your communities.
I could write a book thanking you for being part of the Small Business Revolution. But even that wouldn’t scratch the surface of what these towns, their residents and this entire process has meant to me personally.
It has been truly humbling to witness this outpouring of support, teamwork, creativity and camaraderie. I have learned an immense amount from everyone involved, and your passion for your own communities, and your desire to work toward a greater good, has confirmed what I’ve long believed: We are all hungry to be connected with one another.