September 27, 2017
From Wabash to Bristol Borough: The Impact of Small Business Revolution
By: Amanda Brinkman
After season one of the Small Business Revolution, the team at Deluxe recognized the enormous impact we could have not only on small businesses, but on the people in the town of Wabash. Given that success, we couldn’t wait to do this again.
After nominations opened last fall, we were overwhelmed by the amount of excitement there was around the series. We received a staggering 14,000 nominations from small towns across the country, which were narrowed down to eight semi-finalists and then five finalists. Several members of our team had the honor to visit all eight to learn more about what makes each of these communities special.
The energy and excitement was palpable. People love their communities and they desperately wanted to win. Once the voting ended, nearly one million votes had been counted and in the end, Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania narrowly edged out Red Wing, Minnesota for the honor of being the second community featured on Small Business Revolution.
Looking back, after the amazing experience in Wabash, we worried if we would find that in the next town as well. That first experience will always be seared into my memory. Our team became deeply invested in the success of the small business owners in Wabash and it showed in the outcome. It was a new experience for all of us and replicating that was going to be a challenge.
Once we reached Bristol Borough, my fears subsided. This was going to be great.
Touring the Main Street with Robert Herjavec and town leaders like Bill Pezza, the vibe was 180 degrees from Wabash. Nearer a large urban community like Philadelphia, Bristol presented a grittier feel, and a downtown with more service businesses and fewer retail shops.
During that tour, more and more people joined our walk, making us feel like we were part of their community. That’s the beauty of small towns. No matter where they are located or how different they are, they all have that same defining characteristic that make us all love them: a true sense of community. There’s a feeling of togetherness in small towns that you just don’t get when you live in a big city.
Our first trip to Bristol Borough after the announcement gave me so much hope. People were genuinely excited about what Deluxe was doing. I couldn’t wait to pick our six small businesses and give them the Deluxe small business treatment.
To have this opportunity to continue to help small businesses, but at the same time help the town as well, is one of my favorite parts of my job and being part of the Deluxe team. For us to give these businesses the tools they need to succeed and to showcase the services we provide to other small businesses makes Deluxe employees proud to work here and proud to serve small businesses across the country.
Toward the end of the first episode, Mark Byers, vice president of direct channel services for Deluxe makes a profound statement: “I feel like we will be a better company working with these businesses.” In the end, that is what the Small Business Revolution is about. We’re better for knowing these communities and these business owners, and we are better as a company for helping them achieve their dreams.