February 26, 2019
Win or Lose, You’ve Won
Every year our team goes through the same process. We put out the call for nominations, sift through entries, pick a Top 20, learn as much as we can from them in a short amount of time, then narrow it to a Top 10. Those Top 10 work incredibly hard to plan 24 hours for our team in their towns to learn as much as we can about their businesses, their community, their people. From those visits, we have the tough job of narrowing it down to five towns, or in the case of this year, six. Those finalists go up for a public vote and we see one of the craziest weeks of our show transpire. Each of the towns put everything they have into rallying their community, their states, even celebrities. But, only one town can be declared the winner. We say this every year, but we wish we could choose all six towns, heck, all 10 towns really.
It’s a lot of work for those towns to rally votes, rally community members, do all that they could to come out the winner, and then are sadly let down at the end by not hearing their name announced. But, this movement we’ve created is all about continuing that momentum even if you don’t win.
During our Top 10 trip this year, in every town we visited, we heard people say, “we feel like we’ve already won,” or “our town has come together more in the past few months than we have in years,” and even “what being part of this has done for our town will last a lifetime.” This is what the Small Business Revolution is all about. Creating these reasons for towns to rally around their small businesses. Although only one town can win, all 10 towns, even towns in our Top 20, can use this momentum to work to propel their town further. Get the word out about their town, encourage more people to visit.
During our Top 10 trip, we visited places like Biddeford, Maine, Washington, North Carolina and Cañon City, Colorado. All these small towns were close to more popular tourist destinations, utilizing their location to grasp onto bringing tourists in could work wonders for them. Durant, Oklahoma is an hour and a half away from Dallas but has so much to offer. They have 14, that’s right 14 women’s boutiques. Why go to a large shopping mall, when you can support small businesses and get great, unique gifts that no one else will have?
Each season, for all the towns that don’t win, this is their opportunity to seize the moment, work with all the excitement they’ve created in their communities to propel themselves forward and to become destinations people choose.