November 19, 2019
Top 10 Towns Competing to be Winner of Small Business Revolution – Season 5
We’ve received thousands of nominations from across the country, each small town hoping to become the next winner of Season 5 and a $500,000 revitalization. The Small Business Revolution team from Deluxe spent countless hours reviewing applications and researching nominations in order to identify this season’s Top 10 Towns.
As in seasons past, we’re on the hunt for communities who are passionate about small business and ripe for growth, with a little help from the Deluxe marketing team, industry experts, and co-hosts Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington. Check out this year’s Top 10 Towns, and follow along on social media as we announce the Top 5 towns vying for the most votes on January 14, 2020.
Benicia is located less than 40 miles from San Francisco in the North Bay region. This picturesque, waterfront downtown is commonly known for the Benicia Refinery but wants to expand its image to help attract and retain visitors and residents alike. Rich in history with a bustling art scene, Benicia is hoping to use its quality of life to drive awareness and tourism to this seaside town.
With an economy once sustained by copper mining, Bisbee continues to struggle without the foundation of a booming mining industry. Despite a well-preserved, historic downtown, small businesses are challenged with attracting visitors outside peak tourist months, while Bisbee itself struggles to attract new residents. Hoping to extend their marketing efforts beyond social media, this hidden gem is looking for support and guidance from Deluxe’s team of experts.
One of the oldest cities in Georgia—founded in 1771—Brunswick is struggling to attract more tourists, competing with nearby attraction Jekyll Island. Known for its Old Town Historic District, downtown Brunswick is lacking in traditional retail and struggles to drive residents downtown. With local leadership that’s passionate about economic development, Brunswick is hoping to use marketing to attract residents to its vibrant arts and entertainment scene.
The Dalles, Oregon
The Dalles is located just over an hour from Portland, on the banks of the Columbia River Gorge. While nearly 20,000 people visit every year on tour boats, small businesses are still vying for foot traffic. Formerly a large industrial area, much of the commercial real estate is too large for small businesses, leaving them without great options for opening up shop. The Dalles believes that marketing expertise for their small businesses will help them continue to create a more walkable, livable downtown.
Fredonia, New York
Fredonia has a rich history with beautiful architecture, including the Opera House built in 1891. Bordering one of the Great Lakes—Erie—Fredonia wants to capitalize on tourism and drive more foot traffic to its small businesses. Located next to a state university, the town has trouble driving business during its summer months. With help from Deluxe to develop a better online presence, Fredonia is hoping to reignite its downtown.
Livingston was once bustling with activity from the railway, but declining demand led to job loss and a population decrease in the ‘80s. Located just 30 miles from Bozeman and offering the only year-round gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Livingston is a popular tourist destination today. But, the town’s many vacation rentals make it challenging for locals to find affordable real estate. With marketing help from Deluxe, Livingston is hoping to keep its existing community shopping locally, all while continuing to drive tourism.
Oregon City, Oregon
A unique town of 30,000, Oregon City is located 13 miles south of Portland at the confluence of the Willamette and Clackamas Rivers. A former milling hub with a 130 ft. water-powered municipal elevator, the town struggles to connect its two distinct sections of main street, each offering a unique but disparate experience. Winning the Great American Main Street Award in 2018 has led to more tourism for Oregon City, but downtown retailers are still struggling to drive business.
Spearfish, South Dakota
Residing on the edge of the Black Hills, Spearfish is a tourist attraction with consistent population growth. However, a low unemployment rate means that small businesses are having a difficult time finding employees. Combined with an affordable housing issue, Spearfish has a hard time encouraging young professionals to move to town. With more than 90% of its businesses being categorized as small businesses, the town is searching for a way to keep its main streets vibrant.
Located just 90 minutes from Minneapolis, Waseca often attracts tourists for weekend day trips, but small businesses are struggling to tell their unique stories. The town has rich traditions and history, but is seeing an upswing and resurgence of locally owned businesses driven to become a more progressive, growing city. With a population of 9,000, this resilient town and its community leaders are working toward becoming more progressive—and the marketing support to help tell their story.
Stunted by a massive tornado in the 1970s that leveled half the city, Xenia is still working to rebuild its infrastructure. Part of their challenge is rebuilding a charming downtown to house its small businesses and attract residents and tourists. Committed to helping small businesses thrive, the town is working to develop a main street program and hopes that—with help from Deluxe—Xenia will continue to flourish.