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Season 5 WinnerFredonia, NY

From thousands of nominations and a weeklong public vote, Fredonia, NY was chosen as the featured town for Season 5. And this season is a journey like no other—capturing the fight of a lifetime as seven business owners struggle to survive a pandemic.

About the Town

Fredonia sits along the Lake Erie wine trail, which boasts more than 50 miles of vineyards and wineries that stretch into Pennsylvania. Despite Fredonia’s proximity to this tourist attraction, this “village”—nestled inside the town of Pomfret—struggles to draw in visitors and attract new residents. The town of just over 10,000 has a local university known for drawing a diverse student demographic, but a higher population during the school season means more challenging summer months for small business owners.

In 2014, Fredonia reeled from the loss of 450 jobs when a local food facility closed. This rise in unemployment combined with the closure of an iconic piece of the village’s history—The White Inn—Fredonia is struggling to regain traction and boost its local economy. To offset some of these challenges, the town has created a bike lane and continued to improve its downtown parks to help drive more traffic to its main street.

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