November 13, 2017
Top 20 Towns for Season 3
After thousands of nominations from small towns throughout the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, Deluxe has narrowed the field down to 20 towns that are in the running to be featured in Small Business Revolution – Main Street Season 3!
The Deluxe Corporation team read through the nominations and reached out to hundreds of communities to learn more about our finalists. Reading through nominations and speaking with town representatives, we’ve already started to hear the stories of struggle and hope. Just like in previous seasons in Wabash, Indiana and Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania, Deluxe is seeking to help provide a boost for the winning town, while continuing to build a movement in support of small businesses. We are thrilled to announce the towns that will be competing this year and can’t wait to dive deeper and learn even more. Scroll through below to get a glimpse into each of the towns. And stay tuned on December 12 when we announce the Top 10!
Photo Credit: aberdeensd.com
Aberdeen is situated in northeast South Dakota. The town of just under 30,000 people has a variety of small businesses, with many new businesses opening each year. Not being close to a major interstate, they need a boost to help their Main Street become an attraction for visitors to the area.
Photo credit: Visit Alton
Located 15 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri, Alton is the meeting point of the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers. With a main street area of 18 square blocks, this small town has plenty of space for new businesses. Being so close to St. Louis, Alton wants to bring more tourism to the town, but they need help rebranding and defining what they want to be.
Photo credit: Eoghanacht
Americus is two and a half hours south of Atlanta and is the home of Habitat for Humanity. With a variety of business spaces in town, there is more need than ever to attract small businesses and more visitors to the area. They need marketing and financial expertise to bring in more tourism and help their town thrive.
Photo credit: John Phelan
Amesbury is a quintessential New England town settled in the 1600s. Located 40 miles from Boston, its rich history makes it no surprise that people who grow up here, tend to stay. However, this up and coming town is having trouble getting foot traffic to their main street. They believe that some marketing and branding help for their businesses will bring more people into the downtown area.
Photo credit: Larry D. Moore
Located just east of Austin, Bastrop is a little retreat along the banks of the Colorado river, where people travel to go kayaking, tubing and hiking. After having five federally declared natural disasters since 2011, the community needs more help than ever to restore their downtown district and decrease business turnover.
Photo credit: visitbrainerd.com
This popular Minnesota vacation spot’s population swells during the summer time, but they struggle to get people to visit downtown during slower months. With many empty storefronts, they need to inject some energy and enthusiasm into marketing their downtown.
Photo credit: OHWiki
Located on the Sandusky River, just 55 miles from Columbus, Bucyrus is known as the small town in the middle of everywhere. It is also the only place that makes handmade copper kettles in the U.S. With a lot of traffic flowing through town to get to the lakes up north, they need help to attract visitors to stop.
Photo credit: thingstodoinbartow.com
41 miles from Atlanta, Cartersville is an industrial hub with many manufacturing plants calling it home. It has a large Main Street area with a strong mix of retail stores, but being so close to Atlanta, this town seems to get lost with locals. They’re hoping that with the right marketing tools they can appeal to locals and those in neighboring communities.
Excelsior Springs, MO
Photo credit: visitexcelsior.com
Nestled along the east fork of Fishing River, Excelsior Springs has all the makings of a beautiful small town. With over 71 businesses located in their downtown area, their vacancy is low, but they’re struggling to get tourists from nearby Kansas City to add it to their itinerary when visiting. With a little help, they’re hoping to turn this town around.
Photo credit: VisitExeterNH
This picturesque New England town located on the Squamscott River is something out of a storybook. Although it’s exterior may not look like it needs assistance, businesses are struggling to brand themselves as a destination for those visiting the East Coast. Competing with national chains isn’t easy, but a boost may be just what they need to become a “must-see” destination.
Photo credit: farmvilleva.com
Home to two universities (Longwood and Hampden-Sydney), Farmville is not short on charm and is perfect for those outdoorsy types, with multiple state parks in the area. Located just 65 miles from Richmond, the town struggles to keep students in town once they graduate. With a revitalization, the town is hoping to attract more to stay and others to visit.
Photo Credit: City of Florence
A charming coastal town on the Pacific, Florence used to be a logging and fishing town, with the coast to the west and forests to the east. It has since blossomed into a tourist destination with many shops and a large arts community. However, other than word of mouth, they don’t do a lot of marketing to people passing through. They’re looking for innovative ways to bring more tourists in during those slower months.
Glenwood Springs, CO
Photo Credit: City of Glenwood Springs
A mountain town an hour north of Aspen, Glenwood Springs is known for their hot springs which are said to have restorative powers. Despite being in the middle of the beautiful mountains in Colorado, the town has trouble attracting tourists who visit the more popular nearby areas. With a downtown project already underway, a little marketing and branding could give them the push they need.
Photo credit: laurelmainstreet.com
This small town may be featured on the HGTV show “Home Town,” but it’s small businesses need help kicking things up a notch. Laurel has a young, urban vibe helping to make it more appealing, but they want to bring in more tourists and become a destination people want to travel to. With a lot of potential, this town is looking for a little help to put it on the map.
Photo Credit: Downtown Martinez
Located just 30 miles from San Francisco, Martinez is one of the oldest towns in California. With many businesses opening and millennials flocking to town from the city, there’s a lot of excitement. However, with recent flooding and downtown fires, there are still many vacancies. With a marketing push towards residents and those in nearby towns, they’re hoping to decrease vacancies and continue to grow the excitement.
Photo Credit: John Platek
An hour south of the Twin Cities, Owatonna is right off major interstate I-35 and is home to over 40 manufacturers. With so many manufacturing facilities, the town still struggles to make its downtown a destination vs. a drive through. With beautification projects already underway, the town is hopeful for their future.
Photo credit: Craig from Photonews247.com
A designated UNESCO Creative City, Paducah has a thriving arts community. Situated on the Ohio River, the town is beginning to experience a resurgence. Over 25 new businesses have come to town in the past four years. But with those new businesses, there are also many mom and pop shops who have been around for years and aren’t up-to-date on marketing and technical expertise. The town is hoping to help those older businesses refresh their brands while continuing to grow the new businesses.
Photo credit: Matthew105601
Situated on the St. John’s River, Palatka in recent years has seen their share of hardships. From losing major factories, to hurricane damage. The town is struggling to attract small businesses and locals to the downtown. With a great stock of beautiful and affordable older homes, a revitalization could provide them with the tools to attract newcomers.
Photo credit: City of Sanford
Located 35 miles from Raleigh, Sanford is described as the “not the beach and not the mountains” part of North Carolina. With a downtown encompassing 17 blocks, they have a lot of potential for small businesses opening up shop. With large manufacturers in the area, Sanford wants to attract employees to the town. A few updates and some marketing help could help bring in newcomers and locals alike.
Siloam Springs, AR
Photo credit: Explore Northwest Arkansas
This beautiful and historic downtown is nestled next to a creek with walking paths and public art. With several large corporations in the area that coexist well with the small businesses, the sense of community is abundant. With a goal to revitalize its main street, they’re looking for the right tools to help them build their downtown.