November 13, 2018
Top 20 Towns Competing To Be Winner Of “Main Street” Season 4
After receiving nearly 12,000 nominations from small towns in all 50 states, Deluxe Corporation has narrowed the field to 20 towns that are in the running to be featured in Season 4 of Small Business Revolution – Main Street!
Getting to this point is always difficult. Every town deserves to have its time to shine. The Deluxe team spent countless hours reading nominations, researching towns and speaking to town representatives. As with previous seasons in Wabash, Indiana; Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania; and Alton, Illinois, we sought enthusiastic communities where our marketing efforts and spotlight could make a tangible difference. With each town nominated, we heard many of the same stories of struggle and success, but the common theme was that all these towns were proud of their small business communities and wanted to continue to bring awareness to the people and business owners who continue to keep their towns going, even through struggles.
Deluxe will provide a $500,000 makeover and boost to one winning town, while continuing to bring attention to and supporting small businesses. We couldn’t be more excited to announce the towns that will be competing this year. Scroll below to learn more about each of these amazing communities. And stay tuned for an extra special announcement of the Top 10 on December 11!
Albemarle, North Carolina
Albemarle, North Carolina, is situated an hour east of Charlotte, with a population of about 16,000. With great natural resources close by, like Morrow Mountain State Park, there’s plenty to draw people in, but the town is struggling to get people off the highway and into downtown. The leaders of Albemarle are hoping with a little wayfinding and some revitalization; the town can start thriving again.
Arkansas City, Kansas
Situated at the confluence of the Arkansas and Walnut rivers in southern Kansas, Arkansas City has a lot of fascinating history attached to it. As the last stop on the Santa Fe Railroad, the community recently restored a steam engine and incorporated it into one of its parks. Like many other small towns, it has struggled with store vacancies and needs help attracting more entrepreneurs.
After a devastating landslide in 2014, Arlington, Washington, has not only been rebuilding, but its residents are looking to restore hope in the town. With the Centennial Trail close by and Seattle only an hour south, there’s a lot of opportunity to bring in more customers to maximize the town’s growth, while bringing a sense of pride to the community.
Situated on the Saco River near Maine’s coast, Biddeford is not lacking in the beauty department; but appearances can be deceiving when it comes to a thriving business community. Although its Main Street has started to fill up, the retail shops have been struggling to survive. With some marketing advice and physical improvements, Biddeford is hoping to draw more people into the business district to shop, while seeking new business owners to open closed storefronts.
Located on the Columbia River, just east of Portland, Oregon, Camas boasts one of the top school districts in the state. But while more people are coming to town for the schools, they aren’t heading downtown to shop, and some of the historic buildings need repair. With the right marketing tools and help with repairs, Camas has an opportunity to draw more people downtown and become a destination.
Cañon City, Colorado
Just outside of Colorado Springs on the Arkansas River and in the shadow of Pike’s Peak, Cañon City needs to attract tourists and visitors of the Royal Gorge Bridge to downtown. Community leaders are hoping that with a little marketing and promotion, downtown will start to thrive and weather the seasonality that has been plaguing them.
Just 50 miles outside of Dallas, Corsicana, rich with oil history, now has a booming art scene. With an artist residency program, Corsicana is seeing people from all over the world apply to come work with local artists. Beginning to move toward an upswing, town leaders are hoping to add some community pride and a few more businesses to attract locals downtown who would normally head into the city.
On a forgotten stretch of highway between Dallas and Oklahoma City, Durant doesn’t have a large city nearby to fall back on. Home to the Choctaw Nation and the World’s Largest Peanut, it is not short on notoriety. But Durant needs to cultivate a renewal of town pride so future residents will be proud to call it home. With multiple events coming to the area, Durant needs help drawing people to the downtown in order to help small businesses thrive.
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
An hour east of Fargo, North Dakota, Fergus Falls serves as a regional outpost for rural towns within a 30-mile radius. With hiking and biking trails on the Otter Tail River, there are many opportunities to take advantage of, but the community has struggled to reinvent itself and attract customers downtown. Community leaders would like a little direction on how to attract businesses to the area and manage growth in order to bring the community together.
Voted the Nicest Place in America by Reader’s Digest in 2017, Gallatin went through its share of hardship in the early 2000s after a tornado devastated the area. With a drive to rebuild, the town has bounced back and is now working to maintain its small town feel while it continues to enjoy growth from nearby Nashville. Gallatin would love to bring more attention to the downtown shopping district to keep the small town feel amidst the growth.
Lockport, New York
A mere 20 miles from Niagara Falls on the Niagara wine trail, Lockport is a former rust belt city that was created because of the Erie Canal. With visitors flocking to the Falls, Lockport needs more wayfinding to attract them into downtown. With marketing and beautifying of the factory areas, the community is hoping to boost pride in its townspeople.
Marinette, Wisconsin/Menominee, Michigan
With a total population of nearly 18,000, known as the “M&M” communities, Marinette, Wisconsin, and Menominee, Michigan, are separated by the Menominee River that runs through the towns. Although separated and part of two different states, the towns work together as one. With leaders from each town collaborating, they are still finding it hard to keep small businesses in the area open, most being one step away from closing. They’re hoping with new branding and marketing for the downtowns, more people will be attracted to living in the area.
Morgan City, Louisiana
An hour and a half drive outside of New Orleans, Morgan City is the site where the first offshore oil rig was built. With the oil boom waning and the shrimping industry down, it needs to attract entrepreneurs, and the small businesses that are already there need help. With turnover rates high, Morgan City leaders are hoping that some renovations, marketing and help for their existing businesses, they’ll be able to turn their town around.
Pageland, South Carolina
Pageland is known as the Watermelon Capital of the World and is an hour outside of Charlotte. With only four-square blocks of small businesses in town, it needs to recruit new businesses to address vacancy issues. Current leadership in town has expressed big dreams for some of their large vacant buildings downtown, looking to add a spark of hope to this small community. With some marketing for both the town and its businesses, Pageland is hoping more people will discover this little South Carolina town.
Rock Springs, Wyoming
With Salt Lake City being the nearest metro nearly 180 miles away, Rock Springs, Wyoming, has become the regional shopping center and health care hub for nearby rural towns. However, small businesses are being passed over for online and big box retailers. This community is hoping with marketing help its businesses can start competing with the larger retailers and that people will start coming downtown to shop local.
Located a 45-minute drive from Little Rock, Searcy has about 40 current small business owners, with more beginning to move toward the downtown area. However, Searcy is having trouble finding a cohesive brand for the city. With downtown revitalization efforts underway, it would like to rebrand and bring more people together in this small town, while beautifying the area.
Taos, New Mexico
Home to a world class ski resort and a landscape encompassing the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge, Taos, New Mexico, has the makings to be a year-round tourist destination. Community leaders struggle with their branding and marketing and are having trouble figuring out who their target audience is and how to reach them. With better signage and a more unified small business community, they’re hoping the area can become a must-see destination.
Washington, North Carolina
Located on the northern bank of the Pamlico River, which flows right into the Atlantic Ocean, Washington, North Carolina lost a few businesses this year when Hurricane Florence flooded the area. With the downtown turning around in recent years, leaders would like to change the perception of the area and draw more people in from town and around the region.
Roughly 40 miles outside of Cincinnati, Wilmington is home to both the agriculture and aeronautics industries with Wilmington Air Park located in town. As a college town, Wilmington struggles to keep students in town post-graduation. With a desire to avoid sprawl on the edges of town, the community is working to market the downtown area and the small businesses that reside there.
More than just the place where beer cheese was born, Winchester has one of the most intact downtowns in Kentucky. Just outside of Lexington, it needs help pulling together a unified vision of downtown. Facing challenges with creating sustainable businesses, it hopes marketing help will bring the community together and draw more businesses into the mix.