Siloam Springs could win $500,000 for downtown revitalization, be featured on TV show

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 478 views 

Siloam Springs is among the five cities hoping to receive $500,000 for downtown revitalization and be featured on Hulu TV show, Small Business Revolution — Main Street.

On Tuesday (Feb. 13), Deluxe Corp. announced the five finalists who have an opportunity to receive the $500,000 and be featured in an eight-episode series, streaming on Hulu and smallbusinessrevolution.org. Downtown organization Main Street Siloam Springs applied to be on the show this past fall, and since then, the city has remained in the running as the show cut other cities from the running. Now, the public will determine which city will be featured on season three of the show.

The city, Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Siloam Springs have asked supporters to vote daily, between Feb. 13 and Feb. 20. People can vote once daily per email address per device. The winner will be announced Feb. 27.

“Just vote, vote, vote,” said Kelsey Howard, executive director for Main Street Siloam Springs. Howard also encouraged those with a broad reach on social media to ask their friends to vote for Siloam Springs.

If the city were to win, businesses there would have the opportunity to apply to receive the money and be able to use it for their business, such as to purchase kitchen equipment, said communication officer Holland Hayden, adding that how the $500,000 would be divided among businesses has yet to be set. The city hasn’t won a competition like this before, she said.

“The significance is certainly measured by how much downtown businesses have already done,” Howard said. “This is such a great catalyst for further momentum.”

In 2016, $7.5 million, as a mix of public and private money, was invested into downtown. While the organization has yet to determine the 2017 investment amount, businesses and the city continue to invest in downtown.

In mid-January, Siloam Springs began work to improve Broadway Street in downtown. The project will add angled parking along the east side of the street, bump outs, raised seating and public art, Hayden said. The project also will convert Alpine and Central streets, between Broadway and Mount Olive streets, into one-way streets, allowing the city to add angled parking along Alpine and Central streets as well. The $488,683 project is expected to be completed in mid-April.

Deluxe, which makes checks and offers business products and marketing services, started the Small Business Revolution in 2015 by telling the stories of 100 small businesses across the country. It received thousands of nominations from towns to be on the third season of the show. Deluxe visited 10 cities, including Siloam Springs, before it narrowed down the list to five.

“The people in these unique communities represent everything that the Small Business Revolution is all about,” said Amanda Brinkman, the company’s chief brand and communications officer. “And after receiving nearly 1 million votes for season two finalists, we cannot wait to see how these amazing season three finalists rally votes for their communities.”

The other four finalists are Alton, Ill., Amesbury, Mass., Bastrop, Texas, and Martinez, Calif.

Small business owners in the winning city will receive marketing help from a team of Deluxe small business marketing professionals, including Brinkman. TV personality Ty Pennington will join the Deluxe team in the winning city and serve as the celebrity spokesman for the series.

“I have spent my career shining a spotlight on inspirational stories and helping people realize their dreams,” Pennington said. “Small Business Revolution — Main Street is an amazing opportunity to take my experience to a whole new level — helping an entire community, and its Main Street businesses, achieve their dreams.”

Once a winner is selected, Brinkman, Pennington and the Deluxe small business marketing team will travel to the winning city and start to offer marketing services and other assistance. Season three of the Small Business Revolution — Main Street will air in fall 2018.

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