ARLINGTON – Arlington couldn’t have scripted it better, and just in time for the holidays.
The city is among the Top 10 communities that will advance in the search to feature a winning town and its businesses for Season 4 of The Small Business Revolution – Main Street on Hulu, starring home improvement guru Ty Pennington.
The finalists were announced in an online video Tuesday by show host, Amanda Brinkman, winnowed down from the top 20 that were named Nov. 13 from among the 12,000 communities that entered.
“For the last month, you’ve been sharing the love of small businesses in your town,” Brinkman said of the messages posted on social media from city to city. “The response has been off the charts.”
The other finalists are:
• Biddeford, Maine
• Camas, Washington
• Canon City, Colorado
• Corsicana, Texas
• Durant, Oklahoma
• Marinette, Wisconsin/Menominee, Michigan
• Pageland, South Carolina
• Searcy, Arkansas
• Washington, North Carolina
Arlington backers were ecstatic when the announcement came, even causing a roar of claps and cheers at the Stilly Valley Chamber of Commerce holiday luncheon when the news was shared hours later.
Stilly Valley Chamber Executive Director Jen Egger said, “It’s been incredible to see the response on social media as people have shared the things they love about Arlington.” She believes the judges “recognized what a supportive and enthusiastic community we have here.”
To keep the buzz for business going, residents and business owners are being encouraged to use the hashtag #HolidayChallenge, tag @thesmallbusinessrevolution and share why #MyArlington is your favorite place to spend the holidays, through words and images.
The team from sponsor and marketing firm Deluxe Corp. and the show will be hitting the road in January to visit Arlington and the other nominees to chat with local business people. Judges in February will narrow the field to five, pick the winner via a public vote, then begin filming in March.
If Arlington wins, its small-screen debut on the web-based reality show also delivers a $500,000 main street makeover, with dollars divvied among the handful of participating local businesses chosen by the show.
Egger said as one of the 10 nominees, Arlington will benefit when Deluxe returns to Arlington in the coming months to host a small business symposium. Their experts will share advice on creating a business plan, maximizing market dollars and developing a sustainable business.
Through Deluxe’s Small Business Revolution program that started in 2015, the winning town and its small businesses receive the grant money and are featured in the eight-part series to air next fall. The show hires local contractors for revitalization projects and brings expert business and marketing mentorship.
This story originally appeared in the Arlington Times, a sibling paper of The Daily Herald.