SPEARFISH — It was announced this morning that Spearfish is among the top five finalists competing to be featured on season five of the hit Hulu series ”Small Business Revolution.”
Production teams from the show visited Spearfish in December along with the nine other towns that had been nominated throughout the country. In New York early this morning, co-hosts Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington announced the five finalists that will now go on to a nationwide vote to determine which town will be featured on the show and receive a $500,000 make-over.
The four other finalists include Benicia Calif.; Fredonia, N.Y.; Livingston, Mont.; and The Dalles, Ore.
“The show is really about drawing attention to how important small businesses are within our communities and really celebrating that,” said Brinkman, who not only co-hosts but also created the show.
As the chief brand and communications officer for Deluxe, a small business finance service company known for the development of checks, Brinkman said she created the show as a means to showcase the positive effect small businesses have on their communities.
“We believe in the kinds of products and services that we work with small businesses on: all their marketing needs, websites, logos, email marketing, business cards,” she said. “Instead of just doing an ad campaign that shows those things, why not go out and show what a difference it can make and truly change the lives of those small businesses.”
Brinkman said she was excited to see Spearfish come up in this round of nominations, because she and her family had just taken a vacation to the area last summer.
“(We) were really taken with the beauty and picturesque area,” she said. “When your nomination came across, I could personally attest that I had a great time there.”
Pennington said although he’d never been to Spearfish, he was intrigued by the unique name.
“What stood out for me (first) was the name; ‘Spearfish,’” Pennington said. “Y’know you usually think of the tropics with a name like that. I’m guessing there’s a good river running near by that’s got some trout in it.”
After learning more about the unique history and outdoor recreation aspects of Spearfish, Pennington said his interest in our town was piqued even further.
“You do, luckily, stumble upon small towns that have such history and such charm and such different architecture, and that’s what I love,” he said. “There’s such a variety of looks and styles and history of all the different towns across America.”
Now that Spearfish has been selected as a finalist, Brinkman said it’s up to the town to campaign for votes in order to be selected for the show.
“Once the top five are announced, it’s really up to the town to create their own destiny with winning,” she said. “We found that the towns that ultimately end up winning each season are the ones that really get creative about how to get people outside of their community voting too.”
“That’s what I think is really exciting. We don’t know where we’re going right now, but that’s about to change in a week,” Pennington added.
Melissa Barth, Spearfish Chamber of Commerce director, said that the voting will be open until 9 p.m. Jan. 21, and the winning town will be announced on Jan. 28.
“We’re making a dedicated page on our website so people can easily find it,” she said. “People will be able to vote once a day per device. You can use your PC, your tablet, your phone, your smart watch, whatever connects to the internet.”
Both Barth and Brinkman talked about the impact being featured on the show bring not only to Spearfish, but the entire area.
“The national exposure for Spearfish is going to be huge,” Barth said. “It is an opportunity for the community to pull together and the whole region to pull together and the state to show how we work together every day.”
“What has really moved us and we’re so proud of, is the ripple effect that this program has,” Brinkman added.
Barth and Brinkman also encouraged community members to reach out to politicians and local social media influencers to help spread the word about voting.
“Any of that kind of reach during the voting period is just going to gain more exposure and more votes,” Barth said.
“Drive those votes,” Brinkman reiterated.
“Good luck!” Pennington encouraged.
For more information about Small Business revolution and how to vote, visit www.smallbusinessrevolution.org, or www.spearfishchamber.org. For a behind the scenes look at the making of Small Business Revolution, look for Brinkman on Instagram and Twitter as @amandakbrinkman.
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