Florence has risen to the top 10 out of more than 7,000 applicant towns to participate in Hulu’s “Small Business Revolution—Main Street.”
The show is preparing for its third season in which local businesses share up to $500,000 in funds for redevelopment and sprucing up commercial districts. Host Amanda Brinkman and her team work with small businesses to help revitalize a town. Deluxe, the company behind the show, focuses on supporting small town businesses and their primary business districts.
Producers visited Florence January 3 and 4 and met with community representatives from the City of Florence, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Redevelopment Team (DRT), and area businesses. More than 500 community members attended a rousing reception to meet Brinkman and her crew January 3 at the Florence Events Center.
Florence was first of the 10 towns to be visited. The hashtag #myflorence has been established to help boost Florence’s chances and keep the area’s profile high during the period in which the producers will whittle the list to five before releasing the finalists’ names for a nationwide online public vote. Participants in the social media campaign are encouraged to make their posts “public” so the show’s producers can track them during their decision making.
Producers want to hear from locals through social media to help them determine the towns for which they think they could make the biggest impact. They’re looking for stories highlighting the trials and triumphs of small businesses, about the benefits of living and working in Florence, and reasons why the community would benefit from Deluxe’s expertise.
To see episodes from the show’s previous two seasons visit https://www.deluxe.com/small-business-revolution/.
The effort to bring attention to Florence has been led by DRT chairperson Ellen Huntingdon, marketing coordinator for Oregon Pacific Bank in Florence.
“Small Business Revolution—Main Street,” if it chooses Florence, will likely work with businesses in Historic Old Town and along Highway 101 from the intersection with Highway 126 south to the Siuslaw River Bridge.
Florence is in competition with Aberdeen, SD; Alton, IL; Americus, GA; Amesbury, MA; Bastrop, TX; Brainerd, MN; Exeter, NH; Florence, OR; Martinez, CA; and Siloam Springs, AR.
In mid-February, they’ll announce the top 5 finalists that will be up for a weeklong public vote to see which town will be featured in season 3. They will announce the public’s choice at the end of February, then local small businesses will be invited to apply to be featured on the show. Filming for the series will span March-June, 2018.
“The timing with “Small Business Revolution—Main Street’s” involvement would be fortuitous in that it would pair well with the City’s ReVision Florence initiative which has successfully brought together its plans to improve the look and traffic flow through this part of town with Oregon Department of Transportation’s Highway 101 repaving project and special funding from Lane County.