Every vote counts: Small Business Revolution contest features Silverton

April 2016 Posted in Community

By Kristine Thomas

The race is on, there are three finalists, and a local candidate seeks your vote.

Described as historic, friendly, charming and photogenic, the candidate pursing the votes of Silverton, Mount Angel and Scotts Mills residents – plus all Oregonians and hopefully everyone west of the Mississippi River – is the city of Silverton. Voting takes place during National Business Week, May 3 – 10.

Silverton needs votes to win the Small Business Revolution on Main Street contest. Which features a prize worth $500,000 that includes: Website development, logo creation, email marketing, printed products and apparel and social media marketing for local businesses, plus $250,000 for physical updates to selected businesses which can include new business facades, landscaping, equipment, aesthetic updates and construction material.

Silverton is competing against Wabash, Ind. and Elizabeth City, N.C. Voters will decide the winning city by visiting the website smallbusinessrevolution.org during National Business Week.

Being in the top three is exciting for Silverton City Manager Bob Willoughby said, especially since he almost didn’t submit an application for the contest.

“It seemed like a long shot and I was busy so I almost didn’t nominate Silverton,” Willoughby said. “Because the nomination form and process were pretty straight forward, I decided to make the effort because the potential reward is so great.  It also helped that the council and the citizens have made revitalization of the downtown a priority during the goal setting and visioning process. I just couldn’t pass up this opportunity.  I’m really glad I didn’t.”

More than 9,400 cities were nominated and a panel of judges, selected by Deluxe, chose the final three. Willoughby said it’s an honor for Silverton to be one of the finalists.

“The judges were looking for the most ‘worthy’ candidates. It was Silverton’s charm and the fact that we are very photogenic that put us in the top three cities,” Willoughby said. “The exposure can only help our downtown businesses and the community as a whole.”

If Silverton wins, Willoughby said celebrity Robert Herjavec of Shark Tank and Dancing with the Stars will join Deluxe in capturing the city’s transformation in another video web series debuting in the fall of 2016.

Silverton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Stacy Palmer said the film crew spent time interviewing local business owners, community members and civic leaders. While each of the businesses in town have different needs, what they share in common is how to effectively market their business outside the Silverton community.

“If Silverton were to win, business owners could learn how to look beyond the day-to-day operations of their business and focus on the potential of their business,” she said.

From talking with the film crew and staff, Palmer learned they treasured the small town environment in Silverton and appreciated the warm welcome.

Whether or not Silverton wins, both Palmer and Willoughby said being a part of the competition is a positive experience, especially since it will let visitors across the United States know about Silverton. And winning would be good not only for local businesses but for the entire community, Palmer said.

“It would mean more local people employed at local businesses and that people can purchase products and services in our community rather than going elsewhere,” she said. “It would create a vitality to the downtown area. Anyone time you have a successful business, it helps create a vibrant downtown.”

Being part of the show, Palmer said, brings awareness to community members as well as visitors.

“This is going to help put Silverton on the map,” she said.

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