We made the Top 10 in the Small Business Revolution — Main Street!
This competition selects one small town’s Main Street to feature in their original series, now in its 3rd season. The selected town — and six of its small businesses — receive a $500,000 revitalization, documented by their video crew & team.
Deluxe, creators of the contest and champions of small businesses for over 100 years, describes it this way:
“…nowhere in America are small businesses more critical, and more under siege, than in our small towns.
We created the Small Business Revolution – Main Street to help those small businesses, and in turn, those small towns, reignite the spark that drives them and keeps people coming back.”
Cañon City’s campaign started when Economic Development Officer Ryan Stevens spearheaded a community drive to participate in the nominating process. As described in last week’s Denver Post article: “Nearly 12,000 nominations poured in from all 50 states. Cañon City Economic Development submitted a nomination in October and encouraged others in the community to do the same.”
Truthfully though, I first heard about this just last month when they announced Cañon City was a Top 20 nominee. A social media push using the hashtag #mycanoncity by business owners followed with additional paperwork submitted for the Dec. 3 deadline.
The top 10 were named Tuesday. Cañon City hosted a watch party on Main Street for the online announcement. Excitement and anticipation filled the air as we waited. When they announced us as the 4th winner, the room erupted in cheers. We all got so excited, I don’t think anyone listened for the other cities to be named. Time enough for that later.
The thing is, this is why I moved to Cañon City, or at least one reason. I distinctly remember two years ago when we were still deciding where to move, standing on Main Street and saying something like that, “I just feel a sense of opportunity here.”
Yes, we have had our setbacks on Main Street since then — the brewpub stopped brewing to become a taphouse, the movie house closed down, the hoped-for revitalization of the Hotel St. Cloud fizzled, and a new restaurant opened and then closed in what seemed like record time.
But on the upside, Bikes & Brews opened and is thriving, the Bean Pedaler relocated just a few doors down, and TechSTART has filled our offices. One new tenant is a working group from Unbridled, who bought the Hotel St. Cloud for one of their historic property renovation projects. This Small Business Revolution — Main Street honor stands alongside the P-TECH program and the Upper Arkansas Region Technology Sector recognition. Oh, and don’t forget Microsoft on Main Street — FSLogix, with their marketing department headquartered at TechSTART, was one of this year’s few acquisitions by Microsoft.
At the watch party, we heard how some news crews might show up to cover this. Someone suggested an organized media event, but Ryan Stevens deferred that until later, saying, “When we make it into the Top 5…”
I saw someone smile, commenting, “I like how he said ‘when’ — not ‘if’.”
When? Well, the next official step will be a site visit from the Small Business Revolution crew on January 31 and February 1.