The city of Red Wing, Minnesota, was one of the five finalists for the Small Business Revolution contest, according to the Post Bulletin, but lost out to Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania. The winner was announced Feb. 22.
The contest, championed by Deluxe Corp. of Shoreview, Minnesota, will award a $500,000 grant to Bristol Borough to help bolster six small businesses in that city as well as help with physical improvements in the downtown area. Last year’s winner was the city of Wabash, Indiana.
Patty Brown, executive director and president of the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce, says the project helps the selected small businesses in a variety of ways.
“They go to these businesses and help them with website development, logos, branding, and social media. In addition, they do beautification efforts to some of the buildings, such as signage. They also do a public improvement in the town they select as well.”
This is very helpful for small business owners who don’t have the time for these because they’re too busy running their business.
Red Wing, with a population of about 16,500, in particular could have greatly benefited from the $500,000 grant, especially in the signage department.
“Red Wing is a very historic, beautiful town,” Brown says. “It is the oldest city in Minnesota, so there are a lot of historic buildings that could use some TLC, and that’s another area that Deluxe Corp. can help with.”
Although the ultimate goal was to win the prize, Brown says the overall experience is a greater reward.
“We were absolutely amazed by the camaraderie this project built. We had a huge community that worked on this, with residents and all the businesses coming together to help push this thing along. It was a massive effort by our little town.”
“Win or lose, it was a very positive project for our city,” Brown said before the winner was announced.
Learn more about the project at smallbusinessrevolution.org.