WABASH, Ind. (WANE) The city of Wabash is a finalist in a national competition and could win $500,000 to help small businesses.
It’s a revolution unlike any other. It’s a small business revolution and thousands of people across the country are getting behind the small community.
“As great as we think this place is, other think that too,” Filament Tattoo owner Matthew Haynes said. “That’s been super exciting leading up to it and this last week has just been insane.”
The small town beat out thousands of other communities to be named a finalist in the Small Business Revolution on Main Street revitalization project. Deluxe Corporation, a small business marketing company, put on the national competition that is determined by online votes. After a call for nominations launched in January, Deluxe received nearly 10,000 nominations in less than three weeks from small towns representing all 50 states. Small Business Revolution on Main Street nominations were narrowed down to two finalists, which are featured in mini-documentaries at SmallBusinessRevolution.org. Wabash is up against Silverton, Oregon for the $500,000 grand prize. Deluxe will choose which small business are awarded the money that will help with marketing services, business advice and other business improvements.
“We will be able to reach out in ways that we probably never considered,” Haynes said.
Tracy Griffith and her husband own Thriftalicious, a thrift store they started in their garage.
“We could have never done it. They could take out business to a whole new level,” Griffith said. “We sold our house a few years ago, so we not only operate out of this building we live here too. Our entire family is small business every single day of our life.”
Win or lose, the city says this has been an experience that has united the small community.
“This has really pulled people in Wabash together in a way I’ve never seen any other project that we’ve done so far do,” Haynes said.
Shelby McLaughlin/ Wabash Marketplace
“This has been so monumental for our community regardless if we win or not. Of course we want to win, but just the friendships that have been created downtown now and the sense of community that has risen. Everyone is on fire for Wabash,” Wabash Marketplace Project Manager Shelby McLaughlin said.
Voting ended at 10 p.m. Tuesday and the winner will be announced Thursday.
The process of the winning town’s revitalization will be documented in an online video series debuting on SmallBusinessRevolution.org in the fall.