Nestled within the beautiful waterfalls and riverbanks of Oregon are two charming small towns currently in the running to win the “Small Business Revolution – Main Street” competition, a Hulu show from Deluxe Corporation now going in its fifth season.
Oregon City and The Dalles are both in the Top 10 and Oregon is the only state boasting two front-runners. Winning would mean the town receives $500,000 for revitalization of its small-business hub, along with professional help in the areas of marketing, budgeting, sales, etc.
The aim of the show is to spotlight why small businesses are critical to local economies, where those quaint cities are in America and illustrate how small businesses can improve their health. At Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific, we hear from small business owners every day. We know the pain-points. We value their contributions. And we love nothing more than supporting shows like this to help get the word out. Here’s a little more on our two semi-finalists:
Oregon City is 13 miles south of Portland and is often overshadowed by the bustling metropolis just to the north. Oregon City has a super cozy and cute Main Street – I know, I’ve been there – but there’s a disconnect. The city is struggling to bridge the divide between its two distinct sections of Main Street so that consumers can seamlessly experience all it has to offer while local retailers benefit from a cohesive atmosphere.
The Dalles is further out into the pines; about half an hour drive from Portland. The Dalles’ main draw is tourism along the Columbia River Gorge with nearly 20,000 people visiting every year to go out on tour boats or experience some of the best wind-surfing around. Outside of the main tourist season, foot traffic is low, and downtown walkability isn’t great. The Dalles used to be an industrial hub, so much of the available real estate is too large for the average small business owner to occupy and afford.
While both are deserving, only one can win. These two Oregon towns are up against competition across America. The other cities in the Top 10 span California, Arizona, Georgia, New York, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota and Ohio.
On January 14, the top five towns will be announced. Only then will citizens be able to vote for their favorite, pushing their town into the number one spot. Once the winner is announced, Deluxe Corporation opens the application process to business owners in that specific town, choosing six to split the $500,000.
Check back on the Small Business Revolution website to get updates. And most importantly, keep your fingers crossed for Oregon!