Red Wing is looking for votes on the last day of an intense competition that could infuse cash into its downtown and help small business.
 
The southeastern Minnesota city leads a pack of five small towns in Shoreview-based Deluxe Corp.’s “Small Business Revolution” contest. The other competitors are Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania; Georgetown, South Carolina; Kingsburg, California; and North Adams, Massachusetts.
 
The competition runs until 11 p.m. on Thursday night, with the winner announced next Wednesday. The city with the most votes will get $500,000 to improve its downtown. It will also be featured in the second season of the Small Business Revolution online-video series that features marketing experts at Deluxe and Robert Herjavec, known for his role on the show Shark Tank, helping entrepreneurs.
 
The previous contest winner was Wabash, Indiana. Deluxe said that small businesses in the city received advice on topics such as email marketing, search-engine optimization, hiring and business strategy, as well as money going to improve public spaces, new signage in the town and highway billboard advertising.
 
The race is said to be “tight,” according to the contest’s Facebook page. Because of that, Red Wing isn’t taking a victory lap just yet: The city is actively promoting voting, and the library is extending its hours to offer online access for people to vote.
 
There’s even a multi-continental effort to help get the city to the finish line: Quzhou, China, a Sister City of Red Wing, sent out voting information to teacher groups and parents throughout the province to help the city get more votes, according to the Red Wing Republican-Eagle.
 
People interested in the competition can vote here.

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