Deluxe Launches Season 5 of Small Business Revolution
At a time when many small businesses are in more need of help than ever before, Deluxe Corporation launches the fifth season of its small business makeover show Small Business Revolution today on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
This season takes place in Fredonia, New York, where hosts Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington help seven small businesses struggling through the pandemic. Brinkman, show creator and Deluxe Corp.’s chief brand and communications officer (profiled by TCB last October), helps Fredonia businesses with their marketing, finances, and infrastructure. Throughout the season, she also leverages the expertise of several Twin Cities business owners and experts: Morris Jackson, consumer and business banking expert at U.S. Bank; Amy Backman, owner of Spruce; Mikisha Nation, executive director of Team For America – Twin Cities; Charlie Brackney Love, co-founder of Haus Salons; Arwyn Birch and Teresa Fox, co-owners of Glam Doll Donuts; Hiep Dang and Mylan Sleets, co-owners of Pristine Detailing; Mike Luckraft, general manager and director of golf at Legends Club; and JJ Haywood, CEO of Pizza Luce.
Like every season prior, the hosts and experts flew to the featured town in March to help the businesses and film the show. However, just a week after they arrived in Fredonia, Covid-19 struck, forcing everyone to fly home and many of the businesses to temporarily close their doors. The rest of the season had to be executed and filmed remotely.
“In our five season filming the show, we’ve never encountered anything as difficult as this,” Brinkman said. “Our team and the small businesses in Fredonia made a giant pivot due to the pandemic.”
“In other seasons, we would have been able to invite [the business we worked with] to visit us in person, and we would have been able to go back to their place to see the transformation after the show—which I was really looking forward to,” says Backman. “But 2020 had other plans, and we had to settle for a Zoom tour.”
The businesses selected for season five were already struggling to survive before Covid-19, but now, with shelter-in-place orders and gathering restrictions enforced, they face an even larger challenge, and one that not even all experienced businesses have been able to survive. (According to a recent economic impact report published by Yelp, nearly 100,000 businesses across the nation had closed permanently due to Covid as of September.) Because of this, Deluxe and the experts were tasked not only with helping the businesses with their typical issues, but also with helping them create a strong online presence to carry them through the pandemic.
“The stories of business owners we showcase on Small Business Revolution are always inspirational, but this year, these episodes take on even more importance,” said Deluxe president and CEO Barry McCarthy. “This is truly the first series to chronicle what small business owners had to endure this year.”
The show started out as a marketing vehicle as Deluxe tried to shed its reputation as a check printing company, and evolved into a full-service financial services provider for small businesses. But Small Business Revolution has developed a following of its own, and a reputation for reviving and supporting small businesses. Each season, Deluxe invests $500,000 and teams up with other Twin Cities business experts to help struggling small businesses in small towns across the country.
Locations and businesses for Small Business Revolution are chosen annually via a nomination and voting process. The previous cities featured are Wabash, Ind.; Bristol Borough, Pa.; Alton, Ill.; and Searcy, Ark.