Lip Esteem, Sammy’s Avenue Eatery Selected for “Small Business Revolution”
Deluxe Corporation announced today that it has chosen the six Minneapolis-St. Paul businesses that will be featured in season six of its small business makeover TV series “Small Business Revolution.” The businesses selected for this season are all Black-owned and will receive business and marketing advice, finance guidance, renovations, and a portion of the season’s $500,000 total budget.
The following businesses were selected from a group of nearly 100 applicants:
- Elsa’s House of Sleep, Midway/Frogtown, St. Paul
- Gentlemen Cuts, East St. Paul
- Lip Esteem, Lake Street, Minneapolis (Lip Esteem was also announced as a member of Lunar Startups’ Cohort 4 today.)
- Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, South Minneapolis
- Sammy’s Avenue Eatery, West Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis (Sammy’s Avenue Eatery was recently featured in TCB’s Small Business Success series.)
- Taste of Rondo, Rondo, St. Paul
“This was a difficult challenge to select from so many outstanding nominations. We are very pleased with the collection of businesses to be highlighted this year representing these unique neighborhoods,” said Amanda Brinkman, Deluxe chief brand and content officer and the creator and co-host of “Small Business Revolution.” Brinkman was joined by community leaders and Deluxe employees representing the company’s African American Employee Resource Group to carefully select the businesses.
The selections follow an announcement from Deluxe that its show, which usually travels each season to a small town somewhere in the country to help Main Street businesses turn their luck around, would be staying home this year to help its local communities and Black-owned businesses.
“We are proud to bring our company’s expertise to support small business and local communities, consistent with our purpose to champion business so communities thrive,” said Barry McCarthy, Deluxe president and CEO.
The business owners are also excited to show the world how resilient their businesses and communities are, especially after all the discord in the past year.
“I look forward to meeting with the Deluxe team and industry professionals who can help me take Lip Esteem to the next level,” said Tameka Jones, founder and owner of Lip Esteem. “As a native Minnesotan, I look forward to being able to show the world how gifted and talented Minnesota entrepreneurs are and how the African American community continues to thrive even in the midst of adversity.”
Charles Carter, who co-owns Taste of Rondo with his wife Kasara, echos Jones’ sentiment: “My wife and I are ecstatic about being participants in Season 6. We hope to bring more awareness to the history of the Rondo community…Our mission is to reconnect Rondo by providing a welcoming atmosphere with fantastic food and service. And we know that with the expertise of Deluxe, ‘Small Business Revolution,’ and Hulu, we are well on our way to sustaining our mission, one meal at a time.”
In addition to Brinkman and Deluxe experts, Baron Davis, retired two-time NBA All-Star, TNT sports commentator, and serial entrepreneur, has joined the season as co-host. Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, Deluxe board chair and one of only a handful of Black, female chairs of a Fortune 1000 company, will also join the program providing seasoned business advice.
For Season 6, each episode will tell the story of one business as well as the community it resides in. As is typical, Deluxe will help with marketing and bring in other large business partners to help with other areas. U.S. Bank is coming back to offer financial advice. Salesforce will also return, but this year, they’ll be bringing the experts for the season—each year, “Small Business Revolution” calls on an industry expert for each business to guide them in the process—using their network of accomplished entrepreneurs. This season, Lenovo also joins the team, providing technology hardware, like tablets, to the small businesses.
The brainchild of Brinkman, “Small Business Revolution” started in 2015 as a marketing vehicle for Deluxe as it worked to shed its reputation as an old-fashioned check printing company and evolve into a full-service, technology-focused financial services provider for small businesses. Today, “Small Business Revolution” has developed a following all its own, and a reputation for reviving and supporting small businesses.
Filming of Season 6 will begin later this month and run through July. The series will air this fall on Hulu, Prime Video, and sbr.org.