Marinette/Menominee hopes for ‘Top 5′ announcement on Feb. 12

Note: UW-Green Bay is proud to support the Marinette/Menominee community in this effort to be named a Top 5 communities in the “Small Business Revolution.” The following is a press release describing efforts to move from Top 10 to Top 5 in a voting opportunity. It is estimated it will require about two-million votes.

MARINETTE, Wis. / MENOMINEE, Mich. — The twin cities of Marinette, Wisconsin, and Menominee, Michigan, have been selected as one of the Top 10 communities with a chance to participate in the Deluxe Corp.’s reality series “Small Business Revolution — Main Street.”

The show, now in its fourth season on Hulu, offers the winner a $500,000 downtown makeover from Deluxe.

Marinette and Menominee were visited by the marketing team from Deluxe Jan. 9-11. The visit to local small businesses and to meet with civic and business leaders included the creator of SBR, Amanda Brinkman, who serves as the chief brand and communications officer with Deluxe. Brinkman is the co-host of the online series along with Ty Pennington, who is best known from the hit show “Extreme Home Makeover.”

In the last week of January, Brinkman and her team completed their visit to the 10th community chosen by the company from the original Top 20 small towns. More than 12,000 communities entered the national contest; Menominee and Marinette represent the only Midwest community in the competition.

Feb. 12, the Deluxe team will announce the five communities that will go head to head in a national online voting contest. Marinette and Menominee, as one community, is seeking the support of others in the region to win the competition if they are chosen in the Top 5.

“Our team has turned up the volume to spread our message of why we deserve to win the community makeover, and how others outside our community can help,” said Kim Brooks, owner of Main Street Antique Mall in Marinette. “We’ve been reaching out to the cities, counties, state houses, and governors for official proclamations endorsing our #myMarinetteMenominee movement.”

To date, the team has received nearly a half dozen official proclamations in support, most notably from the Wisconsin State Senate.

“The support we’ve received has been incredibly gratifying, it further validates the mission and our long-range goals,” said Cindy Boyle of Boyle Design Group in Marinette. “This kind of reinforcement is a physical reminder of the broadly shared belief that two communities coming together can make a difference.”

“This entire community is very activation oriented,” said Brinkman during her visit to the twin cities. “We’re very impressed at how the entire community has mobilized around this effort. We advise all communities to start planning for that stage (making the Top 5), because once we announce it on Feb. 12, it is pedal to the metal and go, go, go.”

It will literally take millions of votes to win, which is more than the two communities can muster on their own.

“When we learn that we are in the Top 5, we have exactly seven days to get millions of votes. We need everybody to vote every day on every device you have,” said Brooks. “Encourage your friends, your family, your networks — whoever is in your email box. Let them know this is coming and encourage them to get ready to vote for Marinette/Menominee.”