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Locals push for Salisbury to be selected for ‘Small Business Revolution’

SALISBURY – Downtown Salisbury is in the running to be selected for a revitalization project from “Small Business Revolution,” a TV series hosted by Ty Pennington from the popular show “Extreme Home Makeover.”

Small Business Revolution is offering the chance for “one lucky town” and six of its small businesses to win $500,000.

Each town selected for each season is provided the opportunity to have several small businesses receive a makeover from the show and “a host of business experts.”

The city currently has roughly over 100 votes according to Mikey Wetzel, owner of Go Burrito restaurant, who pitched Salisbury to producers affiliated with the show. Wetzel’s goal is for the city to reach over 1,000 votes in order to help secure a place in one of the top 10 spots.

“Let’s put Salisbury on the map. This could draw in new residents,” Wetzel said.

According to Small Business Revolution’s website, the deadline for nominations and for those interested to submit their vote(s) is Oct. 22.

“They are going to announce the top 10 in November. We will not be chosen if people do not vote. If we can get 1,000 votes we could be chosen,” Wetzel said.

Wetzel said his wife told him about the show’s opportunity and he told others around town.

“Many people from the town have been aggressive, pushing it over email, in order to get 100 people to sign up. Apparently we got enough people to sign up that we have a shot at it,” Wetzel said. “I posted it to our followers on Go Burrito’s social media site, got 100 people to share it, and contacted county commissioners, local schools and the press, and it got a lot of traction.”

From there, Wetzel submitted an application to Deluxe, affiliated with the show, and listed Larissa Harper, executive director with Downtown Salisbury Inc. as the point of contact.

In his form, Wetzel was asked to include things such as how the Salisbury community would benefit from the revitalization and how the prize would serve as a great help.

Wetzel mentioned Bell Tower Green Park, the Empire Hotel renovations and several millions coming from federal grants in 2020.

“We will be able to redo our Main Street Theatre, this is a time now where we can make streetscape changes, widening sidewalks and also add different seating areas,” he said.

Wetzel said he continues to push for the word about the opportunity to continue to spread.

“If people put the word out, this will bring this to Salisbury,” he said.

After someone votes, they shouldn’t let stop there, they should make an effort to get 10 other people to vote in order to make the show pick Salisbury, Wetzel said.

Sue McHugh, a local resident, said she is thrilled for Salisbury to be in the running.

“The more people that can share it and promote it, the better we think our chances can be. If this were to come to fruition, it could be a boost to tourism, and a boost to small businesses,” she said.

Latoya Price, marketing and events coordinator for Downtown Salisbury Inc., said she believes the selection would be a wonderful addition to Salisbury.

“If selected this would be great for downtown Salisbury. This will serve as help with business plans and serve as an extra push for economic development for downtown,” she said.

Great things can happen, Price said.

“We are proud of the many achievements Salisbury government and many, many private resources have brought and continue to bring to the city, such as the Bell Tower Green Park, our coming Wallace Cancer Center, the preservation of the Historic Depot, and (many others),” said McHugh on behalf of the Salisbury Business Center in an email advertising the opportunity. “We know that with limited funding our hands are often tied to make much-needed and desired improvements.  What a boost this would be for our local economy and public perception of Salisbury.”

Small Business Revolution’s determining factor will be based on information received in the nomination essay or any other information they wish to consider or deem necessary to evaluate each nominated town.

Each entry is encouraged to express why they deserve a “small business revolution.”

Towns will be selected based on challenges faced by small businesses within their community, challenges faced by the town, and potential uses for and impact to be made by the Small Business Revolution Award.

Those interested may vote at: deluxe.com/small-business-revolution/main-street/season-five.

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