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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Visit Area-As part of the Small Business Revolution TV show, Amanda Brinkman of the Deluxe Corporation was at Enstrom Helicopter in Menominee on Thursday, Jan. 10 to promote small business. Top Photo-Amanda Brinkman meets with Diane Rose and Bridget Poquette of First Street Art Gallery to get insight on the area. Bottom left photo-Julie Primeaux of Happenstance in Menominee and Mary Beth Pearce of Trends & Traditions have their photo taken Brinkman. Bottom right photo-Amanda Brinkman speaks to the media.

Small Business Revolution Event Held At Enstrom Co.

Issue Date: January 16, 2019

"You already are winners," Amanda Brinkman TV host told the hundreds of local business people gathered at a "meet and greet" event on Thursday, Jan. 10 to welcome her and other members of the Small Business Resolution (SBR) team to the community.

"We're really moved by how much these communities have come together. Your unity could be an example to other areas," Brinkman said. We're impressed by the number of businesses that have come together, she added.

Large portions of the huge Enstrom Helicopter manufacturing facility in Menominee were cordoned off for the invitation-only event.

Over 150 members of the Marinette and Menominee High School marching bands, all dressed in grey shirts and dark trousers, lined up on each side of a two-sided stairway reaching to a platform at the second floor level of the high-ceilinged facility. Menominee High School Principal Mike Sweet said the two bands had spent several hours together practicing on Wednesday and Thursday prior to their first-ever joint performance.

Other entertainment included music by the West Shore Choral Group. One of their features was a "My Marinette and Menominee" jingle written for the occasion, which included the refrain, "nestled on the shore, with a river running through," to accurately describe the twin cities of Marinette and Menominee.

Brinkman commented the event, and the song, offered "an incredible example of what the Small Business Revolution is meant to do." She said Deluxe Corp has been working with small businesses for over 100 years, and wanted people to understand the importance of supporting small businesses in the community. "Ask yourselves, "How can we eat local? How can we shop local?'" she urged.

She said the SBR contest and events leading to the evening's event had provided momentum for the communities and the businesses to come together, and urged, "Don't lose that momentum...Carry it forward...Learn how to build on it, how to support each other!"

She said it is exciting to have people coming in from the outside to see that you have something special here...The list of small businesses that you love really warmed our hearts!"

Whether the Marinette/Menominee area makes it to the top five or not, the SBR team will be back on May 8 to offer marketing seminars for local business owners, and sign up sheets for those seminars were available.

Brinkman introduced Kim Brooks, director and co-owner of Wolfe Properties and Rusty Wolfe Studio in Marinette, and Keith Killen, owner of the M&M Plaza in Menominee, who spearheaded the Small Business Revolution efforts in Marinette and Menominee, and led the huge team of volunteers who helped propel the community into the Top Ten position. Brinkman noted that Killan and Brooks wrote the original nomination letter.

Brooks urged everyone in the cheering crowd to talk to their customers, friends and relatives, whether they live near or far away, and get them to use their on-line devices to vote "mymarinettemenominee" prior to the selection deadline.

Brinkman is Chief Brand and Communications Officer for Deluxe Corporation. In 2015 she founded the Small Business Revolution-Main Street reality Web-based series that is streamed on Hulu TV and online at https:/www.deluxe.com/small-business-revolution/ and is a competition of small towns vying to be featured on the series. The City chosen, or in our case community, will be featured on Season Four of SBR, Brinkman promised.

The nomination process was an online based social media campaign with Marinette/Menominee area businesses and residents posting on Facebook, Twitter and other media based options, posting positive vibes with what the area has to offer and why they believe the community should be the Season Four winner. By tagging #myMarinetteMenominee, all posts were cataloged for viewing by the SBR team.

During a press conference prior to the start of the meet and Greet event, Brinkman commented that her team had chosen Marinette-Menominee because they were moved by the two communities coming together. She said they should be an example to the rest of the country. Brinkman added that she and her team were very impressed by the unity shown in the community and the local small business owners helping to incentivize this unity.

She said in considering narrowing the selection from the Top Ten to the top Five SBR looks for the momentum behind the movement.

"If small town businesses care, the town can thrive," she declared. "We look for the sense and feel of the narrative of the town and your movement has the momentum and narrative other towns can relate to."

Intent of the SBR program is to create a momentum across the nation that stresses the importance of supporting small businesses whose owners support their own families, create jobs for others and provide something incredible for their community, Brinkman continued.

She said Deluxe looked for communities that were already working toward that goal, and found that the Marinette-Menominee community were among them. "The community already made those steps toward working together," Brinkman went on. "It was exciting to see how your community prepared for the competition and how it brought your community together at a whole new level. That is something that is the true prize. Your community is an incredible example of exactly what Small Business Revolution is meant to be. You guys are already winners."

No matter which of the Top Ten communities ends up in first place, all ten will have the experience and momentum to use and carry forward, Brinkman said.

Deluxe Corp focuses on providing marketing information, assistance and advice to small businesses,Brinkman said, and declared, "I believe in Marketing and how it can make a big difference in a business".

Brinkman stressed that all 10 finalists at this point should start planning for the next stage, "... because once we choose the selected top five, its pedal to the metal to get it done." Communities chosen for the top five will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and will then have one week to rally as many votes as they can to be the be featured in the next SBR Season. Make sure you have your devices and fingers ready to blast social media with #mymarinettemenominee posts.

Once the winning community has been identified, small businesses in it (or in this case, them) can apply to be on the show. Brinkman said there will be intense competition to choose the six businesses to be featured in Season Four episodes, but SBR/Deluxe will work with all businesses to help them grow and prosper. The $500,000 will be split between the community and the selected small businesses in it.

"No matter who wins, the real secret is seeing the community come together and I am honored and blessed to be part of seeing this happen. SBR is all about a movement and support for small businesses in a community and at the end of the day, it is really about the overall movement created."

She said all 10 communities on the Top Ten list are finding themselves coming together in ways they didn't think could happen.

Brinkman and her Deluxe Corp Team from the Small Business Revolution-Main Street on-line TV series spent Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday in the area, visiting businesses, talking with their customers, and in general getting a feeling for the community.

The Marinette and Menominee area, with Peshtigo included, has been selected as a community as one of the 10 cities from across the nation that were chosen from other 12,000 nominees to remain contenders for this year's $500,000 prize and an opportunity to be featured on the Deluxe Corp's Small Business Revolution-Main Street on-line TV series.

Food and beverages from nearly 20 local restaurants, bars, stores and delis were offered to those who attended the event. Variety was equivalent to a taste of Marinette and Menominee, with everything from sushi to subs to pizza to Upper Michigan pasties and numerous locally made sweet treats.


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