Congratulations to Bristol Borough, PA for their winning of Small Business Revolution!

 

Here’s the article from Bucks County Courier Times:

The crowd gathered in the Bristol Riverside Theatre on Wednesday afternoon knew that Bristol Borough was the winner of the Small Business Revolution contest even before it was announced. When Amanda Brinkman, brand officer for contest sponsor Deluxe Corp., stepped onto the stage next to a video of herself on a big screen, the more than 200 people roared. Bill Pezza, who led the charge to get people to vote for the riverfront borough, said he knew before that.

“It’s incredible,” the borough’s police chief, Steven Henry, said above the shouts of triumph inside the theater on Radcliffe Street. “It shows the strength of this community.”

Susan Atkinson, a theater board trustee, said: “It’s such a wonderful recognition of the passion of the town. I can’t believe we won.”

Brinkman told the crowd that almost 1 million votes were cast in the contest, but she didn’t break down the numbers that put Bristol over the top.

Bristol had the lead for most of the voting period, which ended Feb. 16, she said, but the four other finalist towns had been nipping at its heels. Red Wing, Minnesota, with 16,500 residents compared to Bristol’s 9,500, shot to the top briefly and, on the last day of voting, the lead changed three times, she said.

The prize: $500,000 in marketing services and a Small Business Revolution video series about the town with help from Robert Herjavec of the TV show “Shark Tank.” The series will focus on how the borough and its individual businesses are improving with the help of Deluxe’s marketing team. In season one last year, the first winner, Wabash, Indiana, was featured in an eight-part series of internet films.

“The entire thing is decided by and driven by Deluxe,” Pezza said, adding that Raising the Bar will try to facilitate Deluxe’s services.

 Deluxe, based in Shoreview, Minnesota, is known for its financial assistance and related financial and business marketing services. Its website states that the $1.6 billion company has contributed millions of dollars in grants to communities across the nation and its employees have donated many volunteer hours to community causes.

Bristol will now be added to that list.

Pezza was all smiles Wednesday and reveling in the achievement. Just a day before, he had said that he kept thinking of the late President Theodore Roosevelt and his speech called “The Man in the Arena.” Paraphrasing, he highlighted a passage stating that those who try to do great things either “see the triumph of high achievement … or at least … dared greatly.”

Bristol did dare greatly. There were 14,000 nominations cast for approximately 3,500 towns when the contest began in the fall. Bristol received more than 100 nominations, to become one of eight semifinalists and earn a visit from Deluxe employees to check out the town and create a video about it. Then on Feb. 9, the borough was named one of five finalists. That’s when the voting began and Bristol pulled out all the stops to gather the votes needed in the next week to make the win a reality. There was a pep rally, and tickets showing how to vote were handed out to patrons at the Bristol theater and many businesses throughout town.

Supporters also took their campaign for votes to their workplaces, schools, churches and clubs. Grundy Library even stayed open late on Thursday night, the last night of voting, so that residents who don’t have home computers could cast their votes.

“We gave it our absolute best,” Pezza said.