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Red Wing a finalist in Small Business Revolution

Patty Brown

RED WING — Start voting, Red Wing. You're in the top five.

After more than two months of waiting, Red Wing has made the top five communities in the Small Business Revolution contest. To claim the top spot — and the $500,00 prize to help small businesses in Red Wing — the city needs votes to beat out the other finalists.

"This becomes a popularity contest, and we need everyone to vote, multiple times per day, for one week," said Patty Brown, executive director of the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce, in an obvious call for ballot stuffing.

A film crew spent Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 documenting the small business community in Red Wing. That documentary — along with films on the other finalists, Bristol Borough, Pa., Georgetown, S.C., Kingsburg, Calif., and North Adams, Mass. — will be available for viewing for unbiased voters through the voting period.

Not that the community wants to leave Red Wing's fate to chance. For example, the Red Wing Public Library plans to set the home screen on its computers to the voting page. The city is looking to get the schools involved in voting as well, according to a memo passed among small business owners.


"We are so excited that Red Wing has made it into the top five finalists," Brown said. "We've got so many great things going, but this grant will give us the extra push for our businesses to do things that are really needed to keep them sustainable and growing into the future."

Voting began the moment the announcement was made today at 6 a.m. on the Small Business Revolution website and continues through 8 p.m. Feb. 16. Deluxe Corp., which is sponsoring the competition, will provide voting updates on both Sunday and Tuesday. The winner will be announced at 1 p.m. Feb. 22 online.

Don Kliewer, general manager of Q Media Group, which owns radio stations KWNG FM and KCUE AM & FM among others, is posting a banner on its website so visitors can click to the voting site. "I would say the business community is pretty excited about the opportunity to be in the top five," Kliewer said before the announcement. "Let's hope for the best."

While the $500,000 would certainly help small businesses in Red Wing, the attention the city has received from the contest has been a huge boon as well.

"The added publicity ... will have a significant impact and will put Red Wing on the map when businesses are contemplating the location for their next business venture," Brown said. "We love the video they produced about our community, and we think it will attract other businesses to come to the area."

If you want to vote for Red Wing, or any of the other finalists, in the Small Business Revolution contest, visit  http://smallbusinessrevolution.org/main-street/season-two/  


01 Red Wing Film.jpg
A cameraman records an interview between Amanda Brinkman of Deluxe Corp., third from right, and Andrew Petersen, right, at Petersen's Red Wing Bicycle Co. and Outfitters in this Dec. 1 file photo. The film was part of Red Wing's entry in the Small Business Revolution contest, in which Red Wing was named one of the five finalists today.

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