By PEYTON NEELY
Special to the News and Sentinel
MARIETTA, Ohio — Earlier this month, the City of Marietta was recognized as a semi-finalist in The Small Business Revolution on Main Street Contest.
Marietta is in the running with eight other towns in the United States to win a grant of $500,000 plus an eight-episode series on Hulu in 2017 featuring the local small businesses of Marietta.
“This opportunity means everything for Marietta and for us as Main Street,” said Cristie Thomas, executive director for Marietta Main Street. “Our community has worked tremendously hard to get to where we are today and we still have a long way to go.”
The Small Business Revolution was created in 2015 to share stories from small businesses across the country. In 2016, Small Business Revolution on Main Street was created to showcase different small businesses within communities across the U.S. with a short series on Hulu. The first winner was Wabash, Ind., which saw its city’s downtown transformed.
The city of Marietta was nominated by Laura Pytlik, owner of Wit and Whimzy on Front Street.
“It was an easy task to nominate Marietta,” she said.
Marietta was chosen for the shortlist among 14,000 applications. The next step for the Small Business Revolution is to visit the remaining eight cities and get a feel for their downtowns, local businesses, and the needs of the community.
Cities include Georgetown in South Carolina, Bristol Borough in Pennsylvania, Woodland Park in Colorado, Frostburg in Maryland, Red Wing in Minnesota, North Adams in Mississippi, and Kingsburg in California.
“The affirmation of being set apart from a long list of 14,000 to being shortlisted as one of eight is both humbling and encouraging of what we’ve always known to be true,” said Thomas. “Marietta is an incredibly special town, and the opportunity to win $500,000 and a full web series on Hulu will allow us to give our valued businesses a boost and to show off our community to the entire U.S.”
The Small Business Revolution will be in Marietta on Jan. 6, 2017, and visit business owners throughout that weekend. The finalists will be announced on Feb. 9 and after public voting, the winner will be announced on Feb. 16.
“It’s so wonderful to be a main street community,” said Sarah Arnold, vice president for Marietta Main Street. “We are a community with such wonderful welcoming people, thriving businesses, and the success story of the Peoples Bank Theatre. This is a huge deal.”
The $500,000 grant would be distributed between six businesses and additional downtown revitalization projects.
Anyone interested in getting involved can stay connected by following Marietta Main Street on Facebook and Instagram. Also, the team encourages people to come downtown on Jan. 6 to welcome the Small Business Revolution and consider promoting the weekend.
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