The Small Business Revolution

Penelope Tubaugh, Geyser Staff Writer

All through the month of January the local “buzz” was Livingston being nominated as a top five town for Season 5 of the Small Business Revolution web series.The winner was recently determined by a voting process online and were to receive $500,000 upon winning. This money was to be put back into six of the local businesses to help build revenue and boost our economy. Unfortunately, Livingston fell short and was beat by small town Fredonia, New York.

The whole nomination and voting process last month has brought many positives and negatives to light in our small town. 

We don’t know exactly which businesses would have benefited from this win, but it would have been focused towards downtown. They would have received a major marketing makeover in hopes of generating more business for all of downtown. On the Small Business Revolution website they stated,  “We are on a mission to revitalize small towns, one small business at a time.” Many people were very hopeful of how this could affect our town and voted as much as they could to give us this extra push. 

However, there seemed to be another group of people, even some local business owners, who found the process problematic.  When you look at the size of our town compared to the others that were in the running to win such as Fredonia, we were by far the smallest population. This subsequently meant that there really was no way we could have won, since it was based solely off the number of votes.

Jordan Aller, co-owner of the Spurline, a feed and tack store in Livingston, shared her opinion on this. “One of the biggest struggles of a business in Livingston is how to get the word out and advertise. We have a large elderly population that isn’t on a computer at all. And we also have a high percent of people that came here to hide so they don’t have emails or Facebook.”  

Despite the low possibility of us winning, the community really came together to support and encourage. There was a screening of the winner announcement held at the Shane Center, which many people attended. Livingston has already gained some publicity from this which will hopefully be beneficial in the long run. This event has seemed to boost the morale of our small town and really make us rally around our local businesses, which seems to be of growing importance as online shopping becomes more common.