Camas in reality show’s ‘Top Six’

Public vote decides which town will be featured in ‘Small Business Revolution’ series

A group gathers inside Caffe Piccolo in Camas at 5:30 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12, to find out if Camas placed in top towns vying for a spot on “Small Business Revolution.” Contributed photo courtesy of Downtown Camas Association

Dawn Lott, of Camas, and her granddaughter, Makaylie VanDelden, of Washougal, participate in a #MyCamas promotional video, Friday, Feb. 8, for the web series, “Small Business Revolution – Main Street.” VanDelden said she loves Camas because of First Fridays and painted rocks hidden for children to find.

Terri Sauer, co-owner of the Camas Hotel, writes that she loves Camas because it is "a hidden gem," while Flowerpot Media Chief Executive Officer Laura Bakken looks on, Friday, Feb. 8, in Camas Gallery. Sauer was among the area residents and business owners videotaped for future promotional efforts of downtown Camas.

Camas is now one of six towns vying to be on Season 4 of the reality show “Small Business Revolution — Main Street,” which airs on Hulu.

Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington, the hosts of “Small Business Revolution,” announced the top six contenders at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) Tuesday. Dozens of Camas fans had gathered at 5:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) at Caffe Piccolo in downtown Camas to hear the news and see if the town’s #MyCamas campaign had paid off.

Brinkman and Pennington had a surprise before the announcement, though — instead of picking five towns to compete for public votes, be featured in Season 4 and win the $500,000 downtown business makeover, like they have in Seasons 1 through 3, the show’s executives had selected six towns for the final round.

“We are beside ourselves to be in the ‘Top Six,'” said Downtown Camas Association (DCA) Executive Director Carrie Schulstad Tuesday. “This is an incredible opportunity for all of us here in Camas to receive not just funding, but national exposure along with advice and mentorship from nationally renowned marketers.”

Camas is the only town on the West Coast in the running and will compete for public votes with Ca?on City, Colorado; Corsicana, Texas; Durant, Oklahoma; Searcy, Arkansas; and Washington, North Carolina.

“Getting to this point is always difficult. Every town deserves to have its time to shine,” the show producers said. “With each town nominated, we heard many of the same stories of struggle and success, but the common theme was that all these towns were proud of their small business communities and wanted to continue to bring awareness to the people and business owners who continue to keep their towns going, even through struggles.”

Camas has come a long way since the “Small Business Revolution” executives announced in November that the town was one of 20 finalists selected from more than 12,000 nominations. In mid-December, Camas made the show’s “Top 10” finalists, and show executives visited downtown Camas the first week of January to meet small business owners, local officials and excited #MyCamas fans.

Now, Schulstad said, the race to the top is in the hands of Camas supporters.

“The winning town receives a $500,000 investment, a starring role on the hit Hulu series and life-changing makeovers for six small businesses,” Schulstad said. “The pride Camas residents have in our town is one of the city’s best attributes, and we’re calling on people to display that pride by taking just a few moments every day for the next week to vote.”

Voting began Tuesday and will continue through 8 p.m. PST, Feb. 19. Camas fans can cast one vote per email address, per day, throughout the voting period. To vote, visit smallbusinessrevolution.org. For more information about Deluxe’s “Small Business Revolution” show, visit deluxe.com/sbrc/small-business-revolution

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