Camas’ reality show dreams dashed

‘Small Business Revolution’ host reveals college town in Arkansas will be featured in fourth season

Signs like this one, welcoming the crew from Deluxe's "Small Business Revolution -- Main Street" show hang throughout Camas, which was one of six towns in the race for a featured spot on the show's fourth season. Camas supporters found out Tuesday, Feb. 26, that they had not won the contest, and that the next season will feature Searcy, Ark., instead.

Camas will not be featured in the fourth season of the “Small Business Revolution — Main Street” reality show, which airs on Hulu.

After months of promotions, excitement and online voting, supporters of the “MyCamas” movement, aimed at getting Camas the No. 1 spot on “Small Business Revolution” and winning the town a $500,000 business makeover, gathered in Camas’ historic Liberty Theatre Tuesday to hear if their dreams had come true.

But it was not to be.

Amanda Brinkman, the host of “Small Business Revolution — Main Street,” announced that Searcy, Arkansas, a college town with about 24,000 residents, had won the online vote and would be the recipient of the $500,000 makeover and featured city in the show’s fourth season.

Although there were a few groans in the theater, most of the MyCamas supporters who had come to hear the announcement simply clapped politely when the hosts announced Searcy as the winning town.

Downtown Camas Association (DCA) Executive Director Carrie Schulstad said MyCamas enthusiasts could watch the show and see the transformation of Searcy’s “amazing businesses.”

When Camas made the top six in the running for the show, Schulstad said winning the “Small Business Revolution” contest would have been “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.”

Representatives from Deluxe, the marketing company behind “Small Business Revolution — Main Street,” will offer a free marketing seminar to businesses in each of the “top 10” towns.

Camas was the only town on the West Coast in the running and was competing with Searcy, as well as Canon City, Colorado; Corsicana, Texas; Durant, Oklahoma; and Washington, North Carolina.

All of the supporters backing the top six towns should be “extremely proud,” Brinkman said in her online announcement on Tuesday before divulging the winner. “Voting was bananas this season, with 1.6 million votes. And you were on fire on social media with 200 million impressions.”

Camas had 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. On Feb. 12, the city’s fans found out Camas was one of the top six contenders.

For more information about Deluxe’s “Small Business Revolution — Main Street” show, visit deluxe.com/sbrc/small-business-revolution.

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