Wabash Basking in National Glow
The mayor of Wabash believes the city’s top honors in the nationwide Small Business Revolution on Main Street competition will have a long-term positive impact. Scott Long says the city has already taken on the kinds of projects organizers were looking for in a winner. The $500,000 "makeover" and small business support is expected to give a boost to the community of around 11,000. In addition to the national attention from Thursday’s announcement, Long says one of the hosts of ABC’s "Shark Tank" is expected to visit Wabash this month.
Long says a grassroots push on social media from state and local leaders, businesses and celebrities like country music singer Crystal Gayle, who grew up in Wabash, and Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee, who performed his comedy routine at the city’s Honeywell Center this year.
The competition was put together by Minnesota-based Deluxe Corp. (NYSE: DLX). It started with 10,000 community nominations, which were then reduced to two finalists by Deluxe. The company created videos promoting Wabash and competitor Silverton, Oregon and online balloting began. In all, more than 180,000 votes were cast and Wabash came out the winner.
Long says plans call for the company to be in Wabash in July working on projects, meeting with businesses and filming a show about the transformation that will air online in the fall.
Wabash, a 2014 Stellar Community winner, has been undergoing several revitalization projects already, including launching a $1.3 million facade grant program.
Long tells Inside INdiana Business the city has received an outpouring of support from inside and outside the state.