#myfredonia: What’s next

Applications underway for show

Grace Czechowski (right), who nominated Fredonia for “Small Business Revolution,” is greeted by the program’s host, Amanda Brinkman, Tuesday night at the Fredonia Opera House rally announcing Fredonia as the subject for Season 5 of the show. At left is the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce’s Todd Tranum. OBSERVER Photo by Natasha Matteliano.

The winner of the Small Business Revolution, the village of Fredonia will be featured on season five of the Deluxe original series, which airs on Hulu and Amazon Prime. “The critical thing right now is for Fredonia businesses to go to votemyfredonia.com and access the application to receive part of the $500,000 revitalization money and be featured on the show,” said Todd Tranum, president and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.

Applications will be accepted now until midnight Monday, Feb. 3. Businesses or non-profits must be within the 14063 Fredonia zip code. “It can be a home-based business,” Tranum added. “If a business is in the process of securing their incorporation — maybe they’re a start-up operation and have not yet formally incorporated — they can still apply.”

Prospective applicants should be prepared to submit photos from their business, including a picture of the owner and employee team and interior and exterior photos of the business. While photos are required, videos are not but recommended, according to Tranum. Videos should include an overview of the business, as well as general challenges, specific challenges with marketing, and an explanation of how the SBR’s support could make a difference in the business and the greater community.

From Feb. 4 through 7, the SBR team from Deluxe will review applicants, and on Feb. 10, a short list of applicants will be contacted by the SBR team. From Feb. 18 through 20, the team will conduct one-hour video “pitch your business” in-person interviews with short-listed applicants. On Feb. 20, the team will make the final selection of six businesses to be featured on the show. On March 1, filming in Fredonia begins.

“We’re so excited to welcome the Deluxe Corporation and SBR to Fredonia,” Tranum told the OBSERVER. “It certainly is going to be a great opportunity for Fredonia — great exposure for the whole community.”

Tranum noted that while the $500,000 of revitalization will help many businesses, Fredonia’s victory is very likely to spur private investments in the community, too. “The exposure and the marketing will draw interest from others to invest,” he explained. “The really important thing here is the momentum: The spirit of the community can be harnessed to take on a lot of challenges as well as opportunities. This is a chance for us to do a lot of good and to continue to work together.”

Tranum, on behalf of the chamber, is grateful to the community for its support in terms of voting, social media, financial support, prize donations and the rallies held at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. He also recognized the media for keeping “Vote My Fredonia” visible for the duration of the competition. “I would like to thank the OBSERVER and Publisher John D’Agostino,” he said. “We couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of local and regional media.”

He added that there were approximately 6,000 communities nominated for the SBR at the start of the competition but that Fredonia is the first community in New York to be featured on the show. “I’m sure there were many other New York and northeast communities nominated,” said Tranum. “Fredonia should be very proud: proud of their community and proud of how they rallied to make this happen.”

For more details on the SBR, including the SBR application, visit votemyfredonia.com. Prospective applicants with questions can contact the chamber’s Dunkirk office at 366-6200.