Searcy, Arkansas has officially won the Small Business Revolution after being in the top 6 cities after in the competition to be featured on the Hulu television series. The Arkansas town went toe-to-toe against Camas, Washington; Cañon City, Colorado; Corsicana, Texas; Durant, Oklahoma; and Washington, North Carolina. Searcy will be featured in the show’s fourth season and $500,000 will be donated to six different businesses in the city.
“It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been a fantastic experience. Seeing not just this community, but the whole state and those around the nation pull together,” says Mat Faulkner, president of Think Idea Studio, who submitted Searcy’s nomination for the competition. “It’s just been a great experience of unity and excitement and I think that it will propel our progress much quicker than we were going to have it without this experience.”
Harding University hosted a watch party in Harding University Benson Auditorium earlier tonight to announce the competition winner. Previous watch parties were held in the Searcy Rialto Theater, however Faulkner says that they expected a larger crowd so the event was moved. The watch party was live streamed on Facebook and several Searcy figures spoke including Harding president Dr. Bruce McLarty, Searcy Mayor Kyle Osborne, Mitchell Center director Dr. Andrew Baker, Mat Faulkner and Main Street Searcy director Amy Burton.
“It’s important for the community and the state to really contemplate what can be accomplished when an event like this can bring people together and build such momentum and excitement,” says Faulkner. “To me this is just a gift that’s been given to the city of Searcy even the state of Arkansas.”
Faulkner says that Searcy has already seen an economic impact thanks to the publicity from the competition.
“We heard some feedback from Dalrymple Commercial, one of the commercial real estate companies here, (saying) that there are companies currently looking at Searcy that would not generally consider a town with a population size that we have, but just because they see the excitement and the moment that this community has, they’re looking at potentially locating here,” says Faulkner.
Faulkner says that the town is expecting to grow in the next two years what they had previously expected to grow in 10 years thanks to the competition.
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