The voters have spoken: Bristol Borough will be the town featured in season 2 of the Small Business Revolution documentary series.
Along with time in the national spotlight, the town will also receive around $500,000 in revitalization grant money.
The Small Business Revolution made the announcement live via Facebook. In Bristol, the message was projected from the stage at the Bristol Riverside Theater to a packed auditorium.
“This contest has awoken a sleeping giant and filled it with resolve,” said Bill Pezza, President of the Raising the Bar Committee, moments before the announcement.
“We do the best we can here, and nothing’s going to hold us back.”
The announcement came after month of pitching, campaigning and voting: Bristol first made the final 8 cut of towns from 14,000 nominations.
After a two-day visit from a film crew and the show’s creator and on-air personality, Amanda Brinkman, Bristol entered a public voting round with five other cities around the country.
To win, the town needed to garner the most online votes over a week earlier this month. Residents did so by campaigning even before the finalists were announced, and “worked their networks” to get as many out-of-town votes as possible.
The gambit paid off: Bristol won, and host Amanda Brinkman showed up in person to announce it.
The entire campaign, as many have said leading up to the announcement, was truly a community effort that brought the town together as it’s never been before.
At the Bristol Riverside Theatre, that was voiced by community volunteer Craig Whitaker.
“We will never forget this time in our lives,” he said.