Community Unites in ‘Alton Finale’ | Small Business Revolution – Main Street: S3E8

Community Unites in ‘Alton Finale’  | Small Business Revolution – Main Street: S3E8


(peaceful music) – [Amanda] It has been
six incredible months working with and being a part of Alton. We learned so much from you. At a time when our country
could not be more divided on more issues, Alton can be the example. It can prove that when communities work to remove those barriers,
to remove the division, change can happen. When it comes to division,
unless you keep your foot on the gas, keep making
sure everyone has an equal seat at the table, and the status quo will reassert itself. And here’s the thing
about that status quo, it’s not good enough. That’s why you all voted for the Small Business Revolution to come here. Because you knew that this was a special and beautiful place,
and it could be better. (cheering) – [Audience] Thank you! – [Narrator] Small
towns across the country are fighting for their survival with the odds stacked against them. But what happens if we join that fight? If we dedicate a little money, a lot of experience, and
thousands of hours of work into one small town,
focusing on the businesses at the heart of their Main Street? What started as an idea,
became a national movement, with over 30,000 towns nominated
for the $500,000 makeover, and more than one million
votes cast for the winner. – Good evening Alton, Illinois,
how is everybody tonight? (cheering) – [Narrator] Now in our
third season, the team is taking on its biggest challenge ever. The town is three times bigger
than any we’ve helped before. And the hurdles Alton
faces will put to the test the very idea of Main Street America. So Amanda Brinkman and her team of marketing experts at Deluxe are going to work for the
people of Alton, Illinois. And they’re not alone. New season three co-host Ty Pennington will be working with
the team to rehabilitate the town’s buildings while
a whole cast of experts rehabilitate its businesses. Every episode we’ll be working
with a new small business to see if we can change the odds, if together, we can start a revolution. – [Amanda] When Alton won the
Small Business Revolution, we knew we were heading
into uncharted territory. This is by far the biggest town
we have ever tried to help. Three times bigger than
Bristol Borough or Wabash. And our entire six months
here has been an exercise in learning on the fly. We chose Alton as a finalist
because of the people, the river, the burgeoning
small business community. But it wasn’t until they won the contest, that we started to understand how rich and unique the history here was. – [Brett] Civil War history
is huge here in Alton, and people don’t expect that. Alton was home to the seventh and final Lincoln and Douglas debate. – Alton was an Underground
Railroad community. They not only came from Missouri, they came from Louisiana,
Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee. Just proficient, you know, with the fact that this was a center for slave catchers. – We are actually right on the line of free state versus slave state. And of course those lines weren’t firm, you know they were blurred. – [Amanda] And the more
Altonians we talked too, the more we realized just how much Alton’s present has been shaped
by that complicated past. – Alton was a city that didn’t
grow through urban planning. It grew through annexations. Upper Alton used to be
its own city, for example, so they have their own business district. – [Brett] You’ve got so many
different pockets of downtowns or different strips of commerce, it’s a challenge for us to
blend everything together. – I don’t think we take full advantage of the diversity that we have. – [Robin] We tend to self segregate, that’s a natural phenomena in the world. – [Amanda] But it wasn’t
until we started working with our six businesses that
we really came to understand just how distinctive all
of these neighborhoods and districts were. From Bluff City Outdoors,
we learned there’s a whole segment of Alton that makes their living, and spends their life on the river. – If everybody pick up a pole
and throw it in the water it’d be a very peaceful world. – [Amanda] Lovett’s and
Shampooches introduced us to Upper Alton, an up
and coming neighborhood that’s working it’s way
back from some hard brakes. – See downtown get a lot of attention, but then when they ride through here, it’s like, man this, okay, alright, it is another part of Alton. – [Amanda] Morrison’s
and Lighthouse Sounds showed us that with a downtown
as special as Alton’s, small town businesses
can draw in customers from far beyond the city limits. – Saint Louis fans come across the river, I’ve been trying to get
a following over here, because it’s such a nice place to play. – [Amanda] And Today’s
Beauty Supply taught us that Main Street is more
than just a place on the map. – This neighborhood is low income, but there’s great things
and there’s great people that’s embedded in this community. – [Amanda] Every one
of these neighborhoods presents a unique set of opportunities, but the one challenge they all share, is that nobody feels like the areas are as cohesive as they could be. So as we bring Ty in to start thinking about structural renovations, that has to be our guiding principal. What can we do to make Alton, which has so many
different things to offer, feel more like one town. And how can the small business community, help bring everyone together. – Personally, I would rather live here than I would live in just
a suburb of Saint Louis. There’s an allure there. – We really do have the
best of both worlds here. I mean 20 minute drive
and you’re in the middle of the forest and 20 minutes that way and you’re in the middle of
a major metropolitan city. – [Ty] There’s sports events
and everything which is, yeah. – Okay, so let’s talk a
little bit about kind of, the physical improvements
of the downtowns. What do you guys feel like
Alton needs most of all? – For me, street scapes are great. You know those kind of monuments
or lights over 3rd street that would really make that place dazzle. – [Brett] We need those markers that really tie it all together. – Continuity is really what we’re after, so that people know
that there is something, if I keep walking down the block, there’s something to explore. – Especially Upper Alton,
we need something there that says Welcome to
Alton, it would just look a little bit better than, it can showcase our mom and pop places there. – Absolutely, just something
that extends the eye to create this really beautiful visual of a main street all the way down. – Yeah there’s enough talent here, I think we can do whatever
we all come up with together. Everybody wants to help, and we saw that through the voting process. – What I love is, is we
got a little bit of input from all of you in
different parts of Alton, which make up the whole. And I think the entire
town’s gonna benefit, because that’s gonna just cause a buzz that’s gonna spread throughout the town. – Absolutely. – What makes their community
strong is the people that you buy a drink
from at the local bar, your favorite restaurant,
the people that you drop your pet off that they’re
giving a grooming, the people that supply
you when you go fishing. It’s all those little bitty businesses that really connect you to your community. – We had three steel mills here, we had the glass works here, as all that’s moved out,
the small businesses are what’s gonna bring us back. And I think it’s gonna take
us all workin together, uptown, downtown, little Mexico, pie town, it’s gonna take all these
little areas workin together to help bring Alton back. – [Amanda] Bringing Alton
back, that’s everyone’s goal. But how do we best spend
our time and resources to help the town’s small
businesses get there. Half a million dollars goes pretty quickly when you spread it over 30,000 people in six distinctive districts. We’re calling in an old friend to help answer those questions. One of the chief architects
of season one winner Wabash, Indiana’s
resurgence, Christine Flohr. And as always with Christine, it’s up to the rest of us to keep up. – One of the things that
we found interesting was if you look at one of
these economic impact reports, you can see local business
retail was up 7.4% from the previous year, and
this was a direct result from the impact of Small
Business Revolution, because we learned that we need to pay attention to branding. We as a community work really
closely with our town leaders to create a brand of
who we are collectively. So as we were putting directional signage, there’s a story that comes together. You see a cohesive message. – We worked with consultants
a couple of times to try to work through
what Alton’s brand is, and what I really clearly
understand is it’s not a logo, it’s not a slogan, but what is it? – It’s the river, it’s the
scenery, it’s the history. It is the people. We’re realizing more and
more it’s all these different walks of life that we have
combined here in Alton and how together the sense of community is turning into a sense of place. – Also I believe the
sense of people knownin that when we say our
Alton, it really identifies and resonates with people,
that it is really our Alton. So that made them actually
being able to have a say of what their business look like, their community looks like
right there in their areas. – I agree, because we want to try and find kinda that unifying Alton brand. And try to get everyone’s
feedback on does that feel inclusive enough, does that feel like that represents what the whole town needs. The work in Alton falls
into two major categories, physical improvements and
building the town’s brand. They both share a common
goal, to bring Alton together. – The team at Deluxe will tackle the brand and marketing work, and we’ll hire Alton based contractors for renovations. On all of these business, we’ll be leaning on the town leaders to guide the process, and oh yeah, we’ve got a deadline. The grand finale is just
a few short months away. – [Elizabeth] Now is the time for them, they have so much momentum, with the way they turned out behind the My Alton
campaign during voting. The community is coming
together and it’s now our Alton. – They have a couple different
things that we can draw out if we’re trying to help them
think through their branding. But there’s not like, one thing right now that Alton is known for. – I really respect that
they’ve got such reverence for their history, but I
feel like they’re missing out on who are they now. – [Amanda] Sometimes
it’s an older demographic that’s drawn to the
small town charm, right? But in Alton they’ve got it going on, at Bubby and Sissy’s
you’ve got a drag show, you’ve got a kick ass Irish bar. – [Elizabeth] Everything that you’d want from a major metro area,
but that smaller footprint and an easier way of life. – A small town for the next
generation, can we coin that? – And then there’s other personas too, now that we’re talkin about it. Like the Bluff City Outdoors experience, you can go fishing for the day, I mean it’s no wonder
they’ve had a hard time boiling down to that one thing. Maybe there’s a way to
talk about the variety, but put it under one
cleanly distilled message. – You can do it all in Alton. – Oh, that’s good.
– I like that. – You can do a ton in Alton. (laughing) – But I do, I love that idea of like helping people discover all the different avenues there are, I mean,
they started out as my Alton. They really embrace it as our Alton, and we can help them kind of sell it as, what is your Alton? Back in town, the
construction is underway. And the decision to hire
local is already paying off. – The challenge we have is
that, in a community this size, doing all this stuff
is kinda beyond dollars we’re able to do. What’s been remarkable is
that, the construction folks who we’ve reached out to are
just going over and above. Not only are they giving us a great deal, they’re also donating a lot more time, so that will really help. – I mean the amount of
people coming together, the things that are getting done that haven’t been done in 20 years, it’s really just amazing. We live here, our kids
are growing up here, and we know what it’s like
to be a small business. It’s really important
that this town succeeds, and anything we can do to help that, you know, we really want
to come through to do. – [Cameron] One of the
things they do want, was illuminating 3rd and State. It’s kind of their restaurant row, so we’re looking into
paying for Edison lights that will go across that whole street. We’re doing a mural, which you can see coming off of the Clark Bridge. – What’s taking place right
now is, the energy of unity. It’s just electric. You feel it in the air, you
feel it on social media. – Everybody pulling
together and being a part of this building process. – I’ve probably talked
to more business owners in the past two weeks than I
have in the last two years. – Neighborhood to
neighborhood you can feel the town coming together. And at the creative lab,
we’re working to make sure that you can see that unity when you’re walking down the street. – So they actually have,
I think, 139 banner poles. But I think we could
update these a little bit from a branding stand point. – The look of these, makes it feel dated. We want that modern take of
presenting their history. – If we come up with one template, but then put you know,
historic downtown Alton, historic upper Alton, you know, give some continuity but
then give specificity to the different areas that really have their own flavor and their own culture. – [Amanda] It’s a sprint pulling all of these elements together. But we get to draw energy
from the people of Alton, who are constantly looking for new ways to support their small business community. – We created a photo
album on our Facebook page called the #ouralton profiles and we asked that any business in town submit a photo of the business owner and a synopsis of what they do and what they hope to become so we can really start
introducing the community of Alton to the human beings that
actually run these businesses. – That’s absolutely,
– Fantastic. – That’s awesome. Social media traffic is
huge, but you always want to try to drive people
to your website as well. It’s the best opportunity
to present yourself exactly how you want to be seen. VisitAlton.com is a great site, but there are some things
that we can do to improve it. Things like interactive maps
rather than PDFs of maps. – Oh an interactive map would be great. – Yeah, and search
engines can’t read a PDF so it’ll be helpful for
their search rankings too. There’s also sites like TripAdvisor, where I saw a lot of
Alton’s top 10 attractions are not heading back to
VisitAlton, so I think we can help clean up
some of those listings, and get people to the
content on visitalton.com. – I don’t know how you
can put a dollar value on the amount of recognition
that we’re getting. The Saint Louis chamber
of commerce has been here, a congressman stopped in. – I mean I saw people out with maps the other day on Broadway, when’s the last time you
saw that in Alton, you know? – [Mary] There seems to be a real sense of community everywhere. – Hopefully that’ll just
ripple out and we can show that this can be a destination again. – If you have to be mayor
of any city in the country, I’m sure there would be a lot of mayors that would trade places with me right now. – Everything feels like
it’s coming together, but we’ve been doing most
of our work from afar. Relying on the town for
updates and direction on the progress in Alton. So I want to head back to town to check in with Sara, Brett and
Jason, and get an honest state of the revolutions. – So how are we feeling
about the list ahead of us, are we feeling like we
can get this done in time? – I would say, managing
of so many moving parts has been definitely challenging. A lot of these bodies that give permission only meet once a month,
or maybe twice a month. So we’re having to call
specialty sessions, exactly, yeah to get this pushed through. – Do you feel like all
of the neighborhoods and sections of Alton have been
represented in the process, or have we missed something? – It feels like it to me, absolutely. – Good. – I think I would agree on that too. As a whole I think the
residents of the town all feel really, really, really
energized and involved in it. – Okay. – Um. – You don’t have to say yes. – Okay, good, so no. (nervous laughing) Just like, when I go down Central, that’s not been
represented here, you know. We do want to take this energy,
we want to build from it, but just being truthfully
honest, we have been overlooked. Really the part that we
have to do, as a town, as a community, we have to start getting more involved within, you know. We want to touch the easy parts, we want to touch the parts that, you know, we can just put a little
love here, and that’s great. But there’s some places that you’re not gonna see an instant return because it’s been neglected for so long. You know how many dreamers, you
know how many entrepreneurs, you have to harness, there’s nothing else other than giving these people hope. It would change the world for some people. – [Amanda] Everyone’s goal
from the start had been to keep the whole town included, but the process fell short. And the scariest part was,
it’s not like there was some ill intentioned group conspiring to leave Central Avenue out. We’d asked the city how
we could help improve their small business districts, and Central had always been classified as a residential area. – Alton’s a, it’s a neat little community. On the other side, there’s always been that racial divide here. And a lot of people don’t
like to talk about it. But when you just sit on those thoughts and those feelings that you
have, well nobody changes. People have to be willin to talk. – If something happens downtown and it doesn’t happen uptown, the uptown are up in arms about it. If something happens uptown,
then downtown’s jealous. And I kind of hate that, because no matter where it’s happening in Alton,
it’s happening for Alton. – We just need to come
together, that’s it. But that’s hard. – [Amanda] We have to make sure
Central Avenue is included. But we need guidance on
the right way to do that. We’ve always believed that if you want to get to know a town, get
to know its small businesses. So we’re turning to the man who’s business brought us to Central in the
first place, Benjamin Golley. – Everything takes
time, and you don’t know what you don’t know. And when you do something
and you have honest integrity behind it, then that’s
what really matters. You know, you’ve poured your heart out, and you want to make sure that you do the best for our community. And I can sense that. – We have to be the ones
that change the narrative, and that kinda like the reason I spoke up. And I believe that intentions are pure, not only from your part, but
from the other individuals who say who should be at the table, but at some point, the
narrative has to change of who they’re used to being at the table. – So you know, I think Central
originally wasn’t on the list because it’s not currently looked at as a business district, so we kinda wanted to get your thoughts on, is
there something we could do for Central Avenue that
pays tribute to the fact that there are businesses there and to encourage other
businesses to open there. And that it’s seen as a business district. – If there’s an opportunity to maybe meet some of the other business
owners in that neighborhood, in that community, letting
people know that you want to engage with them, that
you want to talk to them. A lot of times in our neighborhood,
because of the stigma, people are afraid to come and
just even have conversation to see who’s there. I think they would welcome
some of the conversations and share some of their
stories of their lives. – Well I mean, do we need
to think about things, even like the town celebration. In a few weeks we’re all
gonna gather, we’re gonna celebrate this entire process together, I mean, does the entire
community feel welcome to that? – Well what I’ve seen is that
it’s at the amphitheater. With the amphitheater,
throughout the years here, with the type of bands and
things that they bring, it hasn’t been a diverse crowd. Everybody doesn’t listen to bluegrass, everybody doesn’t listen to country. Everybody doesn’t listen to rock n roll, so everybody goes to their
own respective corners. – And has their own parties, I mean, even that, that was even
your instinct, right? – Yes. – And you’re a very inclusive guy, so I feel like that’s a miss. – You guys are doing amazing things, and you have already shined a bright light on Alton and the community as a whole, so don’t think negative
about anything that you guys have done, because that’s
not how I perceive it. – [Amanda] Is there a way
to like incorporate a DJ throughout the night at the finale so it feels more inclusive? – [Sara] Yeah you could
definitely do that. It’s in between two sets of a band. I’m sure that’ll work out fine. – [Benjamin] I’m pretty
sure I can get a DJ to come who would be
looking for an opportunity to be seen and would drive people there. – [Brett] If there are updates, we control the amphitheater’s website, so we can put in updates to music
or any of that stuff. Anyway, I’m on board. – [Amanda] With less than two weeks to go, it remains to be seen whether or not we can turn this finale
event into something that truly represents all of Alton. But we’ve got all the
right people working on it, and working together. (country music) – This is it, our final week
in Alton, and everybody’s here. Ty is touring the town while contractors apply finishing touches. The Deluxe team is arriving in force, and I’m starting my week
by presenting Brett, president of the area’s tourism bureau, with some of the town’s
new marketing materials. One place that we felt like there was an opportunity is logos. There was multiple
different logos out there. In many cases people were
actually using the city seal. – Yeah, the refresh is much needed. – [Amanda] So this is where we landed. Having the two different water streams was a really important way to talk about the confluence of the
rivers coming together right here in Alton. And so it’s a subtle nod to unity. – Couldn’t agree more. This’ll keep us fresh and contemporary. – [Amanda] Outside at 3rd and State, Sara, Cam and Ty are checking out Alton’s street banners, where the new logo is already in action. – [Sara] I just absolutely
love how it says downtown, or north, or upper. – Yeah, having these
banners, it just shows no matter where you are, if
you’ve got a small business and there’s a couple others,
that’s a Main Street. – That’s cool, they
turned out awesome too. – [Amanda] We also added
some banners around the fact that you guys have won the
Small Business Revolution. That’s a really great accolade. – And I think it also
helps lift civic pride. Helps remind us that Alton is special. – [Sara] The flowers look amazing. – This was one of the things they said, we don’t want any of the banners here because we’ve already
got these great flowers. And we said, well let’s find a solution. – We thought, go ahead
and create new brackets so that it’s consistent across, but each still has it’s own flavor. – But then to see the
awning, are you kidding me, with the new logo on Lovett’s. This town has literally been made over. It’s incredible. That’s awesome. – There’s this really beautiful editorial in your paper about how
it’s gone from my Alton to our Alton, and so then we
wanted to make it your Alton. Because there’s so many
different things to do here, your river, shopping, the history. – This is where the party happens, right? – Exactly, there’s about a dozen bars and restaurants within
walking distance right here. – It’s amazing how festive
just running lights back and forth on the street. – Absolutely, I was out here last night and everybody was outside of the bars just on the street, on the
sidewalk, just looking around. – [Ty] Was that like late
night research you were doing? – [Sara] Thursday nights
are a thing in Alton. – [Ty] It’s a thing! – [Sara] Yes, the weekend
begins on Thursday. – [Amanda] We’re hoping to
provide the city of Alton with the tools it needs to
support its small businesses. But we also want to support its small business owners directly. So the Deluxe team is hosting seminars and one on one consulting sessions for the town’s current and
aspiring entrepreneurs. – I run the part of
Deluxe that looks after the most important people in the world, the small businesses. We know it’s hard, and
what we’re really trying to do here is help you be more successful. Small business revolution,
guys, this ball, when this rolls out, you’re gonna get a lot of people coming to Alton. – It’s very important that
Google loves your business. What we’re gonna talk about is how to make that happen, right? – The more you can narrow
down your audience, the more you can speak to them. – [Amanda] The Small Business Revolution isn’t the only thing to
celebrate in town this week. Alton’s 27th annual Juneteenth celebration is drawing a crowd in Killion Park. – In cities across this country, peoples of different races
will be joining hands to truthfully acknowledge
a period in our history that continues to influence
our society today. (cheering) – [Amanda] With hours to go
before the final celebration, I have one last stop to make. Finally finishing that
town tour that we started months ago, when we
first set foot in Alton. (peaceful guitar music) – Funeral homes have always just been a staple in our community. – [Amanda] At that point,
we hadn’t even heard of Central Avenue, but
now, it’s impossible to imagine Alton without it. – It’s just always been a
place that is very important. – Morning. – Hi, good morning. So you guys are brothers. – Yes, we are. – Yeah, who’s older? – I am, I’m the oldest. – Is that why, are you wiser as well? – Definitely. – [Benjamin] Marc and his family are a staple in this community. Their father’s the pastor
of the church, and so it’s kind of a holistic
approach to taking care of everybody in the community. – I try to make it as much
like home as possible. – [Amanda] What’s the hardest part about running a funeral home? – I guess it’s tough
when you have to serve the families that you know. In fact, sometimes when you
typing the information in, it kind of hits you like a ton of rocks. – I could completely
see how that would be. And you have to be
wearing this business hat but yet you’re grieving as well. That would be extremely challenging. – It is. – It’s something that
gets a lot of business, that particular place does. Knock, knock. – [Noel] Good morning. – [Amanda] Hi. – This is Noel. – Hi Noel. – And this is her daughter Cherrie. – [Amanda] Hi Cherrie, how are you? – Nice to meet you. – [Cherrie] And that’s Grandpa. – [Amanda] Hi Grandpa. This looks like a fun place to spend time. – They have the beauticians on this side, have a barber chair on the other side. – [Cherrie] That’s my brother Tony. – [Benjamin] And that’s her brother. – [Cherrie] So it’s all family. – [Benjamin] It’s all
family run and owned. – [Amanda] And you have the
women against the men, right? – [Cherrie] No, no competition. – No not for real. – Except I get more customers. – He say he get more customers than us. – How long have you been doin this? – I’ve been doin this since 2001, and my mom, she’s been here for 20 years. – We’ve been here since 95. We built this from the ground up. (laughing) – Another business here in the community. – [Amanda] Hi. – [Kathy] Hi, how you doin? – I wanted to introduce you to Amanda. – Hi Amanda, how you doin? – Nice to meet you.
– Nice to meet you too. – I really like your glasses. And your purple door. – Okay, alright. I grew up in a salon, my
grandmother was a hairdresser. And my great grandfather was a barber. – She’s done my hair for let’s see, at least 33 years, 34 years. I wouldn’t have nobody else. I don’t know what I’m
gonna do when she retires. I’m gonna cut my hair,
be short, short, short. – This is what we have in
this community on Central. We have people who care deeply. She’s gonna know family members, she’s gonna know what’s
goin on in their lives. All the things that really count, this is what you get in a community. And that’s how we are here. – Because I’ve seen so many young people grow up to be great, great adults. He’s one of them. (laughing) Ben and his sons, and their doin great. – Bring it in, bring it in, bring it in. You’re awesome. – OH no, you guys are awesome. (peaceful music) (cheering) (upbeat music) – Good evening Alton, Illinois. How is everybody tonight? (cheering) Over the last few years,
Alton really has went through a revolution. Our buildings are filling
up, our small businesses are doing better. The town is really taking off. This did not happen without your vote. So everybody give yourself a big applause, because without you we
wouldn’t be here tonight. (cheering) – All of you guys working
together to make a better town is making America an
even better place to be. Thanks for being a part of it, thanks for letting me be a part of it. This has been a really great experience. (cheering) – It is hard to believe that it has been six incredible months
since we started visiting, working with, and being a part of Alton. This has been an incredible experience. You have challenged our
assumptions as to where Main Street actually exists. And you have been brutally honest with us about the shared history of
your community as a whole. From Central to Upper
Alton, down to Broadway, Alton is really a mirror
for our entire country. Alton can be the example,
it can prove that when communities work
to remove the division, that seismic change can happen. – [Audience] Yeah, Yeah! (cheering) – This is a special, special place. Know that, believe that, and keep pushing this community forward. We know you will, we believe you can, and we can’t wait to see what you do next. (cheering) – [Amanda] There were more
than a thousand people packed into that
amphitheater, and they came from every corner of Alton. We never would have pulled
in that kind of a crowd without the small businesses
that tie Alton together. They were the community
organizers, the trusted caretakers, the leaders,
the bridge between this town and the revolution. And knowing that, there
was one more person we wanted Alton to hear from. – Hello Alton. I was asked to come up
here and speak tonight about my experience and my
hope for Alton moving forward. My hope is that we can
discover, to use the spiritual energy that we call love,
to move us out of the stone ages of the darkness called
hatred, jealousy, and bigotry. (cheering) And move us into a new
age called kindness, acceptance and tolerance
without any judgment. Because the moment, the
moment that each of us learn how to love each
other unconditionally, then thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. I know that everybody came
here today with somebody that they love, and they
love somebody because that’s what we all have in common. Grab somebody’s hand and
finish this prayer with me. For thine art the kingdom
and the power and the glory forever and ever, amen. (cheering) Thank you Alton, I love you! – [Amanda] I’ll never
forget what Benjamin said right after he walked off stage, tomorrow we go back to work. It would be crazy to think that one night or one program could fix something that this town, and frankly our country, have been grappling with
for hundreds of years. Real change is hard, always. So tomorrow, we go back to work. All of us. Because it’s all of our problem to solve. But after getting to know the
people of Alton, Illinois, I know that there is hope. (peaceful piano music) – Just a short drive from Saint Louis, historic and picturesque Alton, has the potential to
be a tourism hot spot. But like many small towns, there story was disjointed
and inconsistent. Visit deluxe.com/Alton
to learn more about how the Deluxe team helped put the sparkle back in this river city’s tourism.

11 comments

  1. You guys are simply amazing! I can’t explain how much it means to me to see you make sure you didn’t overlook communities. I am sold that the lack in many underserved communities can change in one generation with a shift of focus on small business. So to me you laid the roadmap for Central Alton to change their legacies. Once again, thank you. 🙏🏾

  2. How could you possibly exclude a success story like Fast Eddie's?  Where is the real history like Benjamin Godfrey, Lyman Trumbull and Lovejoy. Virtually no mention at all. These people made Alton. There is no history here of how Alton got to where it is. That's why the younger generation is able to carry on.

  3. Though I'm sure we didn't see all of Benjamin Golley's speech, he is truly an inspiring speaker. Great episode!

  4. I love this series! I have watched every season! While I would not want to be a business owner myself, I love watching the inspiration and drive of these business owners, and I wish them success! There is so much heart in this series! Thank you, Amanda!

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