SEARCY, Ark. — The excitement surrounding the Small Business Revolution may have died down around town some, but the work is far from over. After Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington announced the six finalists for the Hulu show, they quickly got to work making major changes to help revitalize those businesses. But for the rest of Searcy, the revolution hasn’t stopped there.
Those involved in helping to bring the Hulu show to town are building the Revolution Fund; money raised to help other local businesses in the community, starting with the six runner-up businesses who didn’t the show. These businesses are Blackbird Clothing, Make.Do., Glass From The Past, Monk’s Habit Antiques, Games and Collectables, The Cookie Basket and Pollard Studio Arts and Oddities.
“[We are] trying to create programs so that our small businesses who don’t make it on the show can still be supported and still get the empowerment and education that they need to be more successful than they have in the past,” said Matt Faulkner, owner of Think Idea Studio and part of the Revolution.
So far, the Revolution Fund has raised $28,000 toward its goal of $60,000, with funds coming from residents and other businesses in the community, with more support on the way. Along with funds, some individuals and businesses have offered to dedicate their skills and time to help the funds properly go to use.
Outside of donating funds, Faulkner says there are other ways that individuals can help improve Searcy.
“Focusing on our own surroundings and aiming to improve what is around is a good start,” said Faulkner. “Find what is not ideal and take the initiative to improve it.”
One way that Faulkner, and the rest of the team pushing to move the revolution forward, plan to encourage future improvement is by connecting individuals with businesses that have similar interests and skill sets.
“We are trying to figure out ways to connect people’s passions, what they are excited about, what they love, as well as their expertise or talent,” said Faulkner. “Then match those up with the needs that are out there that they may not even be aware of.”
While many people often clamor for more chain restaurants and big box stores to come to town, Faulkner understands the importance of local businesses and the positive effect they have in communities like Searcy.
“It’s the small businesses that really make up the fabric of what is unique in a community,” said Faulkner.
The Small Business Revolution and Revolution Fund have both focused on improving what makes the Searcy community continue to show how it is unique.
According to Faulkner, Searcy would not be in this position without the intense level of volunteerism, he sees that a large amount of people want to help out and are helping out. After asking Faulkner about positive impacts the Revolution had, the most prominent was the unity.
“I have never seen in the history of our town or any town really, an entire community get excited and pull very hard over one issue or subject matter, and that has been a result from the revolution,” said Faulkner. “Beyond that, people are already donating to the Revolution fund, both individuals and businesses.”
To learn more about the revolution fund and how you can help get involved in keeping the revolution going in Searcy, visit mysearcy.org.