The sixth season of the Deluxe Company’s Emmy-nominated television series “Small Business Revolution” will launch on November 9.
The MSR, one of six Black-owned businesses based in Minneapolis and St. Paul featured this season. will kick off the season. “I’m excited about seeing it and sharing the experience of running a historical newspaper with the viewers,” said Tracey Williams-Dillard, MSR publisher and CEO. “I hope viewers learn to appreciate the Black press and the blood, sweat, and tears that go into putting out timely and engaging news that our readers can use.”
This year, community leaders from Minneapolis and St. Paul helped nominate nearly 100 small businesses from six distinct neighborhoods—Rondo, East St. Paul, Frogtown/Midway, South Minneapolis, Lake Street, and West Broadway—to be part of the “Small Business Revolution” television program.
All the chosen businesses have received branding and financial guidance plus marketing and renovation updates from Deluxe.
The other businesses selected for season six are: Elsa’s House of Sleep (Midway/Frogtown, St. Paul), Gentlemen Cuts (East St. Paul), Lip Esteem (Lake Street, Minneapolis), Sammy’s Avenue Eatery (West Broadway Ave., Minneapolis), and Taste of Rondo (Rondo, St. Paul).
At a gathering last week to honor those selected for the series, Williams-Dillard told the audience about her struggles to keep the MSR afloat. She said she once went a year without a paycheck to keep the newspaper going.
Fighting back tears, she recalled how she and her late husband dipped into savings and used their credit cards to make sure staff was paid. She said he even took on an extra part-time job, promising her he would do whatever it took to help her keep the doors open.
“Running a newspaper, especially a small newspaper, is not the easiest thing I could have done with my life,” Williams-Dillard said with a laugh at the event. She told how her grandfather was motivated to start the paper after ordering a hamburger at a restaurant in Minneapolis and finding it laced with so much salt it was inedible.
He got the message, she said. “From that point forward he decided to right wrongs and be a voice for the voiceless,” said Williams-Dillard.
For over 100 years, Deluxe has been a champion of small businesses. Over the past five years, Deluxe has chosen a community to spotlight through the “Small Business Revolution” program, helping the community succeed through its small businesses.
“It’s a passion project; we love doing this,” explained Amanda Brinkman, Deluxe chief brand and content officer and the creator and co-host of the series. “The message is: look how vital these small businesses are to their communities.
“The more we support small businesses, the ripple effect is felt within the neighborhoods and the community. It’s really a celebration of how important small businesses are to our country to our economy and our neighborhoods.”
This season retired NBA superstar and entrepreneur Baron Davis joins Brinkman as a co-host.