Amesbury a finalist to star in reality show for downtown revitalization

AMESBURY, Mass. — Amesbury is vying to win the chance to revitalize its downtown as part of a reality T.V. show.

Small Business Revolution, a show put on by the Deluxe corporation, chooses one town each season to revitalize and help ignite the small business that makes a town special, along with a $500,000 infusion.

The first season of the show featured Wabash, Indiana and the second Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania. The producers have narrowed it down to five finalists for the third season, including Amesbury.

Amesbury was once a factory town, with a textile mill and nail-making factory. When the industrial boom ended, much of the money that helped the town blossom left too. Another challenge the town faces is the fact it's along the border of New Hampshire, a state that doesn't have sales tax.

"It is a burden on local businesses to over-deliver. it's a real challenge for us to be a border community," said Kassandra Grover, the executive director of the Amebsury Chamber of Commerce.

Amesbury hopes the Small Business Revolution team can help grow the small businesses that already exist, which include restaurants, breweries and an art gallery.

Amesbury hopes that the show can help balance the historic side with the modern side.

"The reason to vote for us is our people - we have the most incredible people," said Mayor Kevin Gray.

Voting closes on Tuesday for the show. Amesbury's competitors include Alton, Illinois, Bastrop, Texas, Martinez, California and Siloam Springs, Arkansas.