ALTON - Next Thursday, Jan. 18, the people of Alton will have a chance to show why they should be recognized on a national platform, and get $500,000 worth of investment in their local businesses.

Alton Main Street, the Alton Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and Old Bakery Beer Company are hosting a reception for the producers of the Small Business Revolution - a television show showcasing small businesses in towns across the country. Deluxe Corporation, which sponsors the program, has narrowed its selection for season three of the show to 10 towns. Alton is among those 10.

The show airs through both YouTube and Hulu, and is an in-depth look at small businesses in the selected town. As of now, the producers of the show are going on a road-trip-style tour of the 10 towns, so they can narrow the selection to three. Once those three have been selected, it will be taken to a nationwide vote.

"Even if we just make it to the top three, that will be great exposure for Alton," Alton Main Street Executive Director Sara McGibany said.

To properly welcome the producers to Alton, McGibany worked with Brett Stawar of the Alton CVB and Old Bakery Beer Company to have an open-to-the-public reception next Thursday, Jan. 18 from 5-7 p.m. McGibany said local business owners especially are invited to attend, but emphasized everybody who wants to share their love of Alton is welcomed.

"We're getting as many small business owners as we can to attend the reception," McGibany said. "But, the more, the merrier. We're also trying to have local artists come down and have different exhibits."

Following the reception, McGibany said she and Stawar would be shuttling the crew around Alton to showcase some local business, such as It's Raining Zen and Grand Piasa Body Art. She said the crew has about an hour and a half to spend, so she wanted them to meet as many business owners as possible.

When asked how the average, everyday passionate Altonian could help support the show choosing Alton to showcase and invest $500,000, McGibany said they could show up to next week's reception, tag posts of photos, videos and status updates about Alton with #myalton and like the social media pages of Small Business Revolution and Deluxe Corporation.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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