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Fredonia vying to be featured on ‘Small Business Revolution’

Ben Kravitz
A rally is held in the Fredonia Opera House Wednesday for the village's bid to be featured on "Small Business Revolution."

Fredonia made its case Wednesday for why it should be featured on a television show highlighting the crucial role between small towns and their small businesses.


Village officials welcomed representatives of Hulu and Amazon Prime series “Small Business Revolution,” holding a rally at the Fredonia Opera House and encouraging residents to make signs and post on social media about their love of the village.  


The Chautauqua County village, home to about 10,000 people and the SUNY Fredonia campus, is one of 10 finalists for the upcoming season of the show, which provides a small town with a $500,000 revival by making over six of its small businesses.


“Fredonia is a very unique, incredible small community that has gone through the process of economic decline with large industry,” said Village Trustee and Mayor-Elect Doug Essek. “The backbone of our community is the small businesses and the people who own them.


“This here, with addition to lot of the current projects we’re currently doing in the village right now, would be a catalyst to pull everyone together and unite our community.”


Fredonia was nominated for “Small Business Revolution” by a former village trustee’s daughter, Grace Czechowski. The show’s producers then asked the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce for information regarding the village.


The top-10 finalists, which include Fredonia and towns as close as Ohio and as far as Oregon, were announced last month.


After meeting with the 10 finalists, “Small Business Revolution” producers will announce the five finalists in mid-January. The public will then get to decide the winner via online voting, with the winning town being announced in late January. 


Essek said being selected for the show would be another step toward revitalization that has included a planned restoration of the downtown park. He added that being selected would be good for not just Fredonia, but all of Western New York.


“This is a Chautauqua County thing, this is a regional thing, this is a Western New York positive thing,” he said. “This is something great that showcases our village, but also showcases our whole area (and) that we’re resilient, we’re utilizing every opportunity we can to promote small businesses and do what we can to help the economy grow.”

Tom Dinki joined WBFO in August 2019 to cover issues affecting older adults.