A production crew arrived in Bastrop Sunday to meet with city leaders, as they try to choose the location for their show’s next season.
For the next 24 hours, people in Bastrop will try to persuade the crew of the online show "Small Business Revolution Main Street", to film season three in Central Texas.
Bastrop is one of the top 10 finalists in the competition and would get $500,000 to help local businesses if they're the last city standing.
"We've been doing downtown revitalization for about a decade here in Bastrop, and one of our biggest struggles right now is how do we help our small business owners,” said Sarah O’Brien, the hospitality and downtown director.
If Bastrop wins, the money would be divided among six small businesses in town to help with marketing, financial and building improvements.
"It would be something that would be tremendous for our small business owners and also help people realize that Bastrop is alive and thriving and a growing community, and that everyone needs to plan a weekend trip to come visit us," said O’Brien.
Monday, the production crew will go to a community rally and stop by local spots.
Viejos Tacos y Tequila is one of the businesses the production crew will meet with.
"It would be a huge help in just every aspect of it, really,” said co-owner Jesus Danny Oviedo.
"The biggest thing is we just want our business to be second nature to everyone else -- 'oh yeah Viejos I've heard of it. Let's go have a taco,'” said Neil Hernandez, a bartender at Viejos. "We'd push most of it into the marketing: the branding of the restaurant.”
"I think everyone is curious what this will look like and how it can help their business...how it can help Bastrop," said O’Brien.
The money could also help spruce up the historic building, which houses the restaurant.
"We’re just hoping to give us a little bit of a relief, a little facelift, a little remodel, a little polish on the edges," said Hernandez. "We're established and we do well. We're just like any other restaurant; any other business would say, a little extra goes a long way.”
A long way – is also how many describe Bastrop’s downtown.
"When I moved here, downtown was pretty desolate,” said Hernandez.
"If you came to downtown Bastrop 15, 20 years ago, you will see a vastly different downtown district today,” said O’Brien.
She said it’s a testament to the hard work of the people.
"Bastrop has experienced a lot. We have a really resilient business community. We've suffered five natural disasters since 2011," said O’Brien.
Now, it's full of bars, restaurants and live music.
"We fell in love with Main Street down here,” said Oviedo.
"Bastrop is just one of those towns where when you get here, you know that you're going to be welcomed,” said Hernandez.
"We have transformed the physical aspect of downtown, and so what we struggle with as a program is how do we provide the right expertise to all of our small business owners," said O’Brien.
And that’s where they’re hoping this Small Business Revolution Main Street team can help.
The show is hosted by Deluxe and streams on Hulu, YouTube, and the website Small Business Revolution.
"I think it will get us some notoriety, and get us some name brand recognition throughout the country,” said O’Brien. "The pieces are in place for Bastrop to grow as a visitor destination, and I think if we were able to provide this type of expertise to our small businesses, we would really be able to capitalize on those destination business opportunities."
"Just rooting for Bastrop, really. We want Bastrop to keep growing,” said Oviedo.
A growth spurt while still keeping the history of Bastrop.
"We definitely want to retain our small town feel, but Bastrop is growing and tourism is a fantastic way for us to continue to grow our economy. It's really the purest form of economic development there is because people come into town, they leave their money, and then they go home. So they're not a drain on our infrastructure," said O’Brien.
"I think it’s undiscovered in a way. I think it's slightly undiscovered. I think there's not as much tourism here as there could be or should be," said Oviedo.
You can share why you think Bastrop should win using the hashtag #myBastrop.
"The Deluxe team and the small business revolution folks are actually scouring social media to find out all of the great things people have to say about Bastrop," said O’Brien.
The show's production crew is visiting all of the top 10 finalist cities.
They'll then narrow it down to five, and then the public will be allowed to vote.
Bastrop is the only town nominated in Texas.
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