Durant welcomes Small Business Revolution co-host and team

DURANT, Okla. (KXII) -- The city of Durant is in the running to be featured in an online show where several small businesses downtown would get a half a million dollar makeover.

People from all over town came together to welcome the show's host and team tonight.

Sidewalks leading up to Southeastern Oklahoma State University's campus buzzed with excitement to welcome the Small Business Revolution team to town.

"We couldn't be more proud of the turnout tonight," said Durant Main Street Director Stephanie Gardner.

Durant was chosen out of 12,000 towns to be in the top 20 for the online show, sponsored by Deluxe Corporation, which does marketing for small businesses.

About a month ago, the show's team selected Durant to be in the top 10.

"And I'm thinking Durant, Oklahoma? The little town that I chose to live here? I'm thinking oh my gosh," said small business owner Maty Roberts.

Roberts owns a jewelry shop downtown. She's hoping this will help small businesses stay in business.

"Someday this is going to be a ghost town and we don't want that. That's why this is so important," Roberts said.

"You don't talk about the big box retailers on the edge of town or the national restaurant chains, you talk about these incredible small business owners," said brand marketing expert Amanda Brinkman.

Brinkman started the show and is a co-host with Ty Pennington from "Extreme Makeover Home Edition."

Her team is visiting the 10 towns.

"But we love to see what a difference a strong small business core can make to a small town like Durant," Brinkman said.

They'll announce the top five next month, then it's up to a public vote.

"So much excitement, so much unity has come to the town just because of this show," Roberts said.

The final town will get a Main Street makeover worth half a million dollars focusing on six businesses, helping with marketing strategies and physical renovations.

"It's been amazing to see people come together to put Durant's best foot forward," Gardner said.