3M and Small Business Revolution transform Twin Cities Black-owned businesses
Nov 18, 2021

3M Commercial Solutions Division (CSD) is always eager to find ways to invest both time and resources into small businesses within 3M’s own backyard. Opportunity came knocking when Small Business Revolution, an original series by Deluxe that transforms small businesses across America, announced its plans to film in Minneapolis and St. Paul for its upcoming sixth season.  

"We knew there was an opportunity to invest in our community by infusing some of our best products into the transformation of these spaces," said Silvia Perez, president of 3M Commercial Solutions Division. "Collaborating with Small Business Revolution allowed us to add value to the businesses in the community we call home." 

Each season, Small Business Revolution seeks out America’s most inspiring communities, awarding small businesses in the community with a makeover and featuring the transformation in the series. The show’s experts are joined by celebrity guests to help the businesses with marketing services, physical upgrades, business advice and more.  

"Small Business Revolution is so proud to partner with local organizations like 3M in support of small business owners this season," said Amanda Brinkman, chief brand and communications officer at Deluxe Corporation and creator, producer, and host of Small Business Revolution. "Their design expertise, along with innovative 3M products, really helped support the renovations to transform each business. 3M's commitment to our own Twin Cities community is truly inspiring." 

CSD helped transform a handful of the featured businesses, including Gentlemen Cuts, the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and Sammy's Avenue Eatery. 

Barbershops are a community gathering space. Terrell Smith, owner of Gentlemen Cuts, wanted his barbershop to have a classic but cool vibe, so that every client would feel welcomed upon opening the door and leave feeling like a true gentleman. The design team went to work to capture those elements with a conceptual mood board that was then brought to life using 3M™ DI-NOC™ Architectural Finishes. 

"There's tremendous value for these business owners to upgrade and refresh their spaces so that when customers are ready to return, they feel welcomed and want to keep coming back," said Michael Welter, lead designer, CSD. "This season highlights the value of how 3M products can help small businesses and get them back on their feet, so they have the right materials to be successful." 

Known as a place of calm and community – and delicious sandwiches – Sammy's Avenue Eatery has always been a food destination people love. But this fun, memorable customer experience wasn’t displayed in Sammy’s formerly monochrome space. Using fun colors and printed graphics, including a floor-to-ceiling mural with unique quotes and images, the shop became a colorful café that showcases its new brand identity. 

“Everyone has career highlights. They’re typically a promotion or a major deal, but mine was seeing the mural going up in Sammy’s because I saw the transformation it instantly created in that space,” said Devon Block, associate creative director, Deluxe. “As a designer, I think so much about how something looks on a computer, but actually seeing it go up on the wall, I knew this was going to be the spot where people would want to be.” 

CSD also helped re-energize the office of Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR) to reflect the newspaper’s modern voice while still honoring its rich history. Printed graphics and murals as well as warm wood tones created a more vibrant and welcoming space. The new branding features shades of red, black and green, colors that are meaningful to the Black community and also bring brightness and positivity to the space. 

3M’s CSD team hopes the effort inspires other small business owners to create change, big or small, to overcome their own branding challenges. With the help of 3M films, these businesses were able to quickly transform their spaces less downtime, less labor and less waste. 

Season 6 of Small Business Revolution premiered November 9 and is available to stream on Hulu, Prime Video and YouTube. 

To learn more about Small Business Revolution, visit smallbusinessrevolution.org. To learn more about how 3M’s commercial solutions products can help transform your business visit 3M Brand You.

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