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Wabash Competes In National Competition For $500,000

Lisa Ryan, WBOI News
This pathway is just for pedestrians and leads from Market Street to Canal Street.

A small northeastern Indiana city is competing in a national competition for half a million dollars.

The money comes from Deluxe, a marketing company aiming to help small businesses, which it says employs about half of the workforce in the United States. Wabash, Indiana beat thousands of other cities around the country and is now competing against just one other city-- Silverton, Oregon-- for the top prize.

Maria Smyth just moved back to the U.S. from China, and she had to make a decision on where to locate her small business.

“We chose Wabash because Wabash is growing,” she said. “We had already lived here, and we said, ‘Where do we want to go?’ We want to go back to Wabash.”

Smyth really wants Wabash to win the national competition because her small business could be one of the stores to receive some of the $250,000 in marketing services and support. The other quarter of a million dollars would go toward improving the city’s downtown.

Shelby McLaughlin works for the downtown development organization that submitted Wabash for the award. She’s encouraging everyone to vote, not just Wabash residents.

“It’s not just a win for Wabash, it’s a win for the state,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin says no matter what the result is, the competition has brought the community together and given them a sense of pride for Wabash.

Voting ends at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday. You can vote and find out more information about the two cities at

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