Awardee: Stevenson Downtown Association
Award: Outstanding Promotional Campaign
When the pandemic started in 2020, the Stevenson Downtown Association was ready to rally for downtown businesses. Open to all small downtown brick-and-mortar food and retail locations, their #StevensonStrong campaign started in October 2020, encouraging locals to shop and eat downtown, especially during the tourism off-season.
Fourteen businesses chose to participate, each receiving marketing materials, branded shopping bags, and direct reimbursement for promo code discounts redeemed by customers. Marketing extended to ads in local newspapers – also hurting during the pandemic – as well as social media, posters, rack cards, and window clings. The 9 participating dine-in food locations also received takeout boxes with #StevensonStrong stickers.
Locals rallied around the campaign, with many people hesitant to use the discount for fear of hurting business, until they learned each participating business was getting reimbursed. To get started, their board redirected existing funds for the project. Support followed in the form of a grant from the Economic Development Council and Covid Cares funds from the city. The Chamber of Commerce also redirected some of their funding to purchase #StevensonStrong shopping bags and some of the takeout boxes.
Overall, the Stevenson Downtown Association reimbursed more than $21,000 to businesses for customers redeeming their promo codes. They invested an additional $14,000 in takeout boxes and shopping bags, distributing nearly 10,000 kraft shopping bags and over 60,000 takeout boxes to participating businesses.
As Stevenson rallied together to be #StevensonStrong, no downtown businesses closed due to the pandemic. We are certain this promotion was no small part of that success story.