Newmarket, Ont., May 10, 2022—The Newmarket Chamber of Commerce has been recognized with an Award for “The Best Shop Local Campaign—Large Chamber” from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC).

Presented during the OCC’s recent AGM, the award is much appreciated, says Chamber President and CEO, Chris Emanuel, who accepted the award. “It’s immensely validating to have our efforts recognized by the OCC—especially amongst so many fantastic campaigns. We’re thrilled and appreciative.”

The campaign—the largest in Newmarket’s history—kicked off in early November with a holiday/winter focus, encouraging the Newmarket community to shop and support local businesses. For it, the Chamber teamed up with the Town of Newmarket for a full force “Love Local” campaign. Bus wraps, digital signs, local media buys and social media promotion helped spread the word. The popular ‘Choose Newmarket’ contest returned, this time generating roughly 600 entries—twice the number received in 2020. “It amounted to a whopping $70,000 in spending at local businesses over the contest period,” says Emanuel.

In December, the campaign really kicked into high gear with the launch of the Choose Newmarket magazine. The community-focused publication highlighted great go-tos for shopping and dining and featured some well-known Newmarket residents. In addition, promotional ‘Choose Newmarket’ items were sent to approximately 100 local businesses. Business owners across Newmarket donned ‘Choose Newmarket’ t-shirts, gave out tote bags, placed clings in storefront windows and wrapped packages with stickers boasting the love local message.

Post holidays, the Chamber campaign shifted to economic recovery encouraging consumers to make small shifts in spending habits. That concept formed the #25tothrive message seen in the second half of the campaign.

“From start to finish, every aspect of the campaign has had local impact,” says Emanuel. Ads were shot by local photographers, designed by a local graphic design agency, and featured local faces. Promotional items and even the boxes they were delivered in were sourced locally.

One of the biggest showstoppers of the campaign is the Newmarket LOVE LOCAL sign. Designed to encourage the Instagram crowd to help spread the shop local message online, the sign most recently appeared at the Newmarket Love Local Home Show & Festival.

“We’re grateful to be recognized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce,” says Emanuel. “This campaign has been a game changer and it’s just the beginning.”