Step Up.

On March 26, 2020 Revolve launched Step Up Not Out – a campaign stressing the importance of staying home to help overcome the COVID-19 virus. Now that public health officials are slowly beginning to allow businesses to re-open while continuing to encourage people to social distance and practice advanced hygiene, Revolve is changing the narrative to shine a spotlight on the importance of supporting local, independent businesses.

The Step Up Not Out campaign received over 22 million impressions nation-wide through a robust social media campaign using Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; and supported by local, regional and national media vendors with probono television, radio, magazine, newspaper and digital advertising.

“Through the efforts of many, Canadians for the most part flattened the curve,” says Phil Otto, CEO of Revolve. “Now we need to turn our attention to help the backbone of the Canadian economy – small businesses – survive both the pandemic and the imminent recession. Hence, Step Up for Local.”

“In this increasingly homogenized world, indie businesses give communities texture, colour, shape, taste and social capital,” says Otto. “The very fabric of our country is woven together by the personalities, innovation and entrepreneurship of small business – which comprises 99.8% of all businesses and represents the largest employee base in Canada.”

“Step up for Local is exactly what small businesses need right now,” says Patrick Sullivan, President & CEO of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. “We have to remind Nova Scotians how important it is to support our local businesses as the economy reopens. 87% of our members are small businesses and Halifax added over 8,000 jobs last year, most coming from small businesses. We can ensure those jobs remain by stepping up for local businesses.”

Revolve works with several large national and international brands like Red Wing Shoes, Polaris, TIMBER MART, Supplement King, Kohltech Windows, OrangeTheory Fitness, SONAPAY, Elite Trade Painting, and Premiere Van Lines who are represented by small, family-owned businesses in their local communities. In addition, the branding and marketing firm works with dozens of smaller indie retail, restaurant, service and B2B brands throughout the region.

Neighbourhood love for small, authentic independent businesses is causing a phenomenon in the US intended to deceive consumers – large businesses posing as small independents. Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings has been popping up on food delivery apps since April. Intended to look like a small independent, it turns out Pasqually’s is owned by Chuck E. Cheese and shares the same kitchen. And Roy Street Coffee & Tea? It was not the family-owned, Capitol Hill neighbourhood coffee shop it pretended to be – it was one of a series of covert coffee shops owned by Starbucks. It’s now cool to be a small, locally owned business. Let’s celebrate it!

Step Up for Local is an initiative Revolve has developed and is executing probono. Revolve will also be working with our local, regional and national media vendors to have them support this messaging as public service announcements, as they did Step Up Not Out. Small businesses, small business associations, chamber of commerce, etc. are encouraged to use the assets of this program at no charge. If you would like to discuss a more advanced approach to using this campaign, email local@revolve.ca