Building a community’s resilience and showcasing its strength during the pandemic

Support SnoCo delivers tangible benefit for Snohomish County’s small businesses

Project Summary

To help weather COVID-19’s economic impacts and its threat to public health, the Snohomish County Executive’s office understood the importance of supporting its small businesses to ensure one of the community’s most valued economic engines remained sustainable.

The County initially approached Nyhus in late October 2020 to develop and implement a campaign designed to spur tourism. But with COVID cases on the rise, the County quickly pivoted to a wide-ranging economic resiliency and recovery campaign. The campaign was supported by funds appropriated from the CARES Act, which set strict guidelines as to how and by when the funds could be used, allowing just 37 days for the development and execution of the entire campaign.

The campaign needed to break through the holiday noise and stand out from other “shop local” campaigns in the region. It also needed to staying power and relevance to extend its utility and momentum into 2021.


Snohomish County


Digital design and video storytelling, stakeholder engagement, DEI outreach, public affairs, media relations


Helped bolster Snohomish County’s economic recovery and small business owners through the pandemic holiday season 


With a desire from the County to launch the public campaign on Black Friday, the Nyhus team had less than two weeks to conceive, develop and launch a campaign designed to promote and celebrate the small businesses and attractions that make Snohomish not just a great place to live, but a desirable commerce destination. Nyhus quickly assembled a dynamic team of strategic partners to develop and implement key components of the campaign.

Nyhus successfully launched “Support SnoCo” on November 27 with the goal of promoting small and diverse businesses and encouraging local purchases during the holiday shopping season. The campaign comprised several key components, all of which contributed to its success, including:

1. Business and stakeholder outreach, including connections with regional chambers of commerce, business owners, Snohomish County Small Business Relief, Recovery and Resiliency (R3) grant recipients, and minority- and women-owned businesses

2. The online hub for residents and visitors to learn more about the hundreds of small businesses and destinations in Snohomish County

3. A strategic and intentional focus on under-resourced communities, including BIPOC, veteran, women and LGBTQ+ owned businesses, supporting the County’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals

4. A robust content campaign – consisting of a small business video series, blogs, and op-eds – designed to drive the earned media and social media campaigns to build visibility and credibility, as well as reach listeners, viewers and readers in target markets

5. A multi-platform marketing and advertising campaign to reach audiences in and around Snohomish County, extending throughout the Puget Sound region. The campaign had three key campaign messages to help “Support SnoCo”: dine, shop and explore.


  The campaign’s initial target was to showcase 50 businesses on the website, with an ambitious target of 80 businesses. In the end, the website featured 323 unique local businesses on the site (37 percent were diverse businesses), more than quadruple the goal established by the County.  

  The team conducted outreach to more than 400 small business owners.  

•  The advertising campaign achieved almost 40 million impressions, and the social media campaign garnered nearly 17 million impressions.  

•  The campaign earned positive press coverage throughout the Puget Sound with more than 16 unique articles, 12 radio DJ endorsements and two paid media segments.  

•  One signature achievement was the Voices of Snohomish County” – a series of thirteen original short films featuring personal and emotional stories from SnoCo’s small business community about the devastating impact of COVID and the importance of the community coming together to support small businesses.