The following is an article from GoSkagit, posted Wednesday, June 5 by Skagit Publishing business writer Mark Stayton, titled Company chosen to lead regional marketing campaign.
The Mount Vernon-based company BrandQuery has been selected to craft a regional marketing plan for counties affected by the closure of Interstate 5 following the Skagit River Bridge collapse.
The company will use $150,000 made available from the state Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Strategic Reserve Account to develop a campaign to raise awareness of how consumers can reach local businesses through all the increased traffic on local roads.
An estimated 71,000 vehicles per day drove across the Skagit River Bridge before it collapsed. Now, detours are rerouting a steady stream of commuters and freight traffic through Burlington and Mount Vernon’s retail cores.
Don Wick, executive director of Economic Development Association of Skagit County, said in an email that many businesses in Mount Vernon and Burlington have experienced sales losses of 30 to 80 percent since the bridge collapsed.
BrandQuery was selected for the contract by the association, which represents economic development associations and tourism industry experts from Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties.
The marketing campaign will utilize radio and television commercials, public service announcements and social media to spread the message and is scheduled to roll out June 12, according to the release.
“This campaign will deliver the message to our friends to the north and south of the region that the hospitality in Northwest Washington is alive and well, and we are a thriving destination for recreation, dining and shopping,” Wick said in the release.
EDASC is encouraging businesses that have been affected by the bridge collapse to send worksheets detailing revenue losses. If enough businesses respond, Governor Jay Inslee will make a request to free up Small Business Association loans for businesses struggling to cover normal business expenses such as payroll and cash flow.
Worksheets can be turned in to the association or a local chamber of commerce.
Certified business advisers at EDASC are available to local businesses by calling 360-336-6114.
Update: See our case study here.