‘#MontclairMatters’ Campaign Highlights Small Businesses, Charitable Giving During COVID-19

'Looney' spotlights Montclair business owners and community resilience in its social media campaign, reaching 215,000 followers to date

Image courtesy of Looney
#MontclairMatters, a social media campaign promoting small business and charitable events in Montclair, N.J., has reached 215,000 social media followers and counting. Image courtesy of Looney

To shine a light on Montclair’s hard-hit small businesses and individuals during COVID-19, Montclair-based ad agency, Looney, created the #MontclairMatters social media campaign. The “Spotlight” series features a creative Montclair business or organization that has shifted operations amid recent stay-at-home orders, orchestrated donations or given back to the community.

“Montclair is one of the most amazing towns in New Jersey, and home to our agency. Part of what makes this community so innovative and passionate are the small, local businesses,” said Debbie Looney, creative lead and owner at Looney, based in Montclair since 2003. “Unfortunately, they have been hit the worst during this crisis. To show our support, we have been highlighting businesses that deserve some praise or need a shoutout. We feel it’s the least we can do for Montclair’s renowned businesses and creative groups.”

Image courtesy of Looney.
An image for #MontclairMatters and the “Hope for the Flowers” campaign.  Image courtesy of Looney

This week, #MontclairMatters focused on local eateries that continue to offer grocery services in addition to delivery and curbside pick-up. In its post, Looney shared a list of related restaurants, crediting them with “keeping the community moving.” To date, the series has featured over 20 Montclair businesses, engaging with more than 215,000 social media followers across various channels.

Organizers at DesignShed, which run the town’s annual celebration, Montclair Design Week, have also refocused efforts during the pandemic, creating “Project PIVOT,” an initiative recently highlighted in the #MontclairMatters series. The project consists of six initiatives (from entrepreneurial discussions, to PPE creation, new lines of communication and donation efforts) to immediately effect change.

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Other social media spotlights include the #AllInChallenge with renowned makeup artist, Bobbi Brown, with proceeds going directly to global food charities, Montclair Bounce, a virtual “festival of optimism” from Toni’s Kitchen, and Centercourt 360, a program consisting of free fitness/nutrition webinars. Another post includes “Shield Our Heroes,” promoting a group that is collaborating with makers, doctors and journalists to 3D-print life-saving face shields.

Image courtesy of Looney
The #MontclairMatters post for the town’s Art Museum, which conducted free virtual tours of its exhibits during COVID-19. Image courtesy of Looney

Montclair YMCA’s recent post focused on the “urgent need for blood donations,” while the town’s Farmers Market post discussed a “touch-free” policy to keep customers safe. The series has also promoted #MontclairMondays – which are regular webinar sessions for the town’s business leaders. “Phonebooth Stories,” which is a line of communication to share creative ideas, was also recently featured, along with Playa Bowls’ push to supply health care workers with healthy meals.

A post from The Tea Store helped facilitate donations of fresh produce to the Mountainside Medical Center, while the Montclair Air Museum-focused post highlighted free virtual tours conducted by museum staff.

To learn more about these and numerous other #MontclairMatters spotlights, visit www.looney-advertising.com/montclairmatters, or find them on social media (including Looney’s Instagram profile, @looneyadvertising, along with Facebook and LinkedIn).

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Dan has a knack for in-depth news coverage and storytelling and comes from a journalistic and creative background. He is a former staff writer and critic for the New York Daily News, where he covered entertainment, politics, lifestyle and hard news. He is also the former editor of the Cyber Security Hub, a B2B media site covering the enterprise security vertical. Dan holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, where he focused in historical fiction. He also holds a BA in Communication (Journalism/Public Relations) and a Minor in History from Monmouth University. He has also worked as a municipal reporter and freelance writer/critic for numerous outlets, including NorthJersey.com, The Cheat Sheet, Critical Movie Critics and more.