Marion County is currently developing a five-year plan for housing, community development, and infrastructure.
From their offices on State Street in Downtown Salem, NERUS Strategies plan and implement “Best Of” contests, events, and special sections for cities from coast-to-coast. Last year, they launched Best of the Willamette Valley giving an opportunity to shine a light on the hard work and stellar customer services of their hometown’s small businesses.
The contest continues with the 2021 Best of the Willamette Valley kicking off nominations Monday, March 8th.
“This is our town, and we want to support and highlight great businesses,” said Bill Cummings, President of NERUS. “In our second year, we have more businesses involved, and it’s been tough for them. We know there are businesses that are making it through COVID-19, those that are reentering the marketplace, and those that started up during the past year. It's important that we support each sn every one. It’s an honor to be helping our business community wherever we can.”
Best of Willamette Valley offers businesses a platform to promote their products, services, and employees. Being name best in one of the many categories gives the business recognition and an opportunity for new customers to learn more, engage, even walk across their threshold.
“Best of the Willamette really is seen as independent and autonomous when it comes to voting,” Cummings said. “It is truly a reflection of what the public thinks.”
"Best of programs, like ours, are a great way to show love to those businesses, people and places that we frequent throughout the year," explained NERUS Strategies Vice President Neil Potter.
"Not only do you get to support your favorites, but you also have the opportunity to experience, explore and try new businesses and restaurants that you may not have discovered yet," continued Potter.
For the 2021 contest, Rick’s Custom Fencing & Decking has joined Best of the Willamette Valley as a presenting sponsor.
“We love that Rick’s Custom Fencing has decided to become our presenting sponsor,” Cummings said. “It’s a great vote of confidence in what we are doing, when a large, established company supports local businesses. We are grateful and honored that they have stepped up to be a part of the larger program.”
It was an easy decision, said Taylor Pawley, Director of Marketing for Rick's Custom Fencing & Decking.
“The way that NERUS operates the competitions puts business first in ways that other companies have not,” Pawley said. “A lot of these local Best Of competitions seem to be just a way to charge for more advertising, without there being a focus on the recognition of these great companies that work hard to be the best every day. The folks at NERUS make this competition easy to navigate, mutually beneficial for the businesses involved, and give the community a great product at the end to engage with their local businesses and reward the best.”
Rick’s is the Pacific Northwest's premier installer and retailer of fencing, decking, patio covers, gates, and more. The 40-year-old company is known for its Community Support Drive, which has continued to help non-profits through COVID-19. The owners and staff were thrilled to be named Gold or Silver in 4 categories last year in the Best of Willamette Valley. NERUS Strategies’ personal touch and inspired ideas helped the company through last year’s unusual circumstances.
A combination of media will be used to promote the contest to the Willamette Valley including social media, digital display campaigns, outdoor advertising, broadcast, email, and direct mail.
“We watched as the team at the Best of Willamette Valley united businesses throughout the area in an incredibly challenging time and brought light to the great work being done in our communities,” Pawley said. “We’ve worked hard to build our business on the best products, service, and follow-through, by the best installers, estimators, and staff around. We are continuing our community-first approach to business by partnering with organizations like the Best of the Willamette Valley, Make A Wish Oregon, Impact NW, and others who are providing worthwhile services to the consumers and businesses of the Willamette Valley. Being the best means caring about the people that have made us the best and those are our employees and our communities.”
The response from local businesses, and their customers, has been a bright spot during some difficult times for the valley.
“People are leaning into us and what we can offer,” Cummings said. “The Best of Willamette really turns the focus back on all things best. We encourage everyone to get involved. There is no cost, no-obligation to participate and it’s a great business builder.”
Residents can look for a copy of the Best of Willamette Valley winner's magazine on June 17th in their mail and at select winner's locations.
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