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  • Newmarket’s Random Acts of Downtown Shopping Campaign wins at the 2023 Economic Developers Council of Ontario Conference

    Created: Thursday, February 16, 2023

    The Town of Newmarket was recognized at the 66th Annual Economic Developers Council of Ontario Conference (EDCO) for its Random Acts of Downtown Shopping Campaign (RADS) that was launched in 2022. Newmarket won the Community Economic Development award for communities under 100,000 in population category.

    Newmarket’s Random Acts of Downtown Shopping Campaign was launched in 2022 to balance the community impact and potential disruption to businesses during the filming of HBO’s The Handmaid’s Tale in the downtown area. The RADS campaign reinvested $20,000 in film production revenues back into downtown businesses by randomly giving out cash vouchers that ranged from $10-$125 to residents in-person and online so they could spend it at their favourite local downtown businesses. The campaign resulted in $1.26 spent at local businesses for every dollar distributed and spread joy to Newmarket residents by handing out gift vouchers to people participating in recreational programs, visitors to the farmers market and those out enjoying the trails.

    “Congratulations to the Town of Newmarket and staff for their efforts in the Random Acts of Downtown Shopping program and thank you to EDCO for presenting Newmarket with this award,” says Mayor John Taylor. “This campaign is a great example of how we took a revenue generating opportunity and used it to give back to our community, while supporting our local businesses. As a municipality, we will continue to find unique and innovative ways to continue to deliver programs to improve the economic well-being of Newmarket.”

    About the Random Acts of Downtown Shopping (RADs) Campaign

    The RADs campaign was launched after the Town had announced that a significant film project would take place in the Main Street District Business Improvement Area (BIA). It was later revealed that the film project was HBO’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

    During a two-week filming period, it was estimated that the production provided a minimum $200,000 economic impact for Newmarket that included rentals and fees, accommodations and the infusion of several hundred cast and crew members who were in Newmarket to shop and dine.

    During this time, Newmarket Council also announced a $50,000 investment into the Main Street District BIA. $20,000 was invested into the Random Acts of Downtown Shopping Campaign and the remaining $30,000 went towards enhancing and highlighting the downtown area through events, programs and other economic development initiatives.

    About the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO)

    The Economic Developers Council of Ontario is a professional economic development organization focused on advancing economic development as a profession and supporting municipalities in fostering economic prosperity in Ontario.

    The EDCO Awards of Excellence is an annual recognition program that aims to seek distinctive ideas and initiatives that can become economic development best practices of the future. Recipients of an EDCO Award are viewed as leaders in economic development.

    Learn more about EDCO at