Owner to Owners Campaign

Our Shared

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NYC Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives launched Employee Ownership NYC, the nation’s largest municipal initiative to protect and sustain small businesses through conversion to employee ownership. To help business owners keep their doors open by selling their businesses to their employees, the City of New York set up a rapid-response program called Owner to Owners as part of the initiative. 

SVM was hired to develop and manage the multi-phase strategic communications campaign to educate businesses about the financial and social benefits of employee ownership and drive New York City businesses to the Owner to Owners rapid response hotline to find out if employee ownership conversion was right for them.



Estimated Website Visits from Unique Businesses


Community Partners Shared Owner to Owners Content


Owner to Owners Event Registrations


Owner to Owners Hotline Phone Calls and Survey Submissions

we did

  • Produced a comprehensive community partner analysis, consisting of a robust literature review, insights from interviews with 10+ key partners and a stakeholder map of 337 relevant organizational partners across over 20 business ecosystems.
  • Designed a multi-phase strategic communications campaign that aimed to reach and engage New York City businesses by leveraging existing networks and trusted community voices as messengers. This decentralized approach aimed to:
    • Educate and equip community partners within distinct business communities to act as Employee Ownership NYC ambassadors.
    • Drive referrals to the Owner to Owners hotline.
    • Support narrative change around the business case for employee ownership. 
    • Establish sustainable referral processes that continue to exist beyond the scope of this campaign.
  • Implemented a communications campaign grounded in two outreach tactics: 
    • A community-driven campaign to educate and equip CBO partners to act as the face of the Owner to Owners campaign through customized micro-campaigns and events.
    • A paid media strategy to further amplify the reach of Owner to Owners messaging through online and offline platforms, including social media, Google, radio spots, digital publications and flyering. 
  • Customized and A/B tested story-based and data-driven ads, delivered to different business communities, to identify the most effective messaging with each target segment.