Digital Main Street

Helping Main Street Businesses Reach Their Potential by Adopting Digital Tools and Technologies

Vibrant main streets help attract visitors, create jobs, and increase the competitiveness of small businesses, which are the backbone of small rural communities.

The world has changed! Main street small businesses across Ontario now must think about how to promote their goods and services online, leverage e-commerce platforms, and streamline their operational processes with digital tools to stay competitive.

Haldimand County and Grand Erie Business Centre are thrilled to bring this program to your doorstep, in partnership with the Ontario BIA Association, TABIA, the Province of Ontario and FedDev Ontario.

Digital Main Street helps small businesses adopt digital tools and technologies and embrace digital marketing.

The program is based on three important components:

  1. Knowledge transfer through online training and assessments
  2. Resources including Digital Transformation Grants, and
  3. Support through Digital Service Squads, a team of trained digital technology specialists that provide businesses with the hands-on support and guidance needed to begin their digital transformation.

Is my business in the catchment area for this program?

The program has expanded beyond Main Street businesses. To see if you are in a qualified area for one-on-one support, please email opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca and a member of the Digital Service Squad will get in touch with you.

 

Businesses may be ineligible if:

  • They are located in an industrial area
  • They are located in a shopping mall (even if it is zoned commercial)
  • It is a shared workspace (ex. hot desks)
  • They are home-based
  • They are in a rural secluded area
Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism

“The Digital Service Squad has been well-received by many local businesses across Haldimand County. We are pleased to be able to provide this free service to businesses at a critical time when businesses are looking for alternative business solutions and enhancing online access to their products.”

Currently, the Digital Service Squad is not operating.  Contact Economic Development and Tourism staff for assistance at opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca

Fundamental to the program’s design is the Digital Service Squad. These trained specialists meet with small businesses, at no cost, help them complete an online assessment, and introduce them to online training modules to build their knowledge and skills.

This one-on-one assistance includes support for basic website set-up, Google My Business profiles, 360º photos, digital storefront set-up with e-commerce, creation, or enhancement of social media presence, and much more.

Haldimand County has hired 2 Digital Service Squad members with our renewed funding, ready to serve you safely either in person or via remote video conference.

They can also assist with the development of their Digital Transformation Plan (DTP) and then help them apply for a one-time $2,500 grant to implement it.

Reach out to the squad at opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca

The Digital Transformations Grants program is currently NOT accepting applications. Check back for new program announcements.

Businesses receiving DMS grants can apply the funds in a variety of ways, including optimizing websites for search, setting up e-commerce platforms, back-office solutions, social media advertising, and creating customer databases.

As we have learned in recent months, businesses best able to survive the COVID-19 shutdown were those that had made investments in e-commerce capabilities, remote-working technologies, and customer relationship tools.

By improving their ability to work online, as well as to reach and sell to customers online, businesses were able to continue earning revenue, keep customer relationships intact, and maintain ties with suppliers.

Do I Qualify for a Digital Transformation Grant?

Once your Digital Transformation Plan (DTP) has been created, you can apply for a Digital Transformation Grant to upgrade qualified digital improvements. The Digital Service Squad is available to assist you in your application. The Digital Transformation Grant is open until November 30th, 2021, or until funds are exhausted.

Learn more or apply for a grant.

The Digital Service Squad offered a number of FREE webinars to assist businesses with increasing their online presence. These workshops were being presented in partnership with Haldimand County and Grand Erie Business Centre.

View archived workshops here.

There are no upcoming workshops scheduled at this time.

 Haldimand Helps: Setting Up a Google My Business

Looking for super simple and easy way to spread the word about your business? Lets start with the basics, which is having a Google My Business listing. With Google being the most used search engine, this is a great way for your business to get more exposure.

View Tutorial Video Here 

Haldimand Helps: Setting up a Google Alert 

With the vast number of news channels and publications, its hard to know when your business is mentioned. Google Alerts is here to end all those missed opportunities! The Digital Service Squad Team has created a Google Alerts Tutorial video for you to learn how to set up Google alerts, so you are always in the know of what’s happening around the county and with your business!

View Tutorial Video Here 

Instagram Posting Part One: Page Posts 

Have you been looking to use Instagram but not known what to post or how to post? We have the perfect solution for you! The Digital Service Squad Team has created a two part Instagram posting video! In this first part, learn about posting to your page and how to take Instagram photos!

View Tutorial Video Here 

Instagram Posting Part Two: Story Posts 

This is our Second part of our Instagram posting tutorials! In this video, we go over Story posts! These are special post that disappear after 24 hours and are perfect for daily specials, one day promotions and even interacting with your followers! Check out our video linked bellow!

View Tutorial Video Here 

Boosting Posts on Instagram 

With Instagram having over one billion monthly active users, we can look into tapping into this market of young individuals! Instagram is the photo based social media giant, and that’s perfect for showcasing your products and services. Check out our tutorial to learn how to advertise on Instagram through Instagram boosting!

View Tutorial Video Here 

Giveaways Part One: Creating the Giveaway 

Do you have an amazing product you want to showcase more on your social media? Do you want to get more social media followers? Well, Giveaways can do that plus more! Giveaways are a great way to showcase different items and create a social media buzz around your business. Find out how to plan and create your giveaway with our two part tutorial video series. In the first part, we will be creating our giveaway outline and the giveaway post.

View Tutorial Video Here 

Giveaways Part Two: Selecting Winner and Post Giveaway Editing 

Now once you’ve posted your giveaway, what’s next? Find out what to do after your giveaway is like in the second part of our giveaway tutorial! In this video we cover how to pick the winner and adjusting your post afterwards.

View Tutorial Video Here 

Social Media Planning: Social Media Plan and Setting up a Calendar 

Are you having trouble finding things to post on your social media plan consistently? We can help with that! Our Digital Service Squad Team has created a Tutorial Video on setting up a social media plan and calendar for you to plan out a months worth of content!

View Tutorial Video Here 

Video Editing on Davinci Resolve

Learn how to edit your very own videos! Using Davinci Resolve, learn how to import, cut, adjust and export your videos. Follow along with our premade video package and video tutorial!

View Tutorial Video Here

 

Please note, you are not required to complete all phases of this program.  A plan will be customized by your DSS Team Member that meets your specific needs, priorities and timelines.

Are you a local digital service provider? Join our vendor list here.

Contact Us

Contact us to start your digital transformation:

opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca

905-318-5932 ext. 6331

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