Digital Main Street

The new year is here, and with it – resolutions! One of your resolutions as a small business owner may be to improve the digital impact of your business. From SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to Social Media the world of Digital Marketing can seem like a confusing place.

However, in our increasingly tech-driven world, digital marketing and creating a robust online presence are strategies that you can no longer ignore. Consumers demand easy access to your businesses’ information – whether it is products that you sell or a service you supply, people want to know where what, and how much? Without an online presence supplying this information it is likely that the customer will look elsewhere. Having your business well represented online can also create a sense of trust in that business and a good online presence can show professionalism and a willingness to engage with your customers. Additionally, marketing through digital channels can be much less expensive and much more impactful than more traditional marketing strategies, while allowing you to track and analyze the success of your promotions. For all these reasons and more it is imperative for the success of your small business to be engaged with the online world.

Many small businesses, however, have difficulty in achieving this. With so many options, from professional websites to ever-changing social media platforms, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Recognizing this, the Digital Main Street Program was created. Through an online questionnaire, the program identifies weak areas in your online presence and recommends a variety of ways to improve in those areas. For example, if your business’ webpage is out date, not accessible, or simply non-existent, the assessment tool would direct you towards resources and tools, as well as vetted vendors, to help you get you to where you’d like to be. The assessment itself is completely free and the choice to follow up on any of its suggestions is entirely yours. There is even a DMS Squad that can help you with completing your assessment and working towards improving your digital skills. If you’d prefer to do this yourself the Digital Main Street website also has a plethora of tools and resources that will help you to complete the recommendations from the assessment.

But wait! There’s still more good news! The province of Ontario and the Ontario BIA Association have partnered to bring you The Digital Transformation Grant. This grant will provide $2500 to any qualifying small business to purchase various tools and technologies for improving the digital impact of your business. Applications are now open so be sure to apply quickly before the grants run out!

Find all the details and the online assessment here:



The Downtown Update is the e-newsletter sent by the Downtown Hamilton Business Improvement Area to keep both members of the BIA and interested supporters of Downtown up-to-date with activities and issues in the core of our community.