Is your business ready for digital marketing?

Digital marketing is an important part of any competitive business’s marketing toolkit. Used properly, technology delivers a big competitive advantage in any industry. However, for many small businesses, adding technology into the mix can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are tools and programs that can help. One great example is Digital Main Street, which offers education and a $2,500 grant for businesses looking to begin a digital strategy or introduce a piece of technology. Digital Main Street partners with vendors such as Anamorphiq to support the development and implementation of these solutions.

What is Digital Main Street?

Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses in Toronto and GTA achieve digital transformation. It was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto.

The program works using online learning, structured training programs and a Digital Service Squad. The Digital Service Squad is a team of highly trained recent graduates. They help businesses grow and manage their business through using digital tools and technology.

Strategic corporate partners also support Digital Main Street, including Google, MasterCard, Rogers, Microsoft and Shopify.

If this sounds too good to be true, it gets better — this program is completely free to join and you will receive a free digital assessment. The assessment includes a recommended to-do list that shows you tools that will help your business meet your marketing goals. And, as part of the Digital Main Street community, you receive discounts from all digital vendors.

Are there workshops?

Digital Main Street offers an Academy, which includes events, how-to guides and tools to help with your digital changes.

Opportunity for grant

Here’s the good stuff – Digital Main Street provides a $2,500 grant to businesses that qualify to help them adopt digital tools that will support business growth. However, there are only 2,000 grants available until March 2020. So, it is important that businesses apply ASAP.

To apply for the grant:

  • There are two main parts to the grant application – the training program, and the grant application.
  • A business must complete the Digital Transformation training program. Then, you must complete your Digital Transformation Plan before you can apply for a grant.
  • Once your business has a completed Digital Transformation Plan, you will then be eligible to apply for a grant and will submit your application for review.
  • Then, applications will be reviewed, and you will either be awarded a grant or not based on if your plan is relevant and practical.

 

You can start the application process and find the requirements here: https://digitalmainstreet.ca/ontario/.

About vendors

Digital Main Street has a portal that includes a range of digital vendors. These vendors work with small businesses and can help them become digital-ready. Conveniently, there is no cost to join Digital Main Street. However if you choose to start a service or tool from one of the vendors, there may be a cost with it. Luckily, there is often a special price or free trial period for businesses registered with Digital Main Street.

Vendors range from content marketing businesses to e-commerce platforms to inventory solutions. As a Digital Main Street vendor, Anamorphiq offers digital-first public relations, content marketing and creative services.

We believe that this program is an important way for Toronto business owners to grow their business through technology. As businesses consider applying for the grant, they must create a Digital Transformation Plan. But, many businesses are starting at ground zero and not sure how to tackle the task. To help, Anamorphiq offers an assessment of your plan and will help you work through any questions you may have.

This initiative offers a way to make your business more competitive. It can be costly and confusing to introduce new tools and technology. But, Digital Main Street makes this transformation easier, and Anamorphiq is here to help.

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