DIGITAL MAIN STREET
Digital Main Street (DMS) is a program focused on assisting small businesses with their move to online marketing, sales, and back-office operations. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured video training series, grant opportunities, and a Digital Service Squad, a team of trained individuals who help main street businesses with their adoption of digital tools and technology.learn more about digital main street
To date in Digital Transformation Grant funding awarded to local Hamilton and surrounding area small businesses
Interactions and consultations with businesses in Hamilton and the surrounding area in their pursuit of digital transformation
Digital Transformation Grant Program
The application portal for the Digital Main Street Digital Transformation Grant Program will re-open on January 16th, 2023, and will remain open until September 30, 2023 (or until grant funds are fully exhausted).
The Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program is focused on assisting small businesses with their adoption of technologies. The program provides training, advisory support, and grants to brick-and-mortar small businesses looking to increase their capacity through digital transformation.
Please note this is a continuation of DTG 4.0. program that started in early 2022. The same eligibility requirements are in place, as are the same (mandatory) online training modules. Read all the FAQs.start your application today
Digital Service Squad
The Digital Service Squad (DSS) provides businesses with targeted support to get started, grow their digital presence, and grow their business by providing free digital transformation consulting and coaching. This can include but is not limited to:
- A digital assessment of your business’s digital literacy
- Access to a free online video-based digital transformation training program
- Audits of your business’s existing digital presence and properties
- Complimentary 360-photo tour of your business
- Website – review, updating, creation, best practices
- Social Media – support, best practices, advertising, and more
Meet the Hamilton Digital Service Squad
Danielle Fenton, DSS
Danielle is formally educated in Digital Marketing and Strategic Communications and brings numerous years of hands-on experience. Over the past few years, while employed with The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Danielle has provided digital transformation coaching and one-on-one consultations to local businesses. Danielle also played a vital role in helping distribute $1.25 million+ in grant funding to local small businesses through the Digital Main Street (DMS) Ontario Grants Program (OGP).
Katie Hixon, DSS
Katie has a degree in Media Studies from the University of Guelph & post-graduate certificate in Marketing Management from Fanshawe College. This has allowed Katie to thrive in past positions as a retail marketing coordinator and social media manager. Katie is excited to be working with Hamilton businesses to help grow their digital presence with unique and engaging strategies.
Keith Russell, Project Lead
Keith has been the Hamilton Digital Main Street team’s project lead for the past 2.5 years and has played an important role in developing the program in Hamilton as well as helping distribute $1.25 million+ in grant funding to local small businesses through the Digital Main Street (DMS) Ontario Grants Program (OGP). Previously a digital arts and digital marketing professor at Mohawk College, Keith brings years of experience to the local business community.
Digital Startup Program
The Hamilton Digital Startup program is designed for startups and existing businesses that have little to no digital presence. The program assists with the creation of a simple, easy-to-use website, landing page, or events page utilizing the free Google Sites platform as well as with the creation of social media profiles, social posts, local business directory listings, content strategy, and more!
360 Photo Sessions
360 images and tours drive results! 360 images can not only improve your user experience, and make it easier for customers to find you but also let customers peek inside before they arrive while boosting your business’s visibility online. Schedule your business’s complimentary 360 photo session today!
25-Point Google Business Profile Audit
Your business’s Google Business Profile can transform how you acquire customers online. 93% of local searches now feature Google Business Profiles, 68% of people contact a business directly from search results, and 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Get your business’s complimentary audit today to be sure your profile is optimized and being used to its fullest potential.
Social Media Content Strategy
What do I even talk about when I’m trying to promote my business on social? If this sounds like you and you’re looking to: bring clarity to your social content strategy, hone in your voice and message, create social content pillars that you can create content around for years to come, and build authority in the niche you serve, we can help with our FREE, in-depth social media content strategy planning session.
16-Point Social Media Audits
Are your social media profiles set up properly? Are you utilizing all the features available? Are you posting regularly? What about the branding of your profiles? Are they consistent with your website and other online properties? Find the answers to these questions and more with our FREE 16-point audit for your Facebook and Instagram profiles.
How To: Facebook and Instagram Ads
Learn how to optimize your digital advertising budget with a 1-on-1 Facebook and Instagram Ads consultation. This session will walk you through creating a new campaign, choosing a campaign objective, selecting a budget and schedule, determining your audience, publishing tips, and more!
Client Success Stories
For the first four years in business, Hamilton’s The Haberdashery lived online but that changed in the winter of 2019-2020 when the Haberdashery opened it’s first physical location on Concession Street. It was a whole new reality transitioning into the brick and mortar world and amalgamating all the different businesses under one roof. With the help of DIgital Main Street founder Holly Johnston was able to stitch together its physical and online businesses.
Life Hearing Solutions
Jinxing Wang is the owner of Life Hearing Solutions, a hearing clinic with three locations in Hamilton, Oakville, and Etobicoke Ontario. Given the nature of the business, a lot of interactions happened in-person but the pandemic forced business owners to reevaluate how they reach customers and drive traffic to their physical locations. With the Help of Digital Main Street Jinxing was able to drastically improve his clinic’s online presence so customers could clearly find and view information about the clinic’s hours as well as the existing COVID-19 protocols for people looking to book appointments.
Dundurn Hair Design
“Right now, the business has been closed. I’ve been losing so much money, I just want to be able to survive,” says Susana Bosengic, owner of Dundurn Hair Design. Susana knew she wouldn’t be able to provide her hairstyling services during the second Ontario lockdown. After hearing great reviews about Digital Main Street from her daughter’s experiences with the program, she began gaining confidence in the possibility of enhancing her brand presence online. The DMS team worked with Susana to develop a strategy on how her new website should look, which products to sell on the new online platform, and create new content ideas for her business’ social media accounts.
For 35 years, Olive’s Oddments in Hamilton has seen a steady flow of customers through the door to peruse the I Love Lucy ephemera and Nightmare Before Christmas sundries. With the assistance of the DMS program, Dana Thompson of Olive’s Oddments has been able to improve her digital literacy and launch a new mobile-ready website taking her unique finds and making them available online.
Founded in early 2015 by two McMaster University students, Charitees offers affordable, quality apparel while giving you the opportunity to give back to the local community with 10% of the proceeds that come from your order going directly to a registered non-profit/charity. With the help of Digital Main Street, Charitees was able to optimize their website for mobile, implement SEO, and run Google Adwords campaigns for awareness.
Alcatraz Escape Rooms
Alcatraz Escape Rooms offers Hamilton’s most exciting escape rooms at 576 & 604 Concession Street. They offer six, uniquely-themed and staged escape rooms where participants must solve a series of puzzles to “escape” before time runs out. With the help of Digital Main Street, Alcatraz was able to improve its digital marketing and literacy skills while learning to run Google Adwords and Facebook PPC ads.