Muskoka businesses will get the chance to boost their digital presence in the new year through a partnership between the Ontario government, the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and Digital Main Street, a program that helps main street businesses build and improve their online presence.
Huntsville, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Lake of Bays, Muskoka Lakes and Georgian Bay BIAs and downtown core sectors will be able to access the free services offered by the Digital Main Street program starting in January. Businesses must be members of their local BIA or be deemed a downtown business by their township to be eligible for services and support from Muskoka’s Digital Service Squad (DSS). While the program doesn’t launch until January, business owners are encouraged to reach out to the DSS as soon as possible to make inquiries and schedule a consultation for the new year.
“We are thrilled to be taking on this exciting project,” said Kyra Watters of Huntsville’s Well Known Marketing and Advertising Agency, which has been selected to act as Muskoka’s DSS. “We know that there’s no shortage of talent and ambition in our region. This program will help to ensure that local business owners have the digital tools and literacy they need to showcase their hard work and get the foot traffic and online traffic they need to reach the next level.”
Watters and her colleagues on the DSS team will consult business owners about their digital presence, Google products and social media. Her team will also help facilitate workshops on topics such as digital advertising, customer communications and building brand awareness.
“We are so excited to be a partner in Ontario’s Digital Main Street Initiative for the Muskoka area,” said Corey Moore, communications and economic development specialist for the Township of Muskoka Lakes. “The program will help local businesses strengthen their digital and online capabilities. Even if a business doesn’t feel the need to be selling online or if selling online doesn’t fit their business model, they still need to be found online, and this program will help with just that.”
The Muskoka DSS is also encouraging all local businesses that offer digital services such as social media management, web design, digital advertising and tech support to register as a vendor within the Digital Main Street directory. The DSS will be referring to the directory of vendors when working with business owners and suggesting they reach out to local businesses that offer services and products they need to help improve their online presence.
“The Digital Main Street program is a great resource and opportunity during the slow months for business owners in Muskoka to start thinking about the digital world in a different way,” said Morgan Richter, manager of the Downtown Huntsville BIA and program manager for Digital Main Street. “The DSS will provide meaningful and tangible resources to help businesses gain knowledge and insight into the rapidly changing digital world.”
To schedule a consultation, contact the DSS at email@example.com. To register as a vendor within the Digital Main Street directory, visit the Digital Main Street website. For more information about the Digital Main Street program, business owners can follow the Muskoka DSS (@digitalmainst.muskoka) on Facebook and Instagram.