Midland Brings Businesses Online as Main Street Faces Disruption From Construction

by Avatar Andrew Seale   |   August 12, 2019   |   Share this :  

Next year, Midland’s King Street, one of the town’s key arteries will undergo a massive redesign, disrupting the flow of the downtown core and the businesses that drive the local economy. It’s a big change for the community, one the Downtown Midland Business Improvement Area has been hoping to offset by fixing up the alleyways, putting in more signage, and improving facades in the back.  

Major improvements in Midlands downtown mean getting local businesses online over the coming months is a critical task.  

 

Next year, Midlands King Street, one of the towns key arteries will undergo a massive redesign, disrupting the flow of the downtown core and the businesses that drive the local economy. Its a big change for the community, one the Downtown Midland Business Improvement Area has been hoping to offset by fixing up the alleyways, putting in more signage, and improving facades in the back.  

 

We're fortunate we have them but some stores don't have that access,” says Matthew Shepherd, communications manager for the BIA. Which is why Digital Main Streets roll-out across Ontario came at a good time for the community. The program – which is supported by the Province of Ontario and the Ontario BIA Association – offers grants to help small main street businesses across Ontario strengthen their digital and online capabilities 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Are you thinking of applying for the Digital Main Street Grant for $2,500 but don't know where to start?⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Reach out to your local BIA, economic development office, or small business center to find out if a digital service squad is active in your area. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Midland is running local info sessions soon! ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Stop by the Midland Public Library, Maker Space Computer Lab (320 King Street) between 6pm – 8:30pm on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 * BIA Members ONLY *⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ If you can't make it but still have questions, please email Geoff White at [email protected] ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 📲 Share your #digitalmainstreet story on social media to be featured​ – Don't forget to tag us ✨⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Helping Main Street Go Digital ➡ DSS Squads ➡ Grants ➡ Events ➡Tools ➡ Resources ➡ News ➡ www.digitalmainstreet.ca⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #digitalminstreet #smallbusiness #yyz #toronto #ontario #🇨🇦 #digitaltransformation #digitalmarketing #community #mainstreet #shoplocal #shopsmall #supportlocal #training #grants #news #tools #resources #contests #events #instagood

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It's definitely important and something we've been really thinking about,” says Shepherd.   

 

Since rolling out the program in May, the BIA has 18 businesses thatve completed the assessment. Those that have done the assessment have loved it and everyone loves the whole 3D camera idea too,” he says. One of the hurdles is that many stores don't know what search engine optimization means and how it works. “At least they can kind of understand when you Google your business and it pops up right there you can check out the 360 photos (which is) something they understand even if they're not really tech savvy. 

 

Shepherd says he had one business owner – David Antebi of Harbourlife Holistic Remedies – complete the eight hours of training video within a week. Hes really on board with getting all his products online, he definitely sees the importance of that especially with the construction coming up,” says Shepherd. Harbourlife Holistic Remedies is aiming to get 500 of its products added to its new online store. 

 

Shepherd also works at ShopCity, a home-grown Midland e-commerce platform that has since been adopted by BIAs throughout North America. Businesses can create a free profile and then the built-in SEO helps get them to appear in local searches. The company also does marketing.  

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Our Digital Service Squad member Jeff has been working with Sandy from Georgian Bay Books, this month along with many other small business owners. This week he was presented with a pressing POS Integration issue and was able to find a solution within a few hours thanks to our DSS toolkit and community forum. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 📲 Share your #digitalmainstreet story on social media to be featured​ – Don't forget to tag us ✨⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Grant info ➡️ digitalmainstreet.ca/ontario ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Additional online resources ➡️ digitalmainstreet.ca/tools⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Helping Main Street Go Digital ➡ Free Digital Assessment ➡ Digital Service Squad ➡ DMS Academy ➡DMS Lab ➡ www.digitalmainstreet.ca⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #digitalminstreet #smallbusiness #yyz #toronto #ontario #🇨🇦 #digitaltransformation #digitalmarketing #community #mainstreet #shoplocal #shopsmall #supportlocal #training #grants #news #tools #resources #contests #events #letsgetdigital @downtown_midland @obiaa_ @georgianbaybooks

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He points out that the whole BIA is linked to it, so the directory is already giving local businesses an edge online. But with DMS, the Squad member is able to connect with businesses on a one-to-one basis. 

 

We make sure everybody has some digital presence,” he says. It's pretty important to still have things going through the construction. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Francisca holding her son in front of her store ResCue Baby Bums, completed her digital assessment and is undergoing a digital transformation which includes a brand new website by Shopify. Francisca used Facebook to connect with her customers but found the number of calls and messages daily requesting clarification about product taxing. She wanted to get her store online for months but didn't have the tools until Digital Main Street provided the instruction and assistance to help get ResCue Baby Bums online. She is the #1 supplier for eco-friendly reusable cloth diapers in the region and plans on expanding into nursing and maternity wear.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 📲 Share your #digitalmainstreet story on social media to be featured​ – Don't forget to tag us ✨⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Grant info ➡️ digitalmainstreet.ca/ontario ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Additional online resources ➡️ digitalmainstreet.ca/tools⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Helping Main Street Go Digital ➡ Free Digital Assessment ➡ Digital Service Squad ➡ DMS Academy ➡DMS Lab ➡ www.digitalmainstreet.ca⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #digitalminstreet #smallbusiness #yyz #toronto #ontario #🇨🇦 #digitaltransformation #digitalmarketing #community #mainstreet #shoplocal #shopsmall #supportlocal #training #grants #news #tools #resources #contests #events #letsgetdigital #cute #baby #babiesofinstagram @downtown_midland @obiaa_

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Written by: Andrew Seale 

 

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