Turning a Setback Into An Opportunity

by Hassan Abdul   |   May 25, 2022   |   Share this:  

The unprecedented circumstances brought on by COVID-19 brought on shockwaves around the world, requiring adjustments and adaptations for many. 

However, the circumstances presented a silver lining for business owners like Andy Lam. After spending time living in Asia, he was well-versed in the virtues of etiquette and personal responsibility. As such, wearing masks when sick and in public is a common courtesy that many follow. He recognized a business opportunity as the world adapted to “a new normal” way of life. 

Andy devoted a substantial amount of time to the endeavor of determining the best materials, with sustainability in mind. The result was a lightweight, highly breathable, three-layer mask that is water and droplet-resistant. The next step was to make ECOMASK’s available to a wider market. 

It can be a daunting task to start a new business endeavor while also bridging the knowledge gap for eCommerce best practices, optimization, and website management.  

After discovering the ShopHERE powered by Google program, Andy found a viable avenue to make his dream a reality. 

“The government had come up with a program called ShopHERE to help local businesses get online. After signing up for Shopify and being assigned with Rebecca from ShopHERE, things were starting to progress for our brand ECOMASKTM.”

Once Andy was accepted to the program, the process was easy, seamless, and engaging. The burden of learning the ins and outs of a new website builder, designing a new website, and learning how to market his new site was taken off of his shoulders so that he could focus on more business-related matters. 

“Once we registered the trademark, we were ready to set up our online store. Rebecca was very helpful and went above and beyond every step of the way. She represented the ShopHERE program in the best manner possible.”

With the help of his Coordinator, Rebecca, Andy was able to make his premium and high-quality masks available to the local market, the entire nation, and beyond. Andy's ShopHERE experience provided him with a new website capable of reaching more customers and taking payments and a platform that provided a solid foundation for him to continue cultivating and applying his entrepreneurial ingenuity. 

Andy has since expanded his business to larger platforms, such as Amazon, in addition to his current storefront. 

“I would recommend this program for anybody thinking of putting their business online. The process and end result proved to be very valuable to myself and ECOMASKTM.”

ECOMASK is one of many small businesses within Canada that recognized a business opportunity and acted at the right time. Andy’s initiative and ambition were complimented and enhanced with the help of his Coordinator.

“The process was very easy and helpful. Of course, having a good eCommerce Coordinator really helps in this as well.”

Click here to view ECOMASK, which provides masks that are not only fashionable but also practical and easy to maintain. If you have a business that you would like to bring online, sign up here today, and we will be happy to help!

About Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.

Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.

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