Digital Service Squad Member Spotlights
Through our partnership with Team Burlington and Burlington Economic Development, some of our BDBA members highlighted below have successfully utilized the free marketing services of the Digital Service Squad!
The Digital Service Squad is part of the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association’s (OBIAA) Digital Main Street program. The Squad is composed of trained specialists who will introduce you to the digital tools and technologies businesses need today to stay competitive and grow. These resources are particularly important with the advent of physical distancing and mask laws.
The Squad will first conduct a complimentary audit of your digital presence, then help you develop a Digital Transformation Plan. A $2500 grant is available to help you purchase equipment and services necessary to implement your plan.
DSS services can include:
- Training you or your staff on a basic website build.
- Improving your existing online presence (through a Google My Business account, Social Media channels, 360º photos and more).
- Introducing you to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) techniques.
- Setup of E-commerce, Point of Sale (POS) and Customer Database programs.
Additional grant amounts may also be available. Delivered locally by Burlington Economic Development, the Digital Service Squad can be reached by email at email@example.com and more information can be found at http://investburlington.ca/COVID19.
Ali, owner of Agora Marketplace, opened his business in fall of 2020 during the pandemic. His small boutique on John Street in downtown Burlington features one-of-a-kind gifts, home furnishings and jewellery. Agora is home to 7 different jewellery artists, 5 glass blowers, 2 painters and is always accepting new artists if they’re willing to join! As a kid, he had always admired art, took music and painting classes.
When he found out about the Digital Service Squad opportunity he applied right away. “I needed help with my website and online exposure for my social media. I needed to revamp my website and increase my marketing online so I could reach new audiences, especially during COVID-19 as the pandemic has shifted business online.”
With gratitude he said “They helped me set up my Shopify website as well as create an e-commerce portal so that my customers can directly buy from my website. During the pandemic online shopping has become the rage and therefore we needed a way to target new audiences and cater to them.” Check out his new e-commerce website at agoramarketplace.ca.
Lynda Dobson, owner of Beauty N the Beast, is a hairstylist with over 30yrs experience operating a salon in our beautiful downtown core 3 days a week as a full service hair salon.
But what makes this salon unique is that it also offers grooming for your pup! It’s a one-of-a-kind service and the only one in the GTA!
On the other 3 days they offer dog grooming and specialize in senior pups. It’s a safe and quiet home-like feel place to bring your dog and they only do one dog at time. Dogs are never crated nor left alone.
Lynda re-located her business to the downtown core in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic. “I knew I needed help. As a small business owner during these times it’s imperative we access all the help we can.”
She sought out the services of the Digital Service Squad to assist her with her digital marketing strategies as well as the technical side of doing business online through the use of Zoom.
Bocana Boutique located at 435 Pearl Street has been a women’s retail staple in our downtown core for over 20 years. Bocana specializes in designer lingerie, swimwear, and clothing that are a perfect mix of comfort, luxury, and fashion.
Carol, owner, applied for the Digital Service Squad to get assistance elevating her digital presence via her website and social media in order to keep her business alive during the pandemic.
While Carol is still working on integrating her her old website into a new Wix platform, she spoke highly of the social media assistance she received from Ferene, Digital Service Square team member.“I had never even heard of the app Canva before and she very patiently showed me how to use it. Not only did she show me how to use it but we worked through a few posts together and she showed me tricks. She taught me how to schedule using the calendar. She was always eager to help me with the simplest task and a great sounding board for technical problems of which she always found a solution.” View her website at bocana.ca.
Brant Lakeshore Pharmacy is an independent pharmacy focusing on providing a service that is unique, educating their patients about their health rather than just dispensing medication. “Our patients are part of our family and they are the reason of our success.”
Owner, Nesrine Serane, applied for the Digital Service Squad to get assistance in increasing her business visibility online through social media.
“They have been incredible guiding me through the all process, steps…. Amazing communication and organization skills from the team. They connected me to all available resources and coached me through new marketing tools such as Later, Canva…etc.” View their website at brantlakeshorepharmacy.com.
Frederick Fine Art is an eclectic Art Gallery representing multicultural artists. Their services include custom museum quality framing, conservation, and art restoration. They sell fine art, murano art glass, and one-of -a-kind furniture and custom Italian jewelry. “We are a very unique art gallery, we do it because we love to meet people, we love beautiful things and we love beautiful Art created by true artists.” says Violeta Schultz.
Violeta reached out to the Digital Service Squad and applied for assistance to revise her digital marketing strategy to increase awareness of the art gallery to tackle the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“The Digital Service Squad is helping me with so many ideas on marketing and a few day-to-day computer knowledge items, introducing me to the right person that may be available to help my business.”
View their website at frederickfineart.ca.
Mirella’s Ladies Boutique has been a staple Brant Street retailer for 17 years specializing in formal and special occasion dresses. They also sell some casual apparel, shoes and accessories.
“What you wear is a personal reflection of who you are. When you look good in your clothes, you show the world that you have a sense of style and confidence. It is important to invest in a good wardrobe that reflects your personality. At Mirella’s, we are devoted to making this happen for each one of our customers. We want to ensure that you look and feel your best in every garment you purchase from us.”
Mirella approached Digital Main Street when Covid-19 disrupted the usual flow of business. She connected with her Digital Service Squad member and was also a recipient of the Digital Transformation Grant. “Going out of the box and learning as you go has been challenging to say the least! I have learned so much over the course of the last 14 months dealing with covid-19, safety protocols and trying to operate Mirella’s Ladies Boutique in lockdown. I am grateful to Digital Main Street for the $2500 grant to help rebrand my business and create an online presence.”