Digital Service Squad – Free digital support for your business

With support from Digital Main Street Ontario and Milton Economic Development, the Downtown Milton Business Improvement Area (BIA) is launching a Digital Service Squad (DSS) to connect main street small businesses with support, resources and skills to help them build their online presence, adopt new technologies and promote and sell online. The DSS is funded through a grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and the Province of Ontario, in partnership with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA). The squad will be in place until February 2021. Click here for the complete news release.

What is Digital Main Street?

Digital Main Street helps main street small businesses like yours connect to and adopt digital tools and technologies to meet your needs. The program includes an online learning platform, digital marketing training programs, grants as well as Digital Service Squads.

Digital Service Squad

The Downtown Milton BIA’s Digital Service Squad is made up of two trained digital marketing specialists that help main street small businesses like yours build their online presence, adopt new technologies, and promote and sell online. The Squad provides this support for BIA members and other main street small businesses through free one-on-one consultations. In general, the Digital Service Squad is able to help small businesses that have a physical storefront and are located in or near downtown shopping areas.

The Squad may help business owners like you to:

  • Receive an assessment of your business’s digital literacy
  • Access free online learning resources to help expand your digital marketing skills
  • Apply for the Digital Main Street Transformation Grant ($2,500 grant and free digital marketing training) before the November 30 deadline
  • Improve and optimize your website
  • Establish or enhance your presence on social media
  • Engage customers through digital outreach campaigns
  • Activate online business tools
  • Incorporate analytics into decision-making
  • Set up a basic e-commerce store
  • Connect with highly-qualified digital marketing service providers to implement new projects
  • And lots more

In November, the Squad is focusing primarily on providing support to businesses applying for the Digital Main Street Transformation Grant (deadline November 30). After that, they will be providing a wider range of digital consultations and support.

Meet Milton’s Digital Service Squad

Rachael Smith

You’ve probably seen Rachael’s face around Downtown Milton already – after holding a temporary position with the Downtown Milton BIA for a couple of months, she has now moved into the new Digital Service Squad Team Member role. She is passionate about shopping locally and supporting small businesses. She has worked as a freelancer for a handful of years helping small businesses and start-ups with their branding and marketing. Rachael loves using social media to expand customer engagement and is thrilled to be able to share her digital marketing knowledge with you. With many years of experience in marketing and customer service in retail, she has hands-on knowledge to help you grow the digital presence of your business. In her off time, you’ll find Rachael hiking with her boyfriend and dog or having a girls’ night with her friends. Rachael can’t wait to work with you and see your business grow.

Shahrez Waseem

Shahrez recently graduated from the University of Toronto at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information & Technology (ICCIT), with a focus in Digital Marketing & Technology. Throughout his time there, he gained valuable experience working with businesses in a variety of industries to help them implement and enhance digital marketing initiatives. Shahrez’s passion is in innovative technologies, digital marketing tools, and improving the online experience for customers. When he isn’t working alongside local businesses as a Digital Service Squad Team Member, you will find Shahrez at the University of Toronto working as a Teaching Assistant for various digital marketing courses, or working out at the gym. Shahrez is excited to help main street businesses transform and expand their digital presence as part of the Downtown Milton BIA’s Digital Service Squad.


Want to speak to a Digital Service Squad Member to find out more about Digital Main Street? Click here to let us know.

Digital Transformation Grant

Through the Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program, eligible main street small businesses can access funding, training and tools to help grow their digital presence. This program can provide you with a $2,500 grant to use towards your digital transformation. Plus, you will receive free training in digital marketing and the opportunity to create a digital transformation plan that meets your unique needs. Click here to start your application for a Digital Transformation Grant.

Want to know more about Digital Transformation Grants? Check out:

 Your Digital Service Squad Members are looking forward to working with you!

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