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Meet the Digital Service Squad: helping main street businesses grow online

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

For over a year, businesses in Windsor and Essex County have benefitted from the tech prowess of the Small Business Centre’s Digital Service Squad. Part of the Digital Main Street suite of programs and services, the squad is a team of local experts who help main street businesses grow and manage their business through the adoption of digital tools and technology.

Is your business one of the over 1,500 Windsor-Essex companies that have tapped into Digital Main Street supports? Meet the members of Digital Service Squad and connect with them to help grow your company’s digital reach.

Spencer Willock

“I have been with the Digital Main Street Digital Service Squad since June of 2020. I was a student at St. Clair College’s highly regarded Advertising and Marketing Communications Management program from 2011-2014, and through this education, I have previously worked in advertising and marketing positions as a social media manager and digital marketing specialist. I bring the knowledge and skills gained from these experiences to the team with a particular interest in developing businesses’ social media pages to further develop their online presence. 

I have always been interested and invested in helping the businesses within our city and am a long-time patron of several local shops and restaurants in the downtown core. This is the main reason that I was drawn to this role: as it allows me to help these businesses as more than just a paying customer by developing marketing strategies and plans to further expand their business outside of their current clientele.”

Dominik Skrzypek

“I joined the Digital Main Street team to help local small businesses survive and thrive in these unprecedented times. Being a Windsor local my whole life and having attended the University of Windsor for my business degrees I always felt a strong connection to the local community. After graduating in 2017, I started my own local business in Windsor and I am working with other small businesses in the region. This experience significantly helped me as an entrepreneur, while developing an appreciation and respect for those who take on this path. With my business well established and based online, I first took my experience to Digital Main Street in June of this year in the midst of the pandemic and joined the ShopHERE Program. As part of ShopHERE, I worked with businesses across Ontario to assist them in launching e-commerce stores and building up the supporting marketing. Once the more localized role of the Digital Service Squad appeared, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to narrow my focus on Windsor-Essex, where many familiar businesses were struggling. Now, I am proudly taking on the role of helping local small businesses in my hometown.”

Tina Wakeford

“I am an accomplished multifaceted professional with over 15 years of hands on experience amassed with prowess in marketing (experiential, digital, traditional), conference and events and sales negotiation. I earned a diploma in Business-Advertising from St. Clair College and continued my education in media production and as a certified event and sales professional. I possess a strong analytical and intuitive ability keen on problem solving, which has earned me positions in industries including broadcasting, marketing, agriculture, and hospitality. I was born and raised in Kingsville.

At Blackburn Radio Inc. in Windsor, I built radio and online campaigns for businesses, formed, and skyrocketed strategic partnerships by creating promotions tailored to their needs and objectives.? I was Marketing Director and event executive and successfully spearheaded the launch of radio stations, growing one into becoming a key player in the market through strategic marketing to females. At Caesars Windsor, I am the Hotel and Convention Sales Manager where I am successful in bringing group business to the venue selling meeting space, food and beverage. I am recognized as a #YQG Ambassador when I travel to tradeshows and conferences promoting our region to attract business.?I am eager to help the Windsor-Essex region thrive by assisting your small business with digital transformation.”

Anthony Nassar

"Hey! I’m Anthony Nassar. I have been working with social media and digital services for over six years. In that time, I’ve helped individuals, businesses and non-profits engage with their audiences and get comfortable online. My real strength is putting myself in other people’s shoes, and learning what people want. Before I help a business or make a piece of content, I take time to understand my audience’s wants, needs and pain points, ensuring my help is as impactful as possible. I’m here to help you do the same for your customers as you venture into the digital space. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, or just want to nerd out about social media with me!"

Lindsay Renaud 

“Hi! My name is Lindsay, and I am a digital specialist with the Digital Main Street program. I hold an advanced diploma in Advertising and Marketing Communications Management from St. Clair College. Additionally, I hold a degree in Psychology, and I am currently working on an Education degree from the University of Windsor. Born and raised in Windsor, teaching and learning are my lifelong passions, especially in the realm of digital marketing. I have been working in the marketing and advertising field for nearly 10 years, and I have worked with well-known companies like Microsoft, PetSmart and Lowes on their marketing initiatives. In 2014, I won a medal for my work with client Expedia. Although I work with corporations, I have a passion for teaching and educating small businesses, and as such, I have worked on marketing campaigns for various local businesses from beauty to health services. I love seeing small businesses thrive and grow! I specialize in WordPress training, graphic design and website development/design, but I also enjoy social media marketing and analytics.”

What is Digital Main Street?

Digital Main Street (DMS), delivered by the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre (SBC), is a program offering a suite of services that help main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs and a Digital Service Squad.

More specifically, the Digital Service Squad provides businesses with free digital transformation consulting and support such as:

  • A digital assessment of your business’ digital literacy
  • Access to a free online video-based digital transformation training program
  • Website – review, updating, creation, best practices
  • Social Media – support, best practices, advertising, and more
  • Technology – support and guidance for the best options of technology tools to implement for your business
  • Miscellaneous Digital Transformation Support: loyalty programs, point of sale systems, e-commerce, back-end business operations support

Earlier this year, Digital Main Street announced three new program additions: 

  • shopHERE, powered by Google, provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away. Through the program, volunteer website developers will provide businesses with over 17 hours of hands-on support to launch an e-commerce website using Shopify.
  • Digital Main Street relaunched its Digital Transformation Grant program by providing 3,200 more grants of $2,500 each to businesses across Ontario. The application deadline is Nov. 30, 2020.
  • Future-Proofing Main Street is a program that assists businesses with identifying new markets, pivoting their business model, and developing and implementing a deep digital transformation plan.

Learn more about DMS and request a free consultation with the Digital Service Squad by visiting?windsoressexsmallbusiness.com/dms.