Kingston Economic Development offers free digital support to local businesses – Kingston

Over the past 22 months, Wendy Leonard has had to adapt and innovate to overcome bottlenecks and capacity limits.

“For us, it was a very difficult time to get through these blockages,” said the owner of the Kahiko Bay store.

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With limited foot traffic in physical locations, some businesses have adapted by creating a strong digital presence.

“It has really been a boon for many different companies who have found that they have been able to drive more traffic, more sales and just increase their overall presence in the community,” says Rob Tamblyn of Kingston Economic Development Corporation ( Kingston Ec Dev).

The Kingston Ec Dev team is currently in its third iteration of a partnership with Digital Main Street, a Toronto-based nonprofit that helps small businesses adopt technology.

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They are now offering free digital marketing support to local businesses to help them better serve their customers through e-commerce, social media and more.

“When you’re a non-essential business, we’ve been blocked three times,” says Leonard. “Which means your door is closed so no one can come in and just walk through or whatever.” So having that online presence is good with everyone stuck at home, they can Google you, get information online before you shop and come.

Leonard is part of a grant program to help local businesses adopt digital skills, but free consultations are available for all local businesses in the Kingston area.

“We have a team, our digital services team, that has expertise in various areas of the digital space,” says Tamblyn. “And so they can go out and visit your business and do some sort of assessment of where you are, where you need to be, where you want to be, and then provide you with the steps to get there.”

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Kingston Ec Dev is also running a series of online digital switchover workshops, with the next available on January 25.

Tamblyn says businesses can book one-on-one consultations with a digital services consultant and find out more about the programs offered on the Kingston Ec Dev website.

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