Located on a 100-acre farm in the township of Amaranth, outside Orangeville, Cedar Creek Kennels has been breeding and boarding dogs and cats for years. The breeding side of the business is known for its Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers and Russian Blue cats.

While a serene rural setting is great for pets, it always has posed challenges for owner Laryssa Sawyer to connect with potential customers. As the pandemic curtailed leisure travel and left Cedar Creek with fewer boarding clients, Laryssa put the focus on building her breeding business online.

That demanded an overhaul of her existing website to make it more colourful, engaging and, most importantly, more functional with mobile browsers. Laryssa understood how tablets and smartphones are the web-browsing tools of choice for a growing number of people.

She turned to Digital Main Street (DMS) and her local Digital Service Squad – run by Orangeville’s Small Business Enterprise Centre — which helped her qualify for a $2,500 DMS Digital Transformation Grant.  DMS also provided her with the free educational resources and coaching to make the most of it. This effort has included the new website, as well as greater investment in a social media strategy and execution for increased audience engagement, as well as search engine optimization for stronger Google search results.

Laryssa said. “Nowadays, digital is the most important form of marketing. People are no longer looking for a small or local business with a phone book,” Laryssa said.  “Working with DMS stressed for us just how important it is to have your business online.”

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