Belluz Concrete and Rentals in Fort Frances, is a traditional brick-and-mortar business – it actually sells bricks and mortar, products fabricated from concrete (precast) and rents the equipment to get the job done. Customers include local contractors and do-it-yourselfers.
Challenged by the pandemic, this multi-generational family business realized it had to shift from its reliance on traditional print advertising. It turned to Digital Main Street (DMS) for the grant funding, professional advice and support to increase social engagement through Facebook and redevelop its website to better engage with customers.
Belluz is strengthening its brand as a family-owned business that is there to support the local community. Its DMS Digital Transformation Plan includes an expanded online gallery to showcase customer projects and success stories, DIY instructional videos, and “behind-the-scenes” Facebook posts. The goals are to grow social media engagement by 30 per cent, web traffic by 30 per cent and customer inquiries by 10 per cent.
“With the help of DMS, we are shifting our advertising and exposure from traditional print media to more of an online presence,” said co-owner Mike Belluz. “As a small family business, especially with the recent COVID restrictions, we have to look at alternative ways that we can compete in the marketplace. If we can make the transformation to digital, anyone can.”
The Digital Main Street program has been further extended through funding from FedDev Ontario and the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT). The new round of funding includes $42.5 million from the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, a national recovery initiative delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. With $7.45 million from Ontario, this combined federal and provincial project will strengthen Ontario’s economic capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration, and will promote the development of a strong and diversified Ontario economy. For more information, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca/ontariogrants