Annie Hardock understands the value of engaging with other business owners and local organizations, particularly when you are new to a community.
This tireless entrepreneur, networker and community volunteer, who first came to Canada from Hong Kong as a student in 1980, has been a force in Uxbridge north of Toronto since the mid ’90s. In 2010 she started a new business with her son Michael – a learning centre for mental arithmetic based on the principles of abacus calculation and high-speed listening training.
Easy Math for Kids, formerly called Abacus Uxbridge, has since expanded with pre-school programs and a unique mental fitness abacus program for seniors over 60. It’s not just about math – fans of this learning method say it also improves focus, concentration and memorization.
Annie’s business had already proved popular with caregivers eager to improve learning outcomes. This has become even more pressing with the pandemic’s disruption of work and school. To ensure Easy Math for Kids continued to serve clients and reach new ones, Annie turned to Digital Main Street and qualified for a Digital Transformation Grant.
Working with her local Digital Service Squad, Annie is executing an extensive transformation plan that includes a significant website upgrade, a new blog program, hiring a social media expert, and new video and photography. Annie’s goal is to increase by 50 per cent the number of new client leads from online channels and overall website traffic by 50 per cent.
“DMS is giving me new tools and resources to market the business,” Annie said. “Even the free consultations with the DMS team are very helpful.”
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