Michelle McDermott and her team of registered massage therapists in Markham provide something we can all use more of right now – massage therapy and other healthcare-related services for relaxation, rejuvenation and well-being.

But like many businesses that were not considered essential at the outset of the pandemic, Solace Massage Therapy endured a three-month shutdown. No income, no clients and bills that still had to be paid. Michelle had few resources with which to adapt her business in any way.

The world of online marketing and social media had always been somewhat alien to Michelle. But that didn’t stop her from taking advantage of the opportunity to qualify for a Digital Transformation Grant and work with her local Digital Service Squad. This has enabled her to hire a digital media consultant and acquire the skills to execute an effective social media and digital advertising program.

Michelle has proceeded to update her website, blog more and create educational videos with which to also build a YouTube audience. She is also growing her email marketing list for a monthly newsletter.

“Digital Main Street has really helped bring awareness to my business and I have seen continued growth in clients because of the reach of social media, daily engaging posts and crossover marketing with other local businesses,” Michelle said. “My business is all about human connection and physical touch. Without the grant, I never would have seen how social media touches and interrelates with people as well.”



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


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