At Picture Yourself Well in Huntsville, photographer and art therapist Kelly Gauthier uses images to unlock repressed emotions and break down personal barriers.
But an image only has power when it is seen. Like thousands of other small business owners across the province, Gauthier has struggled to reach clients during periods of pandemic lockdown. She turned to Digital Main Street (DMS) for the funding and resources to boost her search engine rankings with improved SEO and expand her online services.
Gauthier is creating online phototherapy course content and videos which other mental health professionals can use to also work online with their patients. Armed with a clear-cut Digital Transformation Plan developed through DMS, Gauthier is on track to launch an e-commerce storefront for her course material and grow web traffic by 45 per cent.
“DMS has given me the opportunity to explore and secure marketing materials and platforms that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford,” Gauthier said. “These types of grants are more important than ever, especially during these uncertain times. Far too many small businesses have had to close as they didn’t have the funds to keep going or transition to a place that would allow them to keep going … specifically online! Every little bit helps when you’re trying to stay afloat.”
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