Giving Back: Digital Main Street

Downtime. It’s what some of us have right now, even if we are back to work in some capacity.

During this time it’s nice to relax, get some things done around the house between work/calls, do an online course, bake sourdough or find a way to give back.

We have relaxed, we have clean(er) homes, eaten a lot of bread, gone on walks, worked on personal projects, connected with former clients and colleagues to ramp back up when everyone is ready but… now we want to use some of our downtime to give back.

Enter, ShopHERE by Digital Main Street. ShopHERE provides independent Toronto area small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and, best-of-all, no-cost way to get selling online right away. (In a matter of days in some cases).

We heard about the City of Toronto’s initiative to help support businesses during this time. At first we though – wow, who is going to build all those websites? We had heard that Shopify, Google, Mastercard and Microsoft were involved, but it sounded like a daunting task. As we looked into it further, we realized that they were looking for volunteers to help build all these websites. Finally – here was a way we could help out by using our skills and super speedy delivery to do some good.

We received our first project last week and I dove in headfirst. The small, simple sites are built using Shopify and all of the information, images (and even template selection) are provided by the small business. We create the customer facing front end, and then Digital Main Street leads take it from there to fine-tune it with the client and get all the payment processing worked out. It’s a really fun project and feels good to be using my brain to figure things out on my own (and when I can’t, I call in the big guns (Rick) to fix it up).

The first site I did last week was for a poet selling his poetry books. This week I created a site for a furniture company who sources sustainable materials and creates right in Toronto. Who knows what next week will bring!

I’m glad we are a part of this and I think it’s a great program that should be in as many cities as possible. There are so many talented artists and small businesses who are in desperate need of an online presence – especially one where they can sell their products and services right now to give them a shot at surviving this tough time.

For more information on how to apply for the program or to sign up to help build websites visit: https://digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere/.

Photo by Syed Ahmed on Unsplash
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