Digital Marketing for Your Business

Mercatus believes in the power of your story and your business, but you need to have a place to tell your story – a website that is working for you, and a way to communicate with your customers after they have left your store. The Mercatus Digital Marketing program will provide you the resources and tools to get started on a strong foundation. Mercatus is proud to partner with Mercatus business Avenue Agency to manage this vital program for the Mercatus Community.

Participants receive:

  • Up to 3 hours of one-on-one digital marketing consulting
  • A personal digital marketing roadmap
  • Free digital marketing workshops throughout the year
  • A one time stipend of $2000 to invest in your digital marketing efforts

Your commitment:

  • Attend Digital Marketing Orientation (announced once you are entered in the program)
  • Provide City of Portland and Oregon Business License
  • Complete three month and six month survey

Application and Eligibility

The Mercatus Digital Marketing Program supports historically disadvantaged business owners to establish a strong digital marketing foundation. Priority is given to businesses that are referred through an Inclusive Business Resource Network Partner. See a list of partners below.

In addition, your business should be registered with the state, in compliance with the city of Portland, and have a completed business listing on the Mercatus Directory. Not listed? You can get listed for free, learn more here. Please let your business advisor know if you are interested in participating in the program.

The digital marketing program is built on the local digital marketing stack and aims to help businesses move through zone 1-3. Businesses operating beyond zone three are not eligible.


How are participants selected?

  • The applicant meets eligibility requirements.
  • The application is completed in full.
  • The program is cohort-based so applicants that add diversity of experience and variety of business type to the cohort will be prioritized.
  • Priority is given to businesses that have applied in previous rounds but were not able to participate.

Step 1

Become a Mercatus Member. You must have a complete profile to be eligible. Learn more about becoming a member.

Notify your Inclusive Business Resource Network business advisor that you are interested in participating. 

Step 2

Meet with your business advisor to complete the digital marketing program application. The application may take up to 30 minutes to complete.  


Step 3

Eligible and complete applications will be reviewed. Selected participants will be notified when they are selected for an upcoming cohort.

Application Deadlines

This program is on a waitlist. Please feel free to apply, you will be contacted once space is available.

Attending orientation is mandatory to participate in this program. 

Inclusive Business Resource Network

The Inclusive Business Resource Network is a community of organizations that work to provide culutral responsive business technical assistance and prioritize underrepresented entrepreneurs and business owners. Learn more at:

The Program Philosophy

The Mercatus Digital Marketing Program will help clear the noise and guide you to a digital marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals. The program is based on the Local Marketing Stack, developed by Tidings Co, which emphasizes the need for a strong digital marketing foundation and leverages free and low cost resources before progressing into more sophisticated and often costly digital marketing tools. While the Local Marketing Stack walks through six digital marketing zone this program focuses on getting businesses through zone three. 

The program focuses on three areas:

  • Operations and customer service: Do you have the systems and tools in place to deliver great customer service in a productive and consistent way? Can your customer find your business online? Does your business have a professional image? Do have a website that works for you? 
  • Presence: This includes branding, photos and videos, and offline collateral. How are you using your content to reach your goals? What kind of content should you invest in? Does your website communicate the message you think is does? 
  • Organic Marketing: Are you maximizing the power of referrals, word of mouth and reviews? Do you have an e-newsletter? What social media platforms are most beneficial to your business? Is your website optimized for local search?

The Local Marketing Stack. A digital “Order of Operations.”

This program is made possible by a generous grant from Business Oregon and the support of our partners: