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Economic Development News

Digital Main Street launches grant program across Ontario
Posted Oct-17-2018

Province of Ontario partners with OBIAA to provide grants to help Ontario’s “main street” businesses go online.

Digital main street grant program launch

Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) announced the official launch on October 15th of Digital Main Street’s exciting Grants Program across Ontario.

The Digital Main Street Grants Program will provide funding to qualifying small “main street” businesses to adopt technology to assist them in online promotion, online sales, and online operations.

“Our government is making Ontario open for business and strengthening rural communities, and the Digital Main Street program will do just that. In partnership with the Ontario Business Improvement Association, this program helps local small business embrance new technology that will expand their digital capabilities and make them more competitive."

- Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

There are two types of grants that will be available:

Digital Transformation Grant:

There will be 2,000 grants across Ontario of $2,500 each available to qualifying small “main street” businesses to help them adopt new digital technologies. The first step for any business interested in participating is to take an online assessment of their current technology use and practices at https://digitalmainstreet.ca/  After the assessment, they will create a Digital Transformation Plan and can apply for a one-time grant of up to $2,500 to help acquire the necessary technology and adopt it in the workplace.

The grant can be spent on digital marketing (including costs to hire a consultant), website redesign or development, software (graphic design, productivity, social media, and security), digital training, and hardware deemed necessary in the Digital Transformation Plan.

Please click here for details on who is eligible to apply for a grant, and what the grant can be used on.

“The Digital Main Street website contains many useful tools and tips for using digital tools and technology, and for adopting a better online presence. We encourage businesses to take a look at the DMS website and take the time to complete the online assessment. While only qualifying businesses that fall within the DBIA’s catchment area will be eligible to apply for a Digital Transformation Grant, there are many resources and articles that are relevant to any business looking to improve their online presence. In addition, the site has a vendor directory that businesses across Ontario will be accessing as they implement their Digital Transformation Plans. Any local vendor that is offering products in the digital space or technology related services should set up a free company profile on their website."

- Kendra Lorimer, Economic Development Coordinator

Digital Service Squad Grant:

There will be 300 grants of $10,000 each available to qualifying BIAs to develop and implement local squads of digital vendors and experts to directly help small businesses.

Please click here for details on the Digital Service Squad Program.

Applicants can access the Grant Program Portal on the Digital Main Street website at www.digitalmainstreet.ca/ontario

“With today’s launch of the Grants Program and the Grant Program Portal, we are making Digital Main Street very real. These grants will enable Ontario’s qualifying small “main street” businesses to adopt digital technologies while also learning how to promote, sell and operate online for greater success. Digital Main Street will put Ontario’s small businesses on the digital map."

- Kay Matthews, Executive Director OBIAA

Part of the Province of Ontario’s Main Street Enhancement Initiative, Digital Main Street helps improve how small businesses use digital tools and techniques to become more successful. Today’s digital economy is vital to small businesses, and DMS will help enable them to adopt new digital technologies from e-commerce and social media to back-office systems such as payroll and inventory. Click here to read the full OBIAA press release


   


Click here to contact the Economic Development Office at the City of Brockville 
or call  613-342-8772 x4440 for more information.

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