Digital Main Street Launches Ontario Grant Program
Coinciding with Canada’s Small Business Month, Digital Main Street has officially launched the Digital Main Street Grants Program, which provides funding to qualifying small “main street” businesses and community business groups to enhance online promotion, selling and operations.
In partnership with Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), Digital Main Street has formally launched the Digital Main Street Grant program.
“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 Area Association, this program helps local small business embrace 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:
1. Digital Transformation Grant: There will be 2,000 grants of $2,500 each available to qualifying small “main street” businesses to help them adopt new digital technologies.
2. Digital Service Squad Grant: There will be 300 grants of $10,000 each available to qualifying municipal or business groups to develop and implement local squads of digital vendors and experts to directly help small businesses.
What is the Digital Transformation Grant?
The Digital Main Street – Digital Transformation Grant Program funded by the Province of Ontario in partnership with the Ontario BIA Association seeks to help small main street businesses across Ontario improve their adoption of technologies to better promote themselves online, sell online and even run back-office processes online. Every business that wants to participate in the grant must first take an online assessment of their current technology use. Based on the assessment, the business will then develop a Digital Transformation Plan based on a template that will be provided which will detail their goals and what technologies they need to achieve those goals. To help put the plan into action, the business can then apply for a one-time grant of $2,500 to help with the costs of adopting the required technology.
For more information on the Digital Transformation Grant, please visit here
What is the Digital Service Squad Grant?
The Digital Service Squad Grant Program will provide training, advisory support and a grant to support the Digital Service Squads across Ontario. The squads will provide assessments, consulting and advice to small main street businesses on how they can adopt digital technologies to help them promote, sell and manage their businesses more effectively.
For more information on the Digital Transformation Grant, please visit here.
How can your community get involved?
Your community can get involved in a number of ways. The first is communicating with your businesses, BIAs, and regional stakeholders to promote the Digital Transformation Grant for main street business owners, so your businesses may qualify for grant funding of $2,500. Additionally you can look at potentially applying for a Digital Service Squad grant to bring one-on-one digital transformation consulting support to your main street businesses.
If you have any questions, please reach out directly to [email protected] or visit www.digitalmainstreet.ca/Ontario for more information!