Digital Main Street launches province-wide pilot with GooseChase to encourage residents to safely explore their communities while supporting local business
Digital Main Street, with the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, NORCAT, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and ventureLAB, is proud to announce its province-wide pilot of GooseChase, a digital scavenger hunt platform, through the Community Collaboration Program (CCP). The CCP, part of the Future Proof Program, seeks to pilot initiatives that enable businesses to attract clients in new, creative and physically distant ways.
No other time of year is as important for small businesses as the winter holiday season. With COVID-19 impacting the way we gather and shop this holiday season, GooseChase offers a digital scavenger hunt platform that can enhance holiday programming or stand alone as a way to bring people together, from a safe distance while supporting local businesses.
GooseChase hosts digital scavenger hunts which awards points to participants for completing missions, which can include photos, videos, GPS locations or text-based tasks. Anything from taking a photo in front of a favorite coffee shop or a local landmark can earn participants points, competing for prizes against neighbours in a safe, physically distant way. Participants will also receive special promotions and discounts to local retailers through the app.
Over the next year, business improvement areas, small business enterprise centres, chambers of commerce and municipalities across Ontario will have unlimited access to the GooseChase platform under the Digital Main Street banner.
To help launch the province–wide pilot, the Town of Collingwood is introducing GooseChase Puzzle Walks as part of the shop local campaign featuring gift cards to local businesses as prizes for winning participants. The Yonge + St Clair BIA in the City of Toronto is also launching Windows of Glam. Stay tuned as more communities bring games online to engage their communities in the coming weeks.
Are you a BIA, SBEC or municipality that wants to create a GooseChase scavenger hunt? Write Cecile Roslin ([email protected]) for instructions on how to start your game!
“Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and their recovery is critical to Ontario’s recovery. As we continue to grapple with COVID-19, main street businesses need many different kinds of support. That’s why we’ve partnered with Digital Main Street to help get small businesses advertising and running online, and growing in the e-commerce marketplace. This partnership with GooseChase will assist in getting people outdoors in a COVID-19 safe way and support our local businesses.” – Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.
“We are excited to be using the /i>GooseChaseplatform to activate our Collingwood Puzzle Walk series of activities. These Puzzle Walks are part of a larger Go Get Out campaign designed to help people discover Collingwood’s unique places, stores, food & beverages on their own so that they can stay safe but also provide opportunities to shop local. The Go Get Out campaign was approved by Town of Collingwood Council earlier this year as part of a broader COVID-19 economic recovery plan.” – Mayor Brian Saunderson, Town of Collingwood
“We’re pleased to offer the GooseChaseplatform to all main street business associations across the Province of Ontario. Innovative ways to engage with main street are critical as we grapple with COVID-19 through the winter months.” – John Kiru, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas
“As a company proudly founded in Ontario, we’re thrilled to be able to participate in this initiative. We have always seen our platform as a way tofacilitate unique opportunities for positive connection throughout communities and can’t wait to safely bring some excitement and joy over the holidays!” – Andrew Cross, CEO GooseChase
About Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology. Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square and Yellow Pages.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa, and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses to go digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.
About the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a non-profit umbrella organization working with the 83 Business Improvement Areas within the City of Toronto, who in turn represent more than 40,000 business and property owners
ventureLAB is a leading technology hub located in Markham in York Region, Canada’s second largest tech cluster. Through our programs focused on capital, talent, technology, and customers, ventureLAB has supported over 2000 tech companies and entrepreneurs, including 100 companies that have raised over $100 million and created 3,500 jobs.
Headquartered in Waterloo, Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs who came together to help one another build successful companies to help ensure the future prosperity of Canada. They created an organization to support the entire “Community of Tech” with a mission to help companies start, grow, and succeed.
About Invest Ottawa
Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s capital, facilitating economic growth, and job creation in the city of Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative and future ready city, and the best place to learn, work, live and play, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development and global expansion program and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs.
NORCAT was founded in 1995 by a team of business and academic visionaries who recognized the need for an organization to promote, educate, and support local entrepreneurs, tech innovators, and skilled labour workers to enable long-term and sustainable economic and social prosperity for Northern Ontario. NORCAT has proudly evolved to be a multi-national, global company offering programs, services, and resources to their clients.
About FedDev Ontario
For more than 10 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.