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What is a Digital Transformation Grant?

Digital Main Street (DMS) is a program focused on assisting main street small businesses (MSB) with their adoption of technologies. Through a partnership with FedDev Ontario and the Province of Ontario, grant opportunities are available to enable this digital transformation process. The Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program will provide funding for training, advisory support, and contributions to main street small businesses looking increase their capacity through digital transformation.

The grant is administered by the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), and is not administered by Digital Main Street.

The objectives of the Digital Main Street – Digital Transformation Grant program are to:

Provide main street business owners a comprehensive plan to guide their digital transformation.

Provide main street businesses with the digital literacy skills they need to execute their digital transformation either through a do-it-yourself approach and/or being a smart consumer when purchasing these services.

What Does It Cost?

As a result of partnership with FedDev Ontario, the Province of Ontario, OBIAA (Ontario Business Improvement Area Association), and Digital Main Street, the program is available to all main street small businesses and municipalities in Ontario.


Participant Requirements

A Digital Transformation Grant is open to any business that meets the following requirements:

Must be a main street business that:

  • Is located in, or close to, a downtown main street, a Business Improvement Area or has zoning consistent with a municipality’s Operating Plan defining a central business district
  • Is employing 1-10 employees (or fewer than 25 employees if they are a café, restaurant, or bar)
  • Is paying commercial property tax (commercially assessed), either directly or through commercial rent
  • Is a registered business in Ontario and/or is incorporated
  • Is open for business/operating at the time of application (not a start up)
  • Is NOT a business supplying digital services to other businesses (e.g. website design/development, SEO, programming)
  • Is NOT a franchise, including those individually owned and operated
  • Is NOT a not-for-profit/ charitable organization
  • Is NOT renting office space on a temporary basis (month-to-month)
  • Is NOT in a shared workspace such as a hot desk or dedicated desk
  • Is NOT a purely online business

Owned by:

  • An Ontario resident operating a business in Ontario.
  • An individual of 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Has completed the Digital Transformation for Main Street program, which includes:

  • The Digital Main Street Assessment
  • Has passed the eligibility quiz
  • The online training
  • Developing a Digital Transformation Plan

*OBIAA reserves the right to determine who is eligible/ineligible on a case-by-case basis.

Additional Criteria

  • Previous Digital Main Street grant recipients may apply providing all reporting and project receipts have been submitted

How to apply for the grant

Location Eligibility

Eligible / Ineligible Costs

Eligible Costs Ineligible Costs
  • Digital Marketing
    • Hiring a consultant/agency/person to execute Digital Marketing initiatives
  • Website
    • Redesign, Improvement of existing website
    • Development of new website
  • Software
    • Graphic design software
    • Productivity Software (LastPass, Hootsuite, Dropbox, etc.)
    • Social Media Software (Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.)
    • Security Software
    • Other software as evidenced in the DTP
  • Digital Training
    • Ongoing Digital Training courses (in-person & online)
  • Hardware
    • Must be hardware deemed necessary (as determined by OBIAA in its sole discretion)
  • Digital Main Street reserves the right to determine what is deemed eligible / ineligible on an as needed basis. These are merely an outline and represent best practices.
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