What is the Grow Your Business Online program?
The Grow Your Business Online grant will help small businesses across Ontario take advantage of e-commerce opportunities.
Eligible businesses will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with the costs related to adopting digital technologies. Grants will be available through Digital Main Street. DMS will also support a network of e-commerce advisors who will advise and help small businesses adopt e-commerce.
The objectives of the Grow Your Business Online program are to:
Provide small business owners with a micro-grant of $2,400 to help with costs related to adopting e-commerce.
Provide small business owners with access to a network of eCommerce advisors where they can receive support and guidance.
Digital Main Street Partners
Applications can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:
- Please note that all eligible costs must show a direct tie in to implementing a new e-commerce store in your proposed spending plan. Anything that is not tied to directly selling products or services online, will not be an eligible expense.
- Costs related to the implementation or improvement of a digital e-commerce plan (e.g. online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
- E-commerce software including:
- Software to track and manage product inventory, as well as fulfill and ship orders
- Software for product databases
- Software to track sales, market to customers, offer discounts, maintain a loyalty programs
- Software to simplify marketing
- Cyber Security software or certifications
- Hardware and accompanying software up to 20% of total grant amount
- Examples of limited coverage for software, would be any software that is bought with the equipment that is required to support an e-commerce strategy. For instance, if a small business buys a new e-commerce integrated point of sale (POS) system that costs $1,300 (including software) as a part of their $2400 plan, CDAP will reimburse 20% of the grant (in this case $480) for hardware.
- Costs related to website search optimization.
- Note: plan cannot be strictly search optimization, it needs to be tied to overall e-commerce implementation plan, and not a standalone item.
- Costs related to the installation of an e-commerce platform (including subscription fees/costs
- Costs of back-office solutions to support an e-commerce strategy
- Costs of social media advertising
- Note: plan cannot be strictly social media advertising, it needs to be tied to overall e-commerce implementation plan, and not a standalone item.
- Costs related to the creation of customer databases
- Hiring a consultant/agency to execute Digital Marketing initiatives related to your e-commerce store
- Development of new e-commerce website
- Upgrading existing e-commerce site for added functionality (i.e., new plugins, or features)
- Please note redesign of an existing site is not eligible
- Software required to implement e-commerce solution
- Note: all software must be directly tied to the selling of goods and services online, and you will need to clearly outline this in your submitted plan.
- Digital Main Street reserves the right to determine what is eligible/ineligible on an as needed basis. These are merely an outline and represent best practices.