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Small Business Enterprise Centre launches Digital Main Street Service Squad

The Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre today announced that it has received a $30,000 grant from the Ontario Government to fund a Digital Service Squad to help downtown small businesses in Orangeville, Shelburne and Grand Valley improve their online capabilities.

The Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre received the Digital Main Street grant from the provincial government to establish a Digital Service Squad to help main street small businesses enhance their use of digital tools and techniques to better evolve and grow. The Squad will consist of a trained specialist who will visit small businesses in the downtowns of the three communities at no cost to help them set up a Google Business Profile, conduct a digital-readiness assessment and apply for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant. The Digital Main Street Co-ordinator will start visiting businesses in September 2019.

“We are excited to form this partnership with the Ontario BIA Association and our local BIAs to assist main street businesses with the adoption of revenue generating and cost savings technologies that could further strengthen their individual businesses,” said Ruth Phillips, Manager of Economic Development and Culture. “A healthy downtown is key to a strong community and downtown areas businesses play a unique role in the economic, social and cultural development of our towns.”

A joint program funded by Government of Ontario and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association, 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 them adopt new digital technologies from e-commerce and social media to back-office systems such as payroll and inventory.

“Our government is committed to helping small businesses improve their competitiveness, create jobs and attract investment,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “That’s why I’m so pleased that businesses in the Town of Orangeville and Area will benefit from the expertise of a Digital Service Squad to help small businesses embrace digital technology.  Our investment in the Digital Main Street program will help to ensure that Ontario is open for business and open for jobs. “

“The training provided by the Digital Service Squad will help businesses in the Towns of Orangeville, Grand Valley, Shelburne and surrounding area to use new technologies and provide tools and training to take advantage of new digital opportunities,” said Sylvia Jones, Dufferin-Caledon MPP. “This initiative by the three BIAs and Orangeville’s Small Business Enterprise Centre is a new resource that will help businesses use technology wisely, to stay competitive and build their business prospects.”

Digital Main Street offers two types of grants:

  1. Digital Transformation Grant: There are 2,000 grants of $2,500 each available to qualifying small “main street” businesses across Ontario to help them adopt new digital technologies.
  2. Digital Service Squad Grant: There are 300 grants of $10,000 each available to qualifying municipal or business groups across Ontario to develop and implement local squads of digital vendors and experts to directly help small businesses.

“The Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre is showing other similar organizations in municipalities across Ontario how Digital Main Street can help keep downtown cores vibrant and strong,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of the Ontario BIA Association.  “Our small main street businesses are a critical contributor to Ontario’s economic, social and cultural health, and it’s vital that we work together to ensure their success. Digital Main Street will help the main street small businesses in Orangeville, Shelburne and Grand Valley to compete in an increasingly digital world.”

Businesses in the downtown areas will be introduced to the Digital Service Squad over the coming weeks. For further information, contact the Orangeville Economic Development/SBEC office at 519-941-0440 Ext. 2286.

By: Katrina Lemire

August 26th, 2019

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