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Digital Main Street

Digital Service Squads are now available through the Digital Main Street program

April 14, 2022

Cornwall Ontario – The Ontario government is helping more small businesses online through the renewal of the Digital Main Street program, including Digital Service Squads, which have helped thousands of businesses with one-on-one technology support.

“Main street small businesses are the economic foundation of communities across Ontario,” said Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “Our government is supporting them in reaching new customers and new markets through Digital Main Street. To date, we have helped more than 41,000 Ontario businesses, and expect this funding will give 36,000 more businesses the boost they need to raise their digital profile.”

Digital Service Squads are composed of recent graduates and students with strong technology and marketing backgrounds that communities can access to provide to their business members. The squads provide one-on-one technical help with digital assessments, website creation, social media advertising, and e-commerce platforms.

What does this mean for your small business?

The Digital Main Street program offers three resources to small businesses:

  • Digital Service Squads provide one-on-one help and technical training. Small business owners will receive targeted support to get started, grow their digital presence, and grow their business. Applications for this resource are now open
  • ShopHERE supports the creation of online stores via e-commerce platforms
  • Digital Transformation Grants of up to $2,500 to fund the implementation of digital strategies for small businesses. Applications will be open in the coming months

“Ontario’s small businesses are key to the strength of our economy,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Through Digital Main Street, we’re giving business owners and operators the tools they need to strengthen their online presence and enhance their technical skills, so they can better supply their customers, contribute to our economic stability and create jobs.”

Quick Facts

  • Access the website at Ontario.ca/business
  • This initiative is one way that the Government of Ontario is acting on the Building a Digital Ontario strategy. Released last year, the strategy lays the groundwork for Ontario’s long-term digital and data transformation, including the adoption of new digital tools.
  • The Fewer Fees, Better Services Act, passed on March 3rd, will make it easier and quicker for Ontario entrepreneurs to start a business, and for businesses to access government services.
  • The Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre is part of a network of 53 small business enterprise centres across Ontario.
  • Government of Ontario has renewed its commitment to young entrepreneurs, aged 18 – 39, with the support of a $1 million investment in Futurpreneur Canada. Futurpreneur is a non-profit organization helping Canadians become business owners with loan financing, mentoring and business resources.
  • Ontario is investing $5 million over two years in a targeted program for Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs to start or grow their business. The Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) Grant helps to remove systemic barriers by providing funding, training, and culturally relevant services to entrepreneurs. RAISE is administered through the Digital Mainsteet program.

Post Author: Shauna Baggs