South Bruce Peninsula Launches Digital Service Squad to Help Small Businesses

Town of South Bruce Pen

Media Release
South Bruce Peninsula Launches Digital Service Squad to Help Small Businesses
Adopt Online Technologies
Receives $10,000 Digital Main Street Grant


September 1, 2020: Wiarton, ON. The Town of South Bruce Peninsula has received a $10,000 grant from Digital Main Street Ontario for a Digital Service Squad (DSS) to help small downtown businesses use digital technologies to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Funding for the grant is provided by FedDev Ontario. The squad will begin visiting businesses in South Bruce Peninsula on September 1st, 2020.


“During these challenging times, we see how businesses have pivoted to sustain themselves. Having an online presence is essential to that sustainability. The Digital Main Street Program will be able to assist those businesses that were not able to take
advantage of the first program,” said Mayor Jackson.


“The 2019 grant was for $20,000 and during the initial program we had eight businesses that were successful in obtaining an additional $2500 Transformation Grant. This combined with this $10,000 grant equals $50,000 in Digital Main Street support for small business in South Bruce Peninsula,” said Danielle Edwards, Economic Development Officer.


Established in 2018, Digital Main Street Ontario was recently extended thanks to an investment of $42.5 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and $7.45 million from the Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT). The almost $50-million investment will help small businesses across Ontario to pivot their operations to include online business models, regain lost revenue and become more resilient and competitive as the economy recovers. The Ontario BIA Association administers the DMS grant program to Ontario’s main street small businesses.


“Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and the keystone of our economic recovery. That is why we have invested in Digital Main Street to help these enterprises adapt to doing business in a digital world, and take advantage of the record number of people shopping online. Congratulations to the Town of South Bruce Peninsula on the launch of your Digital Service Squad. The work you’re doing with small businesses in your community will help keep our main streets vibrant, support good, local jobs and help our economy come back strong.” (The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) Digital Service Squads are fundamental to Digital Main Street’s design and success, with trained specialists who meet with small businesses, at no cost, to help them improve their online presence. The squads assist with a number of activities, including developing a Google My Business profile, enhancing their social media presence and providing support for basic website and e-commerce set-up. Squads will also assist qualified small businesses through the application process for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant, which includes an online assessment, online training modules and the development of a Digital Transformation Plan (DTP).

“The COVID-19 pandemic hit Ontario’s main streets hard, so Digital Main Street is needed more than ever,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of OBIAA. “We know that businesses that participated in Digital Main Street last year were better able to cope
when the pandemic hit, and we’re excited that FedDev Ontario and MEDJCT are providing the funding to extend this important program to help businesses in communities like South Bruce Peninsula

 

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