The Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association (VKHBMA) has received a $10,000 from Digital Main Street (DMS) to fund a Digital Service Squad to help main street small businesses improve their online capabilities.
The Association received the grant from the Ontario government as part of the Digital Main Street program to establish a Digital Service Squad (DSS) to help small businesses in the downtown areas to enhance their use of digital tools and techniques to better evolve and grow. The DSS will consist of trained specialists who will visit and assist main street small businesses at no cost to help them set up Google Business, among other digital initiatives and conduct a digital-readiness assessment.
“Having someone on our team to visit businesses and to help them apply for funds to move ahead with digital initiatives is a tremendous boost for the small enterprises in our town. Small business owners are always busy and having help to move ahead in digital directions is meeting a demand on everyone’s wish list,” said Louise Sproule, President of the Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association.
A joint program funded by Government of Ontario and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association, Digital Main Street helps improve how small main street 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 community of Vankleek Hill 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.”
Digital Main Street offers two types of grants:
- Digital Transformation Grant: There are several grants of $2,500 each available to qualifying small “main street” businesses across Ontario to help them adopt new digital technologies.
- Digital Service Squad Grant: 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 Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association understands that programs such as Digital Main Street will help keep their downtown core 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 of Vankleek Hill to compete in an increasingly digital world.”
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ABOUT the Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association
The Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association is a not-for-profit group of Vankleek Hill business owners who network, organize events, promote shop-local initiatives, work on beautification and meet for self-improvement and business training. The organization celebrated its 25th anniversary recently.
ABOUT the Ontario BIA Association
OBIAA is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. The Association supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships. OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.
ABOUT Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street is an innovative program designed to help main street small businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, grants and Digital Service Squads teams of street-level experts that help main street small businesses manage and grow their operations through technology adoption. The program was originally created by the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA) and a group of strategic partners including Google, MasterCard, Rogers, Microsoft and Shopify. The Province of Ontario expansion of Digital Main Street is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association. The Ontario expansion is part of the government’s $12 million Main Street Enhancement Initiative to create jobs and support communities across the province. For more information, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca