Digital Main Street
Helping Main Street Businesses Grow
by Adopting Digital Tools and Technologies.
Vibrant main streets help attract visitors, create jobs and increase the competitiveness of small businesses, which are the backbone of small rural communities. In order to compete well, small businesses must increasingly look at how they can promote, sell and do business in the online world, including running their back office business processes digitally.
To help Ontario’s main street small businesses enhance their digital capabilities and online presence, OBIAA and the Province have partnered on a $40 million initiative over three years that will help strengthen small businesses in downtown and main street areas and enhance the digital presence and capabilities of small businesses through increased access to digital tools like e-commerce. The program is anticipated to launch in mid-July once the new provincial government transition is complete.
Part of the province’s Main Street Enhancement Fund, the Main Street Digital Initiative was first launched by the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA) and the City of Toronto several years ago. OBIAA is thrilled to be administering this program across the rest of Ontario by building on the Toronto-based program and expanding the services for small business across the province. Some of the core services will include:
- Web Platform: provides access to basic digital services, including vetted lists of vendors who can identify technologies and tools businesses need to become digital ready.
- Digital Training (online and in-person): offers specific digital technologies or strategies including e-commerce, social media and website development.
- Service Squad Program: provides one-on-one assistance and digital assessments by highly trained team who can come into stores to offer services and recommendations, including activating free and easy to use tools.
- Digital Transformation Training and Grants Program: provides grants of up to $2,500 to help businesses strategically adopt technology and meet their digital goals.
We anticipate rolling out the first stages of Digital Main Street across Ontario over the next few months. In the meantime, please visit www.digitalmainstreet.ca for more information.
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