Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street 2.0

Helping Main Street Business Grow by Adopting Digital Tools & Technologies

Digital Service Squad Grants

 

Grants Funds to Establish Digital Service Squads

As part of the Digital Main Street Grant program, funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, partnered with the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA), and administered by OBIAA, Digital Service Squads (DSS) are a free resource of trained digital technology specialists situated throughout Ontario who will deliver personalized, one-on-one assistance designed to help small main street businesses navigate new tools and maximize their return on investment.

These trained specialists meet with small businesses, at no cost, help them complete an online assessment, and introduce them to online training modules to build their knowledge and skills. They can also assist with the development of their Digital Transformation Plan and then help them apply for a one-time $2,500 grant to implement it. This one-on-one DSS assistance includes support for basic website set-up, Google My Business profiles, 360º photos, digital storefront set-up with e-commerce, creation, or enhancement of social media presence, and much more.

How do I apply?

Applications for Digital Service Squad Grants will open July 1st, 2020 and will continue to be accepted until October 31st, 2020.

The process for entities applying for the Digital Service Squad Grand has two main stages:

Stage 1 – Application
  • Go to digitalmainstreet.ca/ontariogrants/ and complete an online profile.
  • Complete an application form to include:
    • Organizational structure and define who will be responsible for the administration of the contribution funds, along with applicable contact info.
      • Include details of any partnership formed for the purposed of executing the grant and copies of any applicable partnership agreements or Memoranda of Understanding
    • Describe the geographic area including the number of BIAs (if applicable)
    • Number of eligible businesses to be served
    • An action plan to include a timeline for:
      • executing the project within the designated area
      • hiring and training DSS members
      • hosting DSS launch event/informational sessions for promoting DSS members, if applicable
      • issuing press release, if applicable
      • purchasing equipment, if applicable
      • partnership informational sessions for promoting the squad services in the area
    • Any academic partnerships who will assist with potential student hires
    • A detailed budget to include a narrative on how the funds will be used
Stage 2 – Review and Granting
  • Once submitted, OBIAA will review the application to ensure all requirements are met. The Grants Manager will follow-up with the applicant if there are questions about the application. This review process should take approximately five (5) business days.
  • Once the final review is completed, OBIAA will:
    • Contact the applicant by email and inform them they are approved
    • Review all conditions of the contribution with the applicant, including disclosure of information to the Federal Government
    • Issue a DSSG agreement that must be signed within five (5) business days

Download the Digital Service Squad Grants FAQ and visit digitalmainstreet.ca/ontariogrants/ for more information on qualifying and applying for Digital Service Squad Grants.