Digital Main Street
Helping Main Street Business Grow by Adopting Digital Tools & Technologies
Welcome to Digital Main StreetDigital Main Street is a program and service that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, grants for small businesses and Digital Service Squads that together help main street businesses manage and grow by adopting digital tools and technology.
2020 Progress Report: Building Resilience for Small BusinessOBIAA has released its progress report, Building Resilience for Small Business, on how Digital Main Street has helped more than 15,000 main street small businesses adopt digital tools and e-commerce platforms to build greater resilience and increase revenues. The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that Digital Main Street has been a lifeline for many main street small businesses, equipping them to stay open and keep revenue flowing even when main street is shut down.
The report (read here) and accompanying video (watch here) provide a view into the success of Digital Main Street and highlights the impact of the program on BIAs and small businesses across the province. The video features the wonderful work of our Digital Service Squads and some of the main street small businesses they have helped.
We kindly urge you to share on social media and for BIAs to directly share with your members, your municipal councillors and your MPP. It’s vital we work together to encourage ongoing investment in this successful collaboration to help even more main street small businesses in Ontario be ready for the future.
The Ontario Digital Main Street InitiativeDigital Main Street was created and first launched by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) in 2016 with direct support from the City of Toronto, and supported by a group of strategic corporate sponsors, including Google, MasterCard, Microsoft and Shopify. To help Ontario’s main street small businesses enhance their digital capabilities and online presence, the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) and the Province of Ontario partnered to expand the program through a $12 million Digital Main Street initiative over two years. 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.
The Grants Programs may be closed, but Digital Main Street provides still offers great resources for small businesses:
- A full interactive web platform: access to a free Digital Assessment for business owners, a comprehensive vendor directory that businesses can leverage, as well as a cache of thought leadership content providing businesses with best practices, how-to guides, and real life examples of businesses going through digital transformation.
- Digital Online Training through the Digital Main Street Academy: a full suite of educational and instructive online training sessions to help main street businesses grow by adopting digital tools and technologies.
- Camp Tech Training: a series of free workshops and webinars, delivered by our training partner, Camp Tech, that will be available until September 30, 2020. Business owners are encouraged to sign up early for one of our four new webinars or attend a local in-person workshop. To check for workshops in your area or to sign up for our webinars, visit www.obiaa.com/training.
- Digital Vendors: over 700 digital vendors across Ontario have registered with DMS to give businesses access to numerous resources that can assist with their digital transformation.
- Resources: digitalmainstreet.ca is a comprehensive resource of interesting case studies, articles, tips and techniques; everything your small business needs for your digital transformation.