The Municipality of North Grenville and the Old Town Kemptville BIA have received a $19,095 grant from Digital Main Street Ontario for a Digital Service Squad (DSS) to help small businesses use digital technologies to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Funding for the grant is provided by FedDev Ontario. The squad will begin connecting with businesses this week.
“On behalf of Council, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to the federal and provincial government for supporting the Digital Main Street initiative,” said Mayor Peckford. “This will allow the Municipality of North Grenville to hire two short-term positions to support local businesses with their online presence and access to funding for Old Town Kemptville BIA and rural main street businesses.”
“Based on the remarkable success of last year’s Digital Service Squad program, which leveraged almost $40,000 in grant funding for Old Town Kemptville BIA businesses, the Old Town Kemptville BIA is thrilled to see this highly impactful program returning for the potential benefit of even more businesses in North Grenville,” added Will Pearl, Vice Chair of the Old Town Kemptville BIA Board of Management.
“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 North Grenville and Kemptville 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,” stated 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 Ontario are providing the funding to extend this important program to help businesses in communities like Kemptville and across North Grenville.”