The Village of Merrickville-Wolford will be participating in a regional Digital Main Street program run by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. Digital Main Street is a program supported by a partnership between the Provincial and Federal governments. It provides both a $2,500 grant to main street businesses to fund adoption of digital technologies, and a grant to hire a local Digital Service Squad to help guide businesses through this process.
Although the Digital Service Squad grant is open to all municipalities across the province, the United Counties’ Economic Development Office recognized that many smaller municipalities do not have the resources to apply for and administrate the program. Because of this, they have offered to organize a regional Digital Service Squad that will service Merrickville-Wolford, Westport, Athens, Front of Yonge, Elizabethtown-Kitley, and Rideau Lakes. There is no cost for any of the municipalities to be part of the program as, if the application is successful, the Digital Service Squad will be funded through the Digital Main Street program.
In a letter sent to the United Counties expressing interest in participating in the program, CAO Doug Robertson explained that Merrickville-Wolford’s many small businesses are well positioned to benefit from an investment in a Digital Service Squad, particularly at this time, when many are managing through COVID-19, adapting business models, and working towards increasing sales with new technologies and digital approaches.
Mayor Doug Struthers agrees that this is a great opportunity for Merrickville-Wolford to be involved in a project that will help local businesses through these difficult times. “It will certainly benefit the business community and local economy,” he said.