Canadian Government in partnership with the Federal Government, launched the $57-million Digital Main Street initiative

On July 9th, our Government in partnership with the Federal Government, launched the $57-million Digital Main Street initiative. The initiative is aiding up to 22,900 small businesses to create, launch and enhance their online presence and expand their reach to new customers in and beyond Ontario.

Today, small businesses can apply for grants up to $2500 each to assist them in building and enhancing their small business’ online presence.

The funding may be used by small businesses to support eligible costs to help implement their Digital Transformation Plan. These can include costs in relation to:

  1. Digital marketing (cost to hire a consultant/agency) to execute digital marketing initiative
  2. Website development (development of a new website, redevelopment/improvements)
  3. Software (graphic design, productivity software, database, social media software (e.g.Hootsuite, Dropbox, Buffer); security software
  4. optimizing websites for search (i.e. cost to hire a search optimization consultant)
  5. setting up e-commerce, back-office solutions
  6. social media advertising,
  7. creating customer databases
  8. professional photography services for a website or e-commerce site
  9. Digital training (courses)
  10. Some hardware upgrades

The Digital Main Street grant will help businesses get online and complement the other pillars of Ontario’s Digital Main Street program. You can find the various program application’s posted below:

Digital Transformation Grant ($2500) :

Digital Service Squad:

  1. shopHERE  leverages Ontario’s strengths by hiring highly skilled and trained students to build and support the launch of online stores for businesses that previously did not have the capacity to do so themselves. The core goal will be to help small businesses compete and grow and to help them recover as quickly as possible following COVID-19.  
  2. Digital Main Street will help businesses sell more effectively once they’re online by providing next-level support through an up to $2,500 grant. The goal of the grant is for businesses to adopt new technologies and embrace digital marketing. Businesses will also have access to Digital Service Squads, which will provide personalized, one-on-one support to help them navigate these new tools and maximize their return on investment. 
  3. Futureproofing Businesses will provide a tailored evaluation for businesses by analyzing their business models and potential digital transformation pathways. Staffed by a team of talented students, Futureproofing Businesses will help businesses develop and implement a plan that will help them adapt to new digital trends, challenges and technologies. 
  4. The Recovery Activation Program is a virtual learning platform targeted at supporting small and medium-sized businesses to develop resiliency in their back-office operations by adopting online and virtual systems.