The small business community in Port Colborne is accelerating its digital transformation thanks to the support of Digital Main Street.
Digital Main Street (DMS) has been running in many towns and cities throughout Ontario since 2018 after successfully launching in Toronto two years earlier.
The program is built around an online learning platform that offers structured training modules to help brick-and-mortar small businesses level up their digital skills and knowledge. It also includes the Digital Service Squad (DSS), a team of street-level technology specialists who provide one-on-one assistance and strategy planning advice.
In addition, the Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) provides up to $2,500 to qualifying small businesses to help cover the cost of adopting digital tools and technologies.
“Near the end of the first quarter this year, the city received a $50,000 Digital Service Squad Grant to fund a part-time team member over two years,” said Gary Long, manager of strategic initiatives. “Our squad’s commitment to customer service excellence has once again paid off as 21 small businesses are the recipients of this latest round of grant funding.”
“That’s a total of $52,500 in support from the DTG program,” said Mayor Bill Steele. “Keeping up with a digital world that changes so quickly is difficult for just about anyone, let alone a small business owner whose time is at a premium.”
“I greatly appreciate the province’s continued investment in this program, and I want to congratulate all the recipients,” said Steele.
Among those to receive the $2,500 DTG are:
•Breakwall Brewing Company
•Dance Expressions Inc.
•G&M Fitness & Health Club
•Genius Fitness & MMA
•Grant’s Gifts & The Picket Fence
•Lucky Thai Restaurant
•Meraki Beauty Academy
•Mom Dukes Authentic Jamaican Cuisine
•Murdoch’s Tire & Automotive
•Oak Tree Yoga & Wellness
•Port Side Petals & Gifts
•The Smokin’ Buddha
•The Pie Guys Bakery & Café
•Think Ink, Design & Print Ltd.
The DTG application portal closed on Oct. 31, 2022 but is scheduled to re-open in January 2023.
Small businesses that have never submitted an application or have received the DTG before June 30, 2021, are encouraged to contact the city’s Digital Service Squad at [email protected].
The squad will be hosting a free workshop on Feb. 6, 2023, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the L. R. Wilson Heritage Research Archives.
Focused on the theme of “Digital Tools, Software, and Apps for Managing your Small Business,” registration for this in-person workshop is now open on Eventbrite.