St. Catharines Digital Main Street program goes City wide

Posted on Thursday September 09, 2021

Local small businesses across St. Catharines looking to build their online presence can count on some help with Digital Main Street 3.0.

The City of St. Catharines is relaunching Digital Main Street for a third year, offering one-on-one support to small businesses in expanding their reach into an increasingly important digital marketplace. The program, made possible by to a $83,862 grant from Digital Main Street’s Ontario Grants Program (OGP), will see the City’s Digital Service Squad extending its support across the whole community, in addition to providing the opportunity for receipt of a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant. The grants — administrated by the Ontario BIA Association with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade — support brick-and-mortar businesses in adopting new technologies to expand their online reach.

“After two successful years of running the program in St. Catharines, we are excited to expand the opportunities and services of Digital Main Street 3.0 to small businesses across our city,” said Brian York, Director of Economic Development and Government Relations. “There have been numerous successes for businesses who have received the Digital Transformation Grant or who have adopted new technologies with the help of our Digital Service Squad, so we are hopeful that more businesses will continue to benefit from this program.”

Grant applications are now open. Successful applicants will receive a $2,500 grant upon completion of a digital assessment and online training.

“In the past 17 months, as small businesses across the province fought to stay open and keep customers engaged online, Digital Service Squads were there to help,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of OBIAA.  "Squads jumped online themselves during lockdowns to help virtually, and businesses have consistently told us how important the DSS were to their success through the pandemic.  We are thrilled to support the St. Catharines DSS and help them provide assistance to even more small businesses than ever.”

Digital Main Street will also re-launch its ShopHERE program, designed to create online stores for independent small businesses and artists at no cost. Included when registering with ShopHERE are free one-on-one supports with building and launching an online store, advertising credits for Facebook, a free .CA domain registration and much more.

“Ontario small businesses are the heart of our neighbourhoods and the economic foundation of our communities,” said Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction for Ontario. “Our government is committed to being there for them as they reopen. This additional support will give these businesses the digital boost they need to raise their profile and rebuild better than ever.”

To learn more about Digital Main Street and the Digital Transformation Grant, visit digitalmainstreet.ca.  

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About OBIAA

OBIAA is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. The Association supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships. OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.

About Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.  

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages. 

 

 

Contact:

CitizensFirst@stcatharines.ca

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines