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Digital Main Street

Helping Main Street Go Digital

Digital Main Street is a funding and training program supported as part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario. The program includes training to help you thrive in the growing digital landscape, and grant funding of up to $2,500 to help bring your business online or expand your digital footprint.

Program Info

Who is this Program For?

The Digital Main Street program is open to main street businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • To participate in the program you must have a completed application (see registration link below)
  • Is located in, or close to, a downtown main street, a Business Improvement Area or has zoning consistent with a municipality’s Operating Plan defining a central business district (C1, C2 or equivalent)
  • Is employing 1-10 employees (or fewer than 25 employees if they are a café, restaurant, or bar)
  • Is paying commercial property tax (commercially assessed), either directly or through commercial rent
  • Is a registered business in Ontario and/or is incorporated
  • Is open for business/operating at the time of application (not a start up)
  • Is NOT a business supplying digital services to other businesses (e.g. website design/development, SEO, programming)
  • Is NOT a franchise, including those individually owned and operated
  • Is NOT a not-for-profit/ charitable organization
  • Is NOT renting office space on a temporary basis (month-to-month)
  • Is NOT in a shared workspace such as a hot desk or dedicated desk
  • Is NOT a purely online business


Owned By:

  • An Ontario resident or operating a business in Ontario.
  • An individual of 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident.


Has completed the Digital Transformation for Main Street program, which includes:

  • The Digital Main Street Assessment
  • Has passed the eligibility quiz
  • The online training
  • Developing a Digital Transformation Plan

Existing Business Main Street Business Brick and Mortar Digital Training Grant Funding

Cost

Free

Program Start Date

July 1, 2020

Registration Deadline

October 31, 2020

Session Info

Work 1 on 1 with the Digital Service Squad to create a personalized list of priorities and recommendations (2 meetings). Then go through a robust series of digital training videos at your own pace.

Outcomes

During the course of completing the Digital Main Street Program, you will receive:
  • 1 on 1 support from the Digital Service Squad to help you identify key areas of improvement in your digital footprint
  • Your own digital transformation plan with a series of objectives and key performance indicators unique to your business
  • A chance to apply for up to $2,500 in grant funding
Grant funding through Digital Main Street can be applied to:

  • Hiring a consultant/agency/person to execute Digital Marketing initiatives
  • Redesign, Improvement of existing website
  • Development of new website
  • Graphic design software
  • Productivity Software (LastPass, Hootsuite, Dropbox, etc.)
  • Social Media Software (Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.)
  • Security Software
  • Other software as evidenced in the DTP
  • Ongoing Digital Training courses (in-person & online)
  • Hardware deemed necessary (as determined by OBIAA in its sole discretion)
Ineligible Costs:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Website Hosting
  • Software Subscription Renewal
  • Signage and printing
  • Logo redesign and rebranding
  • Unnecessary or excessive equipment (or equipment you already have and want to upgrade) (as determined by OBIAA in its sole discretion)
  • Business Owner’s salary or current employee salary for executing the project
  • Costs of land, building or vehicle purchase
  • Costs of intangible assets such a goodwill, whether capitalized or expensed
  • Depreciation or amortization expenses
  • Interest on invested capital, bonds, or debentures
  • Bond discount
  • Monthly mortgage, loan and/or rent payments
  • Refinancing of an existing debt
  • Losses on investments, bad debts, and any other debts
  • Fines or penalties
  • Costs related to litigation
  • Fees for administrators including payments to any member or officer of the Recipient’s Board of Directors
  • Opportunity costs
  • Hospitality and entertainment costs
  • Franchise fees and/or franchise license costs
  • Lobbyist fees
  • New capital expenditures
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Syllabus

Go through the online training at your own pace and gain an introductory understanding of the following topics:
  • Embracing digital in your business
  • How to select the right technology for your business
  • Advanced technology you can use as your business grows
  • Google My Business and Local SEO
  • How to create an attractive website for your business
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Google analytics, Insights & Ads

Want to participate in this program?

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