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Digital Main Street

Providing Brick-and-Mortar Small Businesses with $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants

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:

    Must be a business that:

    • Has a permanent 'brick-and-mortar' establishment in Ontario
    • Is employing 1-50 employees
    • Has not received a DTG previously
    • 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
    • Is NOT a home-based 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


    ADDITIONAL CRITERIA
    • Previous Digital Main Street grant recipients may NOT apply at this time
    • Large corporations are not eligible to apply for a DTG (more than 50 staff)
    • Businesses with multiple locations are only eligible to apply for one digital transformation grant
    • Owners with multiple businesses may only apply for one grant

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

Cost

Free

Program Start Date

September 1, 2021

Registration Deadline

October 31, 2021 (or until grant funds are exhausted)

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
  • Assistance, in partnership with 2H Media, to create 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
  • Photography/videography costs for production of photos and/or videos
  • Ecommerce enablement
  • Accessibility compliance
  • 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)
  • POS Systems (limited to $1,000)
  • Hardware deemed necessary (as determined by OBIAA in its sole discretion)(limited to $1,000)
Ineligible Costs:

  • Purchases made prior to grant approval
  • Microsoft Office
  • Website Hosting
  • Domain Name Renewal
  • Software Subscription Renewal
  • Signage and printing including LED/digital signage
  • 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)
  • iPhones or Cellphones of any type
  • Business Owner’s salary or current employee salary for executing the project
  • Costs of land, building or vehicle purchase
  • Any costs not listed under “Eligible Costs” are deemed INELIGIBLE
  • If you have any questions on eligibility you may contact us at [email protected]
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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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