Province expands program to help small businesses adopt digital technologies

Ontario is supporting Main Street businesses to modernize the way they do business and attract customers by helping them adopt new digital technologies and build online presence.

Jeff Leal, minister responsible for small business and agriculture, food and rural affairs minister, made the announcement April 9 at The Village Hive in Markham.

The Main Street Digital Initiative will help small businesses improve their digital capabilities and tap into the latest trends of today’s digital economy, including setting up an online store, making businesses more mobile-friendly and using social media and apps to promote businesses.

The new initiative builds on an existing Toronto-based program and expands the services for small businesses across the province, including:

  • Web platform providing access to basic digital services, including vetted lists of vendors who can identify technologies and tools businesses need to become digital ready.
  • Digital training (online and in-person) offers specific digital technologies or strategies including e-commerce, social media and website development.
  • Service squad providing one-on-one assistance and digital assessments by a highly-trained team who can come into stores to offer services and recommendations, including activating free and easy to use tools.
  • Digital transformation training and grants up to $2,500 to help businesses adopt technology and meet their digital goals.

“We are excited to support small businesses as they seek to enhance their digital capabilities,” said Leal. “The Main Street Digital Initiative will provide access to tools and expertise in order to capitalize on the new opportunities that can be realized through technology.”

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