David Piccini, left

Only 60% have a website: only 7% accept online payment

A $57 million partnership between Ontario and the Federal Government, has led to Ontario’s Digital Main Street Program and Student Digital Service Squads helping tech-savvy students with $2,500 in government grants and providing online training to local small businesses who need help launching and expanding their online stores. MPP David Piccini says that throughout 2020, 20 local small businesses received Digital Transformation Grants, while many others accessed help from hired local students to go digital and increase their e-commerce sales. A total of $89,000 in funding was provided by the Government of Ontario to help local small businesses transform digitally. Digital Transformation Grant Allocations by municipality 8 businesses in Trent Hills received $26,000 9 businesses in Port Hope received $37,500 3 businesses in Cobourg received $25,500

Digital Service Squads across the province are presently assisting thousands of small businesses develop their online offerings. This is meeting a critical need for many Ontario businesses as they transition to online storefronts.

The program is administered by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association, which works with participating municipalities, Chambers of Commerce and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). The Digital Service Squads are an important part of the Digital Main Street platform that is expected to help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.

“Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and our community,” said MPP David Piccini. “The Digital Service Squads are helping our businesses transition online, allowing them to access new customers safely and reliably. I encourage all Ontarians to support local — by buying goods virtually from local small businesses today and into the future.” Currently, only about 60 percent of Ontario’s small enterprises have a website, and only 7 percent accept online payment. Through Digital Main Street, Ontario businesses are adopting new tools that will allow them to reach a wider customer base and help them weather the economic impacts of COVID-19.

 The Main Street Relief Grant provides up to $1,000 to help eligible small businesses for the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE). The Main Street Relief Grant is available to small businesses with two to nine employees in retail, accommodations and food services, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services to help cover personal protective equipment costs.

 Ontario’s Small Business Support Grant provides a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000 to eligible small businesses who have had to restrict their operations due to the Provincewide Shutdown.  Eligible businesses can apply for more an $600 million in support through the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, Ontario Main Street Relief Grant: PPE Support and temporary property tax and energy cost rebates through a single, online application portal

 The Digital Main Street platform is a $57 million program jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments. It is part of Ontario’s support for small businesses through Ontario’s Main Street Recovery Plan.


 Find all small business grants and recovery resources at ontario.ca/smallbusiness

 Learn more about Rebuilding Main Street

 Learn about resources available to help grow online through Digital Main Street

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