DIGITAL MAIN STREET 2.0

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Downtown Carleton Place Re-Launches Digital Main Street Service Squad

Carleton Place BIA receives $13,500 Digital Main Street Grant to help main street businesses improve online presence.

September 1, 2020:  Carleton Place, Ontario.  The Downtown Carleton Place BIA today announced that it has received a grant for $13,500 from Digital Main Street to again fund a Digital Service Squad to help small downtown businesses use digital technologies to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.  Funding for the grant is provided by the federal program FedDev Ontario. With COVID-19 having such an impact on the local economy, Downtown Carleton Place BIA wants to continue to support businesses by going deeper with their online presence.

Toby and Cathy James of Cat’s Cove Communications will come back once again as the Digital Street Squad members and are creating a more detailed approach to servicing businesses as effectively and efficiently as possible.  Toby and Cathy will visit and assist BIA-area downtown businesses at no cost and carve our specific, targeted and measurable tactics to build their digital presence. The Squad will start visiting businesses in the second week of September 2020.

“This year especially, we’re really focused on how businesses can use online marketing tools and strategies to build their revenues, reach and goals,” says Downtown Carleton Place BIA Coordinator Kate Murray. “As well, with our future central bridge replacement and Bridge Street reconstruction, the time to revisit and recharge our online offering is now.”

Established in 2018, Digital Main Street Ontario was recently extended thanks to an investment of $42.5 million from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and $7.45 million from the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade (MEDJCT). The nearly $50-million investment will help small businesses across Ontario to pivot their operations to include online business models, regain lost revenue, and become more resilient and competitive as the economy recovers. The Ontario BIA Association administers the DMS grant program to Ontario’s main street small businesses.

“Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the keystone of our economic recovery. That is why we have invested in Digital Main Street to help these enterprises adapt to doing business in a digital world, and take advantage of the record number of people shopping online. Congratulations to the Downtown Carleton Place BIA on the launch of your Digital Service Squad. The work you’re doing with small businesses in your community will help keep our main streets vibrant, support good, local jobs, and help our economy come back strong.” (The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Digital Service Squads are fundamental to Digital Main Street’s design and success, with trained specialists who meet with small businesses, at no cost, to help them improve their online presence. The squads assist with a number of activities, including developing a Google My Business profile, enhancing their social media presence and providing support for a basic website and e-commerce set-up.  Squads will also assist qualified small businesses through the application process for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant, which includes an online assessment, online training modules and the development of a Digital Transformation Plan (DTP).

“The COVID-19 pandemic hit Ontario’s main streets hard, so Digital Main Street is needed more than ever,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of OBIAA.  “We know that businesses that participated in Digital Main Street last year were better able to cope when the pandemic hit, and we’re excited that FedDev Ontario and Ontario are providing the funding to extend this important program to help businesses in communities like Carleton Place.”

 Businesses within the BIA area will be re-introduced to the Digital Service Squad over the coming weeks.

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ABOUT the Downtown Carleton Place BIA

The Downtown Carleton Place BIA promotes the downtown as a business and shopping area, not just a group of individual shops, restaurants and offices. Our basic mandate is twofold; beautification and promotion. Our ongoing floral beautification, seasonal banner program, and decorative lighting, add to the vibrant streetscape. We use promotional activities and special events to keep downtown Carleton Place foremost in the public’s mind as an attractive, pleasant place to shop, to be entertained, to work and to live.

ABOUT the Ontario BIA Association

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 an innovative program designed to help main street small businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, grants and Digital Service Squads teams of street-level experts that help main street small businesses manage and grow their operations through technology adoption. The program was originally created in 2016 by the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA) and a group of strategic partners including Google, MasterCard, Microsoft, and Shopify. For more information, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca.

ABOUT Digital Main Street Ontario

Digital Main Street was expanded across all of Ontario in 2018 with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs through the $38 million Main Street Revitalization Initiative. It has been further extended through funding from FedDev Ontario and the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT).  The new round of funding includes $42.5 million from the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, a national recovery initiative delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. With $7.45 million from Ontario, this combined federal and provincial project will strengthen Ontario’s economic capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration, and will promote the development of a strong and diversified Ontario economy.

For more information AND to apply for a grant of your own, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca/ontariogrants

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kate Murray
Downtown Carleton Place BIA Coordinator
info@downtowncarletonplace.com
306-216-2511

PROGRAM CONTACT:
Toby James
Digital Service Squad Member
digitalcp@catscovecommunications.com
613-812-3230

 

 

 

 

Categories: Member News.