Funding available for Grimsby small businesses to build digital marketing tools

The Town of Grimsby has received grant funding from Digital Main Street Ontario to help Grimsby main street small businesses use digital technologies to adapt to a
rapidly changing environment.

In partnership with the Grimsby Downtown Improvement Association, funding was acquired through the federal program the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, also known as FedDev Ontario.

“The Digital Main Street initiative will allow qualifying area businesses to transition their operations
through digital transformation to better position themselves for success and long-term sustainability,
especially during these trying times,” said Adam Joon, Grimsby’s Economic Development Officer.

The grant provides access to a Digital Service Squad, a free resource for qualifying local business, helping them to build their online presence and promote and sell successfully online. There is no fee for this service. The main role of a Digital Service Squad team member is to assess a business’s online presence and then recommend how to enhance their digital capabilities.

Through the initiative, the town expects to leverage new online and digital tools to help local business owners promote their goods and services and stay competitive during the COVID-19 crisis.

Established in 2018, Digital Main Street Ontario was recently extended thanks to an investment of $42.5
million from FedDev Ontario and $7.45 million from the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

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.

“Congratulations to Grimsby 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.”, said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

A squad member can help businesses build a basic web presence or enhance a business’s existing presence by helping to activate easy-to-use tools, including a basic website setup, Google My Business profiles, 360⁰ photos, creation, or enhancement of a social media presence.

“The DIA is happy to partner with the Town to offer local merchants access to the Digital Main Street
supports,” said DIA Chair Mike Williscraft. “The pandemic has significantly challenged smaller retail and
commercial businesses, but by utilizing the Service Squad and Transformation grants available through
the Digital Main Street initiative we can help our local merchants become more resilient and
competitive as the economy recovers.”

Grimsby’s Digital Service Squad members will be available from the end of October 2020 until the end of
February 2021 and will, beyond the advisory services provided, encourage and position applications for
Digital Transformation Grant funding – a Digital Main Street grant initiative through which businesses
can receive $2,500 to help implement their digital transformation.

Business owners are encouraged to apply to the Digital Transformation Grant program. Intake for the grant program closes at the end of November.

“I would encourage all eligible Grimsby businesses to participate in the Digital Main Street initiative and
to take advantage of the tools and resources available through the program” said Mayor Jeff Jordan.

Learn More:
For more information on Digital Main Street initiative visit this website