About Digital Main Street
Funding from the Ontario Grants Program (OGP) has provided the Downtown Welland BIA with its very own Digital Service Squad to run the Digital Main Street program once again. The OGP will also be providing qualified brick-and-mortar small businesses with a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant for training, advisory support, and tools to create or enhance their digital presence.
Partnered with the Toronto Association of BIAs and administered by the Ontario BIA Association, the Digital Main Street Ontario Grants program helps offers a collection of events, how to guides, tools, and resources you can access to help you with your Digital Transformation.
The grant portal is now open and applications will be accepted until September 30, 2023. Digital Transformation Grants are administered by the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) and not Digital Main Street or the Downtown Welland BIA.
Click here for the Digital Transformation Grant FAQs
Meet Our Digital Service Squad
Hi, I’m Tianna – Welland’s Digital Service Squad Member and I’m here to help you navigate Digital Main Street. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment with me by using this link.
DSS Team Member
Digital Main Street FAQs
What is Digital Main Street?
Digital Main Street is a program and service that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and the Digital Service Squad, a team of highly trained recent graduates who help main street businesses grow and manage their business through the adoption of digital tools and technology.
What is the digital service squad, and what do they do?
The Digital Service Squad (DSS) is a free digital resource to help you grow your business by adopting and implementing digital tools and technologies. DSS members are trained specialists that help brick-and-mortar small businesses, like yours, to adopt innovative technologies and embrace digital marketing.
A DSS member can show you how to build a basic website or how to improve your existing online presence through tools such as Google Business Profile, email marketing, and social media. In addition, Digital Service Squads provide advice and recommendations to streamline your fundamental business operations (including back-office processes).
How can Digital Main Street Help Me?
By joining Digital Main Street and completing the onboarding process, you receive a free Digital Assessment and recommended to-do list that identifies technologies and tools that can help your business meet their digital goals. Along with this, you also receive exclusive discounts from all digital vendors as part of the DMS community.
Qualifying brick-and-mortar businesses also have the opportunity to work with the Digital Service Squad. The Digital Service Squad can work with you to activate free and easy to use tools, while also providing recommendations for other technologies.
What businesses are eligible for Digital Main Street?
Any business can register for Digital Main Street to access the free resources and tools that will aid in their digital transformation. Home-based businesses are eligible for the ShopHERE website building program but are not eligible for the Digital Transformation Grant and free one-on-one Digital Service Squad Support. Brick-and-mortar small businesses are eligible for the ShopHERE program, the Digital Transformation Grant, and free one-on-one Digital Service Squad Support.
Are there any costs associated with Digital Main Street?
There are no cost to join Digital Main Street and no fee charged for the services of the Digital Service Squad. However, if you choose to activate a tool or service from one of the programs vendors, then there may be a cost associated with this activation. Vendors will often offer a special price or free trial for businesses using Digital Main Street.
What is the Digital Transformation Grant?
The Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program is focused on assisting small businesses with their adoption of technologies. The program provides training, advisory support and grants to brick-and-mortar small businesses looking to increase their capacity through digital transformation.
The grant is administered by the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), and is not administered by Digital Main Street. The portal opened on June 21st, 2022 and applications will be accepted until October 31st, 2022 (or until grant funds are exhausted).
How do I apply for the Digital Transformation Grant?
Qualifying brick-and-mortar businesses can begin the application process by registering on the Digital Main Street website. Applicants must complete the digital assessment, pre-eligibility quiz, and online training modules before submitting their final application through the grant portal. Please see the video below for an in-depth explanation of the application process.
Interested in Digital Main Street?
If you want to learn more about Digital Main Street, please fill out the forum and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!
Connect With Us!
Tag us with #DTWelland on all forms of social media and join in on the conversation!