New grant funding allows Haldimand County Digital Service Squad to continue to help small businesses adopt online technologies

Haldimand County, in partnership with Grand Erie Business Centre, has announced that it has received a $118,000 grant from the Digital Main Street program for a two-year Digital Service Squad program, which provides small business owners with the tools and support needed to digitally transform their businesses.

“Haldimand County and our partners Grand Erie Business Centre are thrilled to be able to offer the Digital Main Street program through to March 2024. Since the first introduction of the program in the Fall of 2020, we’ve seen a significant impact to local businesses. To date 123 businesses within Haldimand County have received a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant and 529 businesses have received assistance and we’re pleased that the program will be continuing.  Businesses who connect with a member of our Digital Service Squad receive valuable one-on-one assistance to successfully navigate today’s digital landscape helping to enhance the economic strength of Haldimand County and apply for a Digital Transformation Grant.” Lidy Romanuk, Manager, Economic Development and Tourism, Haldimand County.

Digital Service Squads (DSS) are the cornerstone of Digital Main Street (DMS), with trained specialists who meet with brick-and-mortar small businesses, at no cost, to help them complete an online assessment and to introduce them to online training modules designed to build their digital knowledge and skills. This one-on-one DSS assistance includes support for basic website setup, Google Business Profiles, 360⁰ photos, social media presence, and much more. Squad members are also trained to help qualified small businesses with the development of their Digital Transformation Plan and then with the application process for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant.

“Small businesses are innovative and entrepreneurial, but often lack the resources to respond to change, be resilient, yet flexible,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director, OBIAA. “OBIAA is delighted to work once again alongside the Digital Main Street team and is thrilled to support Haldimand County’s squad. The Digital Main Street program’s resources, grants, training, and Digital Service Squad assistance provide the means for more small businesses in communities across Haldimand County to adopt innovative ways, create new revenue streams, expand their markets, and face the future with optimism and confidence.”

The Digital Transformation Grant application window is open and will close on October 31, 2022.  All interested Haldimand County business owners are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  Digital Main Street has also extended its ShopHERE program. This amazing opportunity creates online stores for independent small businesses and artists at no cost.  For more information about the Digital Transformation Grant, the ShopHERE program, or to book an appointment with the Digital Service Squad, email opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca or call (905) 318-5932.

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