From the New Release dated January 14, 2020:

The Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism announced today that it has received a $35,000 grant from Digital Main Street (DMS) to fund a Digital Service Squad to help main street small businesses improve their online capabilities. The grant will cover businesses across the Kawarthas in Trent Lakes, North Kawartha, Curve Lake First Nation, Douro-Dummer, Selwyn and Asphodel-Norwood.

The Chamber received the grant from the Ontario government as part of the Digital Main Street program to establish a Digital Service Squad (DSS) to help small businesses across the Kawarthas improve their use of digital tools and techniques to better evolve and grow. The DSS will consist of trained digital specialists who will visit and assist main street small businesses at no cost to help them set up Google Business and conduct a digital-readiness assessment.

“We are excited to be working with our municipal partners to implement this program to support member and non-member businesses in our region. We will be leveraging the expertise of local business and digital experts, acorn30, to help deliver this program to qualifying businesses. Together we will provide access to digital tools and resources that will allow area businesses to modernize and stay competitive,” said Mike Walker, Kawartha Chamber Board Chair.

A joint program funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association, Digital Main Street helps improve how small main street businesses use digital tools and techniques to become more successful. Today’s digital economy is vital to small businesses, and DMS will help them adopt new digital technologies from e-commerce and social media to back-office systems such as payroll and inventory.

“Our government is committed to helping small businesses improve their competitiveness, create jobs and attract investment,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “That’s why I’m so pleased that businesses across the Kawarthas will benefit from the expertise of a Digital Service Squad to help small businesses embrace digital technology. Our investment in the Digital Main Street program will help to ensure that Ontario is open for business and open for jobs.”

“Our townships and villages are a vital part of Peterborough-Kawartha. When they succeed, we all succeed. That is why providing the funding and opportunities for their businesses to thrive is crucial. I am thrilled that businesses across Trent Lakes, North Kawartha, Curve Lake First Nation, Douro-Dummer and Selwyn will benefit from this grant,” Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha, stated.

“The Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism is primed to take full advantage of Digital Main Street. They understand that helping small businesses hone their digital abilities will help keep their downtown core vibrant and strong,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of the Ontario BIA Association. “Our small main street businesses are a critical contributor to Ontario’s economic, social and cultural health, and it’s vital that we work together to ensure their success. Digital Main Street will help the main street small businesses across the Kawarthas compete in an increasingly digital world.”

ABOUT the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism:
With its guiding vision, “As a trusted voice for business and a champion of prosperity and vitality in our region,” the Chamber’s mission is: “To strengthen business, regional recognition and pride of place, by serving our members and communities.” Through its many varied programs, events, and activities, the Chamber advance and promotes the well-being and interests of local businesses and the communities they serve.
The Kawartha Chamber proudly represents members in Curve Lake First Nation and the rural municipalities of Douro-Dummer, North Kawartha, Selwyn & Trent Lakes which encompass many quaint villages and hamlets.

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 by the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA) and a group of strategic partners including Google, MasterCard, Rogers, Microsoft and Shopify. The Province of Ontario expansion of Digital Main Street is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association. The Ontario expansion is part of the government’s $12 million Main Street Enhancement Initiative to create jobs and support communities across the province. For more information, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca

Contact Sherry Boyce-Found at the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce (705) 652-6963.