digital squadThe City of Owen Sound and the Owen Sound DIA have received a $28,750 grant from Digital Main Street Ontario for a Digital Service Squad (DSS) to help downtown small businesses use digital technologies to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Funding for the grant is provided by FedDev Ontario, a federal program. The squad will begin visiting businesses in Owen Sound in early Fall.

“We are excited for the opportunity this presents to our business community and grateful to the OBIAA and FedDev Ontario for their commitment to helping Owen Sound grow and retain local businesses in our downtown core," says Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy

"We are going through our procurement process and should have an RFP ready within the next week or so," says Brent Fisher, Manager of Community Development & Marketing.

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.

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 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).

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

source: media release, City of Owen Sound


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