Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre and Economic Development have launched the Small Business Digital Transformation Grant Program that will allow 50 small businesses across the region to improve their digital footprint. The program, which is running in concert with the existing Digital Main Street program, is designed to help businesses outside of the downtown cores develop their online presence.
On Monday, December 7, 2020, Chatham-Kent council approved $125,000 to be invested into this program, which will allow each business awarded to receive a $2,500 grant.
"The Digital Main Street program has been incredibly successful in helping our downtown businesses. This new Digital Transformation Program is going to help the businesses who couldn't access the Digital Main Street grant due to their zoning or location," said Jamie Rainbird, Manager of Chatham-Kent Economic Development. "This is a made-in-Chatham-Kent solution to address local business needs and I'm excited that it's rolling out quickly so we can provide this assistance immediately."
The grant is designed to be used by businesses to improve websites, search engine optimization, digital marketing, creation of video and photography galleries, increase online marketing efforts, upgrade technology or purchase e-commerce solutions.
The application process is open to any business that was not included in the Digital Main Street coverage area and has not already received the previous Municipal Digital Improvement Grant. Unlike other programs which have been launched over the past year, these funds are not intended to cover existing operating costs such as rent and utilities or compensating for lost revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our hope is to reach the businesses that have not already had a chance to improve their digital footprint," said Rainbird. "This is about more than just the money, it's also about providing tools, training, and support to entrepreneurs in order to help make them more successful. We have a dedicated team that is ready to assist you."
Applications close January 4, 2021, with successful grant applicants each being awarded a $2,500 taxable grant. Receipt of a fully completed digital transformation application, accompanying documentation, and completion of the education/training components, will be considered on a first come, first serve basis.
To apply, email email@example.com or call the Small Business Centre and Economic Development at 1-866-542-5994.
The Small Business Digital Transformation Grant is another way to help businesses across Chatham-Kent improve their digital footprint and better serve customers.
- Additional grants provided by the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre and Economic Development that have been provided this year include:
Marketing and Communications Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
124 Thames Street, Chatham, ON N7M 5K8
Phone: 519-352-8401 x2039