The Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre is pleased to announce the new and expanded Digital Main Street Ontario Grant Program for local business to assist them in expanding their digital footprint. Version 3.0 of this program is now open for any registered business in Chatham-Kent that is paying commercial taxes or rent to an entity that is, has between 1 and 50 employees, has not received the grant in the past, and has a permanent brick-and-mortar establishment.
The Digital Main Street Ontario Grants Program is focused on assisting brick-and-mortar small businesses with their adoption of technologies. The Digital Transformation Grant is an opportunity available to enable this digital transformation process. Through a partnership with the Province of Ontario, FedDev Ontario, and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, and administered by the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), the Digital Transformation Grant program will provide funding for training, advisory support, and grants to small businesses looking to increase their capacity through digital transformation.
“This is exciting news for businesses across Chatham-Kent thanks to the expanded areas that the Digital Transformation Grant now covers. Previous versions of the program had a scope that was focused on just downtown areas, and now version three will allow more of our community to access training and funding,” said Jamie Rainbird, Manager of Chatham-Kent Economic Development. “There have been some excellent lessons learned over the past two years that have really helped to laser-focus the program and make it an even better opportunity for our community.”
The three components of the Digital Transformation Grant include support for small business to help them assess their digital needs, an online training course that equips business owners with the digital literacy skills needed to develop a Digital Transformation Plan, and a $2500 grant to assist with the execution of their plan.
“The program is also providing the Small Business Centre with resources to have a dedicated team member on staff to provide local support for the program,” said Rainbird. “The Digital Service Squad member has already been working with businesses and will continue to provide excellent service for the new expanded pool of businesses who may apply.”
Program applications are being accepted now until October 31, 2021 or until grant funds are exhausted. Businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible so they are able to qualify for funding.
“This program has been a huge success for our region with 91 Chatham-Kent businesses receiving a total of $227,500 in grant funding during the last round. As well, there were dozens more who participated in the program just to take part in the training, staff support, and other services that the Small Business Centre was able to provide,” said Rainbird. “Even if your business doesn’t qualify for the grant component, the Small Business Centre can still assist you and all of our services are free. Just reach out and contact us.”
For people looking for more information on the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre and the Digital Main Street program, including training, grant details, and a full list of requirements to enter the program, please visit www.investck.ca.
The boutique store Sixty One, located in downtown Blenheim, was among the many retail locations that were able to take advantage of the Digital Transformation Grant in round 2. The new round 3 funding is now expanded beyond downtown businesses and is available for brick and mortar locations across the region.
- The process for businesses applying for a Digital Transformation Grant has two main stages:
- Stage 1: Application
- Stage 2: Review and Award
- Visit ca/ontariogrants for more information on timing and instructions for applying for Digital Transformation Grant.
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