ONTARIO BIA ASSOCIATION
The Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), in partnership with the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA), today announced the Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program is now accepting applications. With support from the Government of Ontario, the Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) provides up to $2,500 to qualifying brick-and-mortar small businesses to help cover the cost of adopting digital tools and technologies.
The new application window opens on June 21, 2022 and closes on Oct. 31, 2022. A second application window will open in January 2023 and continue to Sept. 30, 2023 (or until grant funds are fully exhausted), allowing more qualified small businesses time to apply for the DTG and execute their projects. Commercial small businesses eligible to apply for the DTG must be registered in Ontario, have a brick-and-mortar location, and employ under 50 employees. Other eligibility requirements and exceptions can be found on the Digital Main Street website.
As part of the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Ontario committed to an increased investment of $40 million over two years to help Ontario businesses better compete at home and abroad through the renewal of the Digital Main Street program, including the Digital Transformation Grant and the Digital Service Squad Grant. Applications for the Digital Service Squad Grant opened in April 2022.
Since 2018, over 41,000 businesses have received support from combined federal and provincial funding, and the renewed funding is expected to help 36,000 more businesses raise their digital profile. In May 2022, the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Seize the Technological Advantage study noted that 60 percent of companies have a website, a jump of 50 percent in just three years from the number of companies in 2019 cited in a Government of Ontario report.
Founded by TABIA in 2016 and expanded province-wide in 2018, Digital Main Street (DMS) is a significant resource for small businesses across Ontario as they continue to transform their operations to include online business models, new revenue streams and, potentially, international markets. The Ontario BIA Association, together with TABIA, administers the DMS OGP across the province to assist Ontario’s brick-and-mortar small businesses. For more information on Digital Main Street’s Ontario Grants Program, visit here.
“The Digital Main Street Ontario Grants Program is a vitally important and immensely valuable resource for small businesses,” said Kay Matthews, executive director of the OBIAA. “It is very clear that businesses who took advantage of the DMS program over the past four years are now positioned for a brighter, more optimistic and sustainable future. We look forward to equipping even more small businesses with the knowledge, resources, and training to revitalize their operations with an expanded digital presence.”
Digital Service Squads have already launched their programs in municipalities, towns, and cities across the province. Now, together with the Digital Transformation Grant portal opening today, small businesses will have the knowledge, resources and support to market their products and services online and ensure their local communities continue to thrive.