As businesses across Ontario look for new tools and talent to strengthen their bottom line by adopting new online retail and marketing strategies, Digital Main Street has launched its Future Proof program with a province-wide network of partners and the support of FedDev Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
“Ontario’s small businesses are at the heart of our economy and will play a key role in its recovery. That is why we have invested in Digital Main Street,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “To help entrepreneurs take advantage of the increase in online commerce by supporting them to execute digital transformations, and ultimately succeed at doing business in a digital world. The Future Proof Program will help protect Ontario’s main streets, support local jobs and help our economy come back stronger than ever.”
The new Future Proof program will supplement the Ontario Grants and ShopHERE streams, offering new opportunities for small businesses to create significant and lasting change to their business models, through Transformation Teams and the Community Collaboration Project.
The Business Transformation Teams will provide specialized and in-depth digital transformation services and support that help existing main street firms adapt to changes in their respective sector.
The Digital Main Street Lab will focus on building collaborations between technology companies and communities to pilot innovations that encourage transformational change along main street for businesses.
The Community Collaboration Projects will unlock scalable solutions through collaboration in the cities, counties, and rural communities in our geographic footprint of London-Middlesex, Sarnia-Lambton, Oxford, Elgin, and Huron Counties.
“TechAlliance is pleased to collaborate with our Regional Innovation Centre partners to expand the Digital Main Street program across Ontario,” said TechAlliance CEO Christina Fox. “Thousands of technology companies across the province have benefited from working with this network, and now we’re going to bring that same level of support, guidance, and technology expertise to a greater number of main street small businesses. The best part? Our provincial and federal government partners have made a serious investment in Future Proof, so business owners can focus on implementing game-changing new solutions.”
“To facilitate our support for small businesses across our region, we’re delighted that Karen Chalmers will be leading TechAlliance’s DMS Future Proof efforts. Karen is an exceptional community champion and is eager to help entrepreneurs reposition for greater prosperity in the modern market.”
Prabmeet Sarkaria, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, says that helping main street survive means helping businesses grow and adapt to the changing retail landscape. “The Future Proof program will provide the support small businesses need to transform their operations to meet the challenges of today and opportunities of tomorrow.”
Do you own or know a business in Southwestern Ontario that could benefit from Digital Main Street’s Future Proof, ShopHERE, or Ontario Grants programs? Let us know how we can help that business pivot to a stronger, digitally-powered future.
If you’re a digital marketing vendor who’d like to be part of this transformative project, sign up today to lend your expertise to help entrepreneurs and small businesses compete on the global stage.