$1 Million in Digital Transformation Grant funding given to Hamilton Businesses through the Digital Main Street Program through Hamilton Chamber of Commerce & Hamilton Business Centre
December 17, 2021 – HAMILTON, ON: The Hamilton Business Centre and Hamilton Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce that $1 million in Digital Transformation Grants has been distributed to Hamilton businesses through the Digital Main Street (DMS) Ontario Grants Program (OGP). The DMS OGP is funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. The Ontario Grants Program is administered by the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA).
Digital Main Street’s Digital Transformation Grant provides qualifying brick-and-mortar small businesses with a digital assessment, online training, and a one-time $2,500 grant to implement their Digital Transformation Plan.
The province-wide program first came to Hamilton in 2018 in an effort to help main street businesses adopt and use digital technologies more effectively. As small businesses faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, the multi-faceted program continues to expand and extend its funding to businesses who have had to turn to digital and online solutions in order to stay competitive and succeed.
Last year, the Hamilton Business Centre & Hamilton Chamber of Commerce launched a Digital Service Squad (DSS) funded by the DMS OGP to assist small businesses in Hamilton’s 13 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and other commercial corridors through their digital transformation. The DSS provides one-on-one assistance, including training, advisory support, and grant application support.
“These Digital Main Street grants provide exactly the kind of assistance our entrepreneurs need in the challenging time we find ourselves in,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “This program is welcome as it is helping a new generation of entrepreneurs achieve success and increase the collective prosperity of our community particularly during the time of this pandemic.”
“I would like to thank our Hamilton Business Centre staff as well as our partners at the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce for their great work over the past two and a half years,” said Norm Schleehahn, Director of Economic Development. “This is a major achievement for our community, and I am proud our joint efforts provided such a high calibre of support for so many entrepreneurs in Hamilton.”
“What an incredible milestone to celebrate! Working with the Hamilton Business Centre, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is proud to have provided Hamilton businesses with $1 million directly into their pockets and countless more resources in digital transformation coaching and consulting services,” said Keanin Loomis, President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “This has been crucial to these businesses enduring the pandemic and will position them well as the trend toward online shopping grows.”
About the Hamilton Business Centre
The City of Hamilton is a large, vibrant, and growing city known for its annual festivals, diverse dining experiences, and was recently awarded a Gold Rank for its Hometown Hub website, a project in the category of Special Purpose Website of the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Excellence in Economic Development Awards. Across the city are 13 BIAs, each representing a unique neighbourhood with legacy businesses and new entrepreneurs’ side-by-side.
Located on the first floor of City Hall, the Hamilton Business Centre is your one-stop source for business information, guidance and professional advice on starting and running a successful business. Whether you’re starting a business or developing an existing business, the Hamilton Business Centre can help.
About the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Representing over 1,000 businesses and institutions that employ more than 75,000 people in Hamilton, Ontario, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is the city’s 176-year-old voice of business and thought leader in commerce. In addition to helping provide solutions to the day-to-day challenges of its member businesses, the Hamilton Chamber provides leadership on city building initiatives that are designed to stimulate commerce and increase prosperity in the community.
OBIAA is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. The Association supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships. OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources, and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.
About Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Lightspeed, and Square. www.digitalmainstreet.ca
Michael R. Marini, MA, Cert. PR, APR, Ec. D.