As consumer expectations have changed, online shopping has become the norm and mobile devices have become ubiquitous, the demand for Toronto's main street businesses to embrace technology has never been greater.
Implementing a digital plan can be a challenge. From ensuring a local business has an up-to-date website that can be found in search, to establishing an e-commerce presence and managing reservations online, main street businesses sometimes struggle with tying these tools together to drive business growth.
To assist these businesses, the Province of Ontario and City of Toronto have announced the Starter Company Plus – Digital Main Street Program. The program will provide training and one-on-one advisory support – as well as a grant of up to $2,500 – to main street business that are located in any of Toronto’s 82 Business Improvement Areas.
A comprehensive digital training curriculum consisting of eight half-day training sessions provides the foundation for the Starter Company Plus – Digital Main Street Program. The training sessions will be delivered by Camp Tech, Toronto’s oldest and most established tech training company for small businesses. Camp Tech’s team of digital experts will lead the practical training sessions, guiding and educating main street businesses as they work through their own Digital Transformation Plan.
“The health of Toronto’s neighbourhoods are interconnected with their commercial main streets,” said Chris Rickett, Manager of Entrepreneurship Services at the City of Toronto. “Working to ensure Toronto’s small business community is embracing the latest in technology in order to grow their businesses is one way we are supporting the health of Toronto’s neighbourhoods.”
Launched last year by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Digital Main Street is a program focused on helping Toronto’s main street businesses adopt digital technologies. Over the past year they have supported more than 3,000 main street businesses, and with the announcement of the Starter Company Plus Program will enhance this support by providing grants to assist businesses with their digital transformation.
Learn more about the program, including how to apply.
The Digital Main Street Program is delivered in partnership with Google, Mastercard, Rogers and Yellow Pages. Interested businesses can complete their free digital assessment by visiting www.digitalmainstreet.ca.