The Vankleek Hill Business and Merchant Association (VKHBMA) has received a grant from Digital Main Street’s Ontario Grants Program. The grant, totalling $9,775, will be used to hire a Digital Service Squad (DSS) that will aid small businesses in digitally transforming their sales, marketing, and office operations.
“Having someone on our team to visit businesses and to help them apply for funds to move ahead with digital initiatives is a tremendous boost for the small enterprises in our town,” said Louise Sproule, VKHBMA president. “Small business owners are always busy and having help to move ahead in digital directions is meeting a demand on everyone’s wish list.”
The Digital Service Squads consist of trained specialists who, at no cost to local businesses, meet with them and assess their online presence. They help business owners build a website if they don’t already have one, set up a Google MyBusiness Profile, and look at any social media the business may already have. They then construct a Digital Transformation Plan (DTP) to summarize work that needs to be done that may be outside their scope of work, and introduce business owners to online training modules to help make it happen. They also assist business owners in applying to a one-time grant of $2500.
In places where COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, the DSS can provide support online and over the phone as well. The squad’s work began in August and will continue through to the end of October.