Business,  County of Huron News Release,  Digital Marketing,  Economic Development,  Small Business

Get the Help of the Huron County DIGITAL SERVICE SQUAD!

In partnership with Digital Main Street Ontario, Huron County Economic Development and our community partners are excited to launch our new Digital Service Squad (DSS) program and introduce our DSS team members!

The Digital Service Squad will help you build your online presence and promote and sell successfully online. There is no fee for this service.

Our DSS members will provide one-on-one support to small businesses in Huron County and can assist with a number of activities, including:

  • A digital assessment of your business’ digital literacy
  • Access to a free online video-based digital transformation training program
  • Developing a basic web presence or enhance your existing web presence by helping you activate easy-to-use tools such as Google My Business and social media
  • Applying for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant by assisting with the development of the Digital Transformation Plan portion of the application

Meet the Digital Service Squad Members

Think of the DSS members as a FREE resource, here to provide you and your business with guidance and recommendations on how to grow and achieve your digital goals to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

The Huron County Digital Service Squad is available now until mid-February 2021. Please do not miss out on this great opportunity to help increase the use of digital technologies in your business!

I want the support of a Digital Service Squad Member!

Digital Service Squad – Virtual Launch Event 
Join us on Thursday, October 8 at 2:00 pm for a Digital Service Squad – Huron County Virtual Launch event! During the launch, you’ll get the chance to meet our Squad members, learn how the program works, and how you can get involved!

Register for the launch event!

Backgrounder: What is Digital Main Street? An opportunity to transform your business! There a variety of programs and services available to small businesses through Digital Main Street. Here are some of the most relevant for Huron County businesses:

  • Digital Service Squads
  • Digital Transformation Grants
  • ShopHere
  • Future Proof

See below for details about each opportunity and how it can help YOUR BUSINESS!

Digital Service Squad (DSS): Huron County Economic Development, in partnership with all nine municipalities and the eleven Business Improvement Areas (BIA) and other business groups across the County, has received a $90,000 grant from Digital Main Street Ontario, funded by FedDev Ontario, for a Digital Service Squad to help small businesses in the region use digital technologies to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

The Digital Service Squad members will provide one-on-one assistance to small businesses, at no cost, to help them improve their online presence. The Squad members can assist with a number of activities, including:

  • A digital assessment of your business’ digital literacy
  • Access to a free online video-based digital transformation training program
  • Website – review, updating, creation, best practices
  • Social Media – support, best practices, advertising, and more
  • Technology – support and guidance for the best options of technology tools to implement for your business
  • Miscellaneous Digital Transformation Support: loyalty programs, point of sale systems, e-commerce, back-end business operations support (i.e. setting up QuickBooks, etc.)

Digital Transformation Grant (DTS): The Digital Transformation Training and Grant Program 2.0 provides grants of up to $2,500 to help businesses strategically adopt technology and meet their digital goals. The deadline to apply is November 30, 2020, limited funds available so be sure to apply early.

To apply, businesses must:

1. Register online and take a digital assessment.

*Note: Businesses can re-apply, but all final reporting from the previous round of funding must be completed. To confirm if you have submitted your final reports, please log into your Digital Main Street account here.

2. Complete the eligibility form, take the online training (now 3h) and develop a Digital Transformation Plan.

*Note: Businesses that have already participated in the program do not need to take the digital assessment again, but must complete the new 3h of training and develop a Digital Transformation Plan for their new project.

3. Apply for the $2,500 grant.

*Note: Learn more about eligible costs here.

Other notes:

  • To be eligible for a Digital Transformation Grant, businesses MUST be located within a commercial district. Learn more about eligibility here.
  • Funding is limited and uptake is high, so please apply ASAP.

In addition to grants, businesses can also access digital vendors, online and in-person training, free trials and discounts, interesting articles, how-to tips, and much more.

DMS shopHERE: ShopHERE provides independent small businesses, non-profit organizations, and artists with a quick, easy, and no-cost way to get selling online right away. Work with the ShopHERE program to get an online store created and launched (with 5 hours of launch assistance) at no-cost!

DMS Future Proof: Future Proof is a program that assists businesses by connecting them with a Transformation Team that will help them to identify new markets, pivot their business model, and develop and implement a deep digital transformation plan.

DMS Digital Vendor List: Digital Main Street is looking for vendors that can help small businesses across Ontario – even here in Huron County! If you help your clients use online and digital tools to promote, sell, and manage, then you may be eligible to become a Digital Main Street Digital Vendor!

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