Digital Main Street Extended To June
Funding for Digital Main Street, a free program that helps small businesses in BIAs with digital transformations, has been extended through June 2021. Bronte businesses should take advantage today of one-on-one consultation, webinars and training.
Over the past two years, 24 Bronte businesses have applied for and received $2,500 DMS grants, while twice as many have benefited from the expertise of our own Digital Main Street squad member with one-on-one, hands-on help with mainly social media and websites.
This free service has been funded by the Government of Ontario, the Federal Government and the Town of Oakville. The March 24, 2021 Ontario budget included an additional $10M for DMS with details on how the funding is to be used to be confirmed. This Ontario-based program is the envy of other provinces and programs are being replicated elsewhere.
Research Shows Small Businesses Prioritizing Online Reach
In January, new research conducted by Maru/Matchbox on behalf of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB), found that a year after lockdown, reaching customers online tops the list of business priorities. The research also shows that over one third of small business owners say selling online has been essential to survival through the pandemic. And it looks like this trend will be here to stay — 48% of small businesses say they will stick with e-commerce after the pandemic ends.
Yet 40% of these businesses say attracting customers online will be their greatest challenge.3 As a result, small businesses are looking for new ways to strengthen their digital strategies and stay competitive with other e-commerce sites. Here are ways small businesses can focus on growing their online presence and their customer base in 2021.