County receives $20,000 Digital Main Street Grant to help main street businesses use digital tools more effectively.

Submitted Media Release

The County of Brant Economic Development Division announced today that it has received a $20,000 grant from Digital Main Street (DMS) to fund two Digital Service Squads to help main street small businesses improve their online capabilities.

The County received the grant from the Ontario government as part of the Digital Main Street program to establish two Digital Service Squads (DSS) to help small businesses in downtown Paris, St. George and Burford enhance their use of digital tools and techniques to better evolve and grow. The squads will consist of trained specialists who will visit and assist main street small businesses at no cost to help them set up Google Business and conduct a digital-readiness assessment.

“The County of Brant is extremely fortunate to have beautiful, charming, vibrant, successful downtowns that contribute significantly to both the economic and the social well-being of our greater Brant community,” said Russell Press, Director of Economic Development and Tourism. “By our Digital Main Street application being approved for this amount, it enables the Economic Development and Tourism Division to assist the 3 main downtowns of Brant while also acquiring the expertise to allow for continued support throughout the County.”

A joint program funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association, Digital Main Street helps improve how small main street businesses use digital tools and techniques to become more successful. Today’s digital economy is vital to small businesses, and DMS will help them adopt new digital technologies from e-commerce and social media to back-office systems such as payroll and inventory.

“Our government is committed to helping small businesses improve their competitiveness, create jobs and attract investment,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “That’s why I’m so pleased that businesses in Brant County will benefit from the expertise of a Digital Service Squad to help small businesses embrace digital technology. Our investment in the Digital Main Street program will help to ensure that Ontario is open for business and open for jobs.”

“The engine of Ontario’s economy is with small businesses and I am happy to be part of a Provincial Government that prioritises this reality.” said Willem Bouma, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brantford-Brant. “Helping small businesses compete and innovate within the on-line sphere is something that our community should be very proud of and can only help create more local job opportunities.”

Digital Main Street featured two types of grants:
1. Digital Transformation Grant: Grants of $2,500 each were available to qualifying small “main street” businesses across Ontario to help them adopt new digital technologies.
2. Digital Service Squad Grant: Grants of $10,000 each were available to qualifying municipal or business groups across Ontario to develop and implement local squads of digital vendors and experts to directly help small businesses.

“The County of Brant is primed to take full advantage of Digital Main Street, understanding that helping small businesses hone their digital abilities will help keep their downtown core vibrant and strong,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of the Ontario BIA Association. “Our small main street businesses are a critical contributor to Ontario’s economic, social and cultural health, and it’s vital that we work together to ensure their success. Digital Main Street will help the main street small businesses of the County of Brant compete in an increasingly digital world.”

About Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street is an innovative program designed to help main street small businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, grants and Digital Service Squads teams of street-level experts that help main street small businesses manage and grow their operations through technology adoption. The program was originally created by the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA) and a group of strategic partners including Google, MasterCard, Rogers, Microsoft and Shopify. The Province of Ontario expansion of Digital Main Street is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association. The Ontario expansion is part of the government’s $12 million Main Street Enhancement Initiative to create jobs and support communities across the province. For more information, please visit