UPDATE: The Digital Transformation Grant application deadline has been extended to November 30, 2021, or until remaining funds are exhausted. Contact DMS@haltonhills.ca to get the process started.
On February 1, 2021, The Town of Halton Hills Council approved a motion that called on the Provincial and Federal Governments to provide additional funding to extend the Digital Main Street Program and expand the eligibility criteria to provide support to more small businesses. Read the motion here.
In August, 2021, The Town of Halton Hills secured another round of funding to implement a second Digital Main Street program as part of the Economic Recovery and Resiliency Plan. Read the Media Release here.
As part of this second round funding, the Town will secure two 'Digital Service Squad' positions to provide support to local small businesses between September 2021 and February 2022.
Digital Main Street
A free platform that helps small businesses identify and adopt the right digital tools and technologies that can help reach more customers and boost sales.
Digital Service Squad (DSS) Members
Staff members who work out of Town Hall to provide support to local businesses and help them navigate all the programs Digital Main Street offers through one-on-one meetings between September 2021 - February 2022.
Our local Digital Service Squad Members can help you with:
- Completing a digital assessment questionnaire about your current web presence.
- Letting you know if you are eligible for different programs like ShopHERE and the OBIAA $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant
- Helping you to complete grant applications
- Answering questions about how to improve your website search engine optimization, and advertising on social media
Email DMS@haltonhills.ca to set up a meeting with a Halton Hills Digital Service Squad Member.
$2,500 Digital Transformation Grant - Open until Nov 30, 2021
Apply for a $2,500 grant to support website upgrades, e-commerce capabilities, new equipment like laptops and POS systems, as well as advertising and marketing expenses including social media and google ads.
Is your business eligible for the grant?
New this year - no location criteria, businesses do not have to be located on a main street.
- Incorporated or registered business in Ontario
- 1-50 employees
- Have a physical brick and mortar storefront and pay commercial property tax (directly or indirectly through rent)
- Is not a franchise (including individually owned and operated
- Not a business offering digital services (these businesses are eligible to apply to be a DMS vendor, more information below)
- Wholesalers and manufacturers are only deemed eligible if there is a dedicated area of the physical business that is open to the general public for walk-in and onsite purchases of goods and services
- Have not received the digital transformation grant in previous years
- Small businesses located in industrial areas may qualify to apply if zoning permits a commercial business to operate. The business must be clearly open to the general public i.e., members of the public can walk in and purchase products and services onsite.
The Town of Halton Hills' Digital Main Street support staff can answer questions and support the application process. Frequently asked questions and full eligibility requirements can be found in the Digital Transformation Grant Guidelines.
Information you need to provide during the grant application process:
- A copy of commercial tax bill or letter from landlord indicating you've paid commercial property tax
- Business number, article of incorporation or business registration
- A picture of storefront / business operation
If successful, the Digital Transformation Grant funds must be spent and final documents submitted by February 28, 2022.
Reach out to the Halton Hills Digital Service Squad team at DMS@haltonhills.ca to ask any questions and review your eligibility for the Digital Transformation Grant.
Build an online store through the ShopHERE program
ShopHERE is a program offered through Digital Main Street that provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick way to set up an online store. See some examples of online stores created through ShopHERE.
The ShopHERE team can help you with:
- Creating and configures your online store through Shopify, Lightspeed or Square
- Training you on how to manage it
- Providing support to get your online store live
- Helping with marketing the store
Eligibility for ShopHERE
- Under 10 full time employees (25 if a restaurant)
- Registered business in Ontario
- Can be a business or artist
- Home-based, commercial businesses, and/or artists are eligible to apply.
The ShopHERE program is available until March 31, 2022.
** The ShopHERE program is free for participants to sign up and have a Shopify store built. For new stores being created, businesses will responsible for paying monthly subscription fees for the participating software's after set-up. Shopify is currently offering a 90-day free trial.
More information about ShopHERE can be found here. Contact DMS@haltonhills.ca if you have any questions.
Digital Main Street Vendor Directory
If you own a local business in Halton Hills that provides website supports, digital marketing, advertising, digital design, or related services, your business can be listed in the Digital Main Street Vendor Directory. When other local businesses receive their Digital Transformation Grant, they will be eligible to spend grant dollars with your marketing business.
To be a Digital Main Street Digital Vendor, your business must:
- Be an incorporated or registered business
- Have premises located in Ontario
- Have a professional business website
- Have a defined product or service for small businesses that is in line with the Digital Main Street audience and mission.
How do I get started?
- Visit the Digital Main Street website to complete a 10 minute digital assessment and answer preliminary questions about your current web presence.
- Complete online training program focused on digital literacy skills (2.5 hours).
- Review the Digital Transformation Grant eligibility FAQ Sheet to determine your eligibility for the grant.
- If you are eligible for the grant complete transformation plan to outline where you would like to spend the grant funds. See the FAQ sheet for eligible expenses.
- Email the the Halton Hills Digital Service Squad if you have any questions along the way. You can set up a one-on-one meeting to ask any questions about Digital Main Street supports and services.
The Halton Hills' Digital Service Squad members will be available to set up meeting with businesses from September 2021 - February 2022. Digital Transformation Grant applications are due before November 30, 2021.
Email DMS@haltonhills.ca to set up a meeting with a Digital Service Squad staff member.