THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – “Last year we were able to assist almost 200 individual businesses with the squad services, with this new two-year program we are aiming to assist 500 businesses in the Thunder Bay District,” says Ryan Moore, development officer for small business and manager of the local squad. “Our squad is made up of industry professionals who are waiting to help provide training and resources to businesses that can help them compete in the online space and transform their business.”
The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre, part of the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission is pleased to announce that it has received a $296,000 grant from the Digital Main Street program for a two-year Digital Service Squad program. The program will provide small business owners with resources and support to digitally transform their business.
Digital Service Squads (DSS) are the cornerstone of Digital Main Street (DMS) program, with trained specialists who meet with brick-and-mortar small businesses, at no cost, to help them complete an online assessment and to introduce them to online training modules designed to build their digital knowledge and skills. This one-on-one DSS assistance includes support for basic website setup, Google Business Profiles, 360° photos, social media presence, and much more. Squad members are also trained to help qualified small businesses with the development of their Digital Transformation Plan and then with the application process for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant.
“Small businesses are innovative and entrepreneurial, but often lack the resources to respond to change, be resilient, yet flexible,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director, OBIAA. “OBIAA is delighted to work once again alongside the Digital Main Street team and is thrilled to support Thunder Bay’s squad. The Digital Main Street program’s resources, grants, training, and Digital Service Squad assistance provide the means for more small businesses in communities across the Thunder Bay region to adopt innovative ways, create new revenue streams, expand their markets, and face the future with optimism and confidence.”
Locally, the squad service team is made up of four members: Bridget Postuma from the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, Brian Abraham from Firedog Communications, Brook Dallaire from Sociable Thunder Bay and Dylan Uurainen from Digital Mammoth. Squad members are available now. Local and regional entrepreneurs are encouraged to book a free consultation to get started on improving their online presence. To book a free appointment visit www.digitaltbay.ca