Town of Lincoln Receives $23,000 from Digital Main Street to Launch Digital Service Squad

Lincoln, ON - (Aug. 26, 2021) – The Town of Lincoln, supported by the Downtown Bench Beamsville BIA, has announced that it has received a $23,000 grant from Digital Main Street’s Ontario Grants Program for a Digital Service Squad (DSS), which will provide trained digital specialists to work with local small businesses to help them adopt online technologies and digitally transform their sales, marketing, and back-office operations. The squad will begin visiting businesses in Lincoln on Monday, August 30, 2021.

“We are excited to once again have a Digital Service Squad return to Lincoln for a third year in support of our local businesses, especially as many of them are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic,” said Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton. “The $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant can make a significant impact to small businesses, and I strongly encourage all eligible Lincoln businesses to apply and take advantage of the programming offered through Digital Main Street.”

Paul Di Ianni, Director of Economic Development and Communications added that the program is an exceptional opportunity that supports our commitment to business retention and expansion, the attraction of new investment, marketing, and talent and workforce development. In addition to main street businesses, the Digital Service Squad will also target Lincoln’s tourism-based businesses that do not fall within the designated main street areas. “COVID-19 has hit our business community hard,” said Di Ianni, “and many of these businesses need the support to enhance their digital presence.”

Renewed funding of $12.37 million for the Digital Main Street’s Ontario Grants Program (OGP) from Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev) includes $3 million for the Digital Service Squad program and $7.5 million to provide 3,000 Digital Transformation Grants to qualified brick-and-mortar small businesses. The OGP is administrated by the Ontario BIA Association, in partnership with the Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA).

“Ontario small businesses are the heart of our neighbourhoods and the economic foundation of our communities,” said Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “Our government is committed to being there for them as they reopen. This additional support will give these businesses the digital boost they need to raise their profile and rebuild better than ever.”

The DSS will meet with brick-and-mortar small businesses at no cost to help them complete an online assessment and introduce them to online training modules to build their knowledge and skills. The DSS can also assist businesses with developing their Digital Transformation Plan (DTP) and applying for a one-time $2,500 grant to implement it. This one-on-one DSS assistance also includes support for basic website set-up, Google My Business profiles, 360-degree photos, social media presence, and much more. The DSS can also provide information on the ShopHERE program, if applicable, to assist with digital storefront set-up and e-commerce.

“In the past 17 months, as small businesses across the province fought to stay open and keep customers engaged online, Digital Service Squads were there to help,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of OBIAA. "Squads jumped online themselves during lockdowns to help virtually, and businesses have consistently told us how important the DSS was to their success through the pandemic. We are thrilled to support Lincoln’s DSS and help them assist more small businesses than ever.”

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The Town of Lincoln
The Town of Lincoln, located in the heart of the Niagara Region, has one of the most diverse economies in Niagara. Serving the communities of Beamsville, Vineland, Jordan, Campden, Tintern, and Rockway. Our community is filled with over 50 wineries and craft beverage establishments, fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers, heritage sites, and natural attractions such as the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario.

Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA)
OBIAA is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. The Association supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships. OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources, and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.

Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages. Ongoing investment from the Government of Ontario and FedDev Ontario has expanded the Digital Main Street Platform to support more businesses to go digital as a response to the impacts of
COVID-19. www.digitalmainstreet.ca


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For more information, please contact:

Paul Di Ianni
Director, Economic Development and Communications
Town of Lincoln
Cell: 289.407.1402
pdiianni@lincoln.ca

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