Business and innovation | November 19, 2021
The City of Mississauga’s Digital Service Squad program is back for the third year in a row, made possible by a grant from Digital Main Street with funding from the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. The grants are administered on behalf of Digital Main Street by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA), and will help Mississauga small businesses get online and reach more customers virtually.
“Our small businesses have been hard hit by this pandemic and they need our support,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Thank you to Digital Main Street, OBIAA and the provincial government for stepping up to provide this grant that will help many of our small businesses recover and compete in a digital age. We are so pleased to once again be able to offer the support of the Digital Service Squad to our small business community.”
The Digital Service Squad program has served over 400 businesses in the City’s local Business Improvement Areas (BIA) since 2019, and now the program has expanded to allow the Digital Service Squad to also support ‘bricks-and-mortar’ small businesses across the entire City. During the pandemic, enhanced digital offerings helped local businesses reach more customers and have now become an integral tool for local retailers.
“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 program continues to be delivered through the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) by their Digital Service Squad under the City’s Economic Development Office (EDO). The program provides businesses with the opportunity to apply for a grant of $2,500 to be used to enhance their digital presence.
This year’s Digital Service Squad will assist businesses with:
“MBEC’s new team of four Digital Service Squad members will provide one-on-one support to small businesses in Mississauga,” said Bonnie Brown, Director, Economic Development. “Through this program, the squad will provide advice to our main street businesses with their digital transformation to support their business recovery, resiliency and future growth. We are pleased to continue to offer this program to help small businesses remain competitive and offer new formats to reach out to customers.”
“In the past 20 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 squads were to their success through the pandemic. We are thrilled to help Mississauga’s Digital Service Squad provide assistance to more small businesses than ever before.”
For more information or to reach out to the Digital Service Squad, visit thefutureisunlimited.ca/digital-main-street-mississauga.