Digital Service Squad available to northern Wellington businesses

WELLINGTON COUNTY – A  $59,000 grant from Digital Main Street will fund a two-year Digital Service Squad (DSS) program for northern Wellington County municipalities.

The DSS program  provides small business owners with tools and support to digitally transform their businesses. The successful joint application by the Minto Chamber of Commerce and the townships of Wellington North and Mapleton means the program will be available to businesses within northern Wellington partnership municipalities: Mapleton, Minto and Wellington North.

“We are excited to launch Digital Main Street (DMS) in northern Wellington County for the fourth time,” stated Minto chamber president Heather Watterworth in a June 7 press release.

“DMS has made a real impact on our local business community. Hundreds of businesses have received a Digital Transformation Grant to date making a huge impact on the way they do business. 

“This round of DMS will help to further elevate the work that has already been done, as well as assist others that have not yet taken advantage of this opportunity.”

She added, “A vibrant business sector is essential to a strong community, and because of this grant we will be able to provide our businesses with the opportunity to take advantage of trained specialists who can teach them how to use new technologies and provide tools and training in order to stay competitive in today’s digital world.”

DSS members provide 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, 360⁰ photos, social media presence and 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, of the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA). 

“OBIAA is delighted to work once again alongside the [DMS] team and is thrilled to support northern Wellington’s squad. The [DMS] program’s resources, grants, training, and [DSS] assistance provide the means for more small businesses in communities across the Town of Minto, Township of Mapleton and Township of Wellington North to adopt innovative ways, create new revenue streams, expand their markets, and face the future with optimism and confidence.”

The DSS member for northern Wellington is Nelia Ricardo-Wodiany. 

The release states Ricardo-Wodiany has many years of experience with digital marketing and graphic design and is “excited to further enhance the work that has already been done and help others adopt new technologies and skills.”

Northern Wellington businesses are encouraged to contact Ricardo-Wodiany at 519-510-7400 or to learn more about the program and how to participate.

Community News Staff