Digital Service Squad to help Minto businesses enhance use of digital tools and techniques

MINTO – The Minto Chamber of Commerce and the Community Improvement Partnership of Hanover announced on Oct. 7 they have received a $17,500 grant from Digital Main Street (DMS) to fund a Digital Service Squad. The squad will help downtown small businesses within the municipalities improve their online capabilities.

Minto and Hanover received the Digital Main Street grant from the Ontario government to establish a Digital Service Squad to help main street small businesses enhance their use of digital tools and techniques to better evolve and grow. Ethan Schwandt has been hired and will visit small businesses in Minto and Hanover at no cost to help them set up a Google Business Profile, conduct a digital-readiness assessment, take training and apply for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant.

“A vibrant downtown is key to a strong community. Because of this grant we will be able to serve our business area and teach them how to use new technologies and provide tools and training to take advantage of new opportunities and stay competitive in today’s digital world,” said Somer Antonopoulos of the Minto Chamber of Commerce.

A joint program funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association, Digital Main Street helps improve how small businesses use digital tools and techniques to become more successful. Today’s digital economy is vital to small businesses, and DMS will help them adopt new digital technologies from e-commerce and social media to back-office systems such as payroll and inventory.

“It is vital our small businesses receive the hands-on training to compete in a digital world,” said Randy Pettapiece, MPP for Perth-Wellington. “This funding recognizes the important work the Town of Minto is doing to revitalize our main streets.”

“Minto and Hanover are showing how partnering can take greater advantage of Digital Main Street to keep their downtown cores vibrant and strong,” said Kay Matthews, executive director of the Ontario BIA Association. “Digital Main Street will help the main street small businesses in Minto and Hanover to compete in an increasingly digital world.”

Camp Tech sessions

Businesses in the downtown areas will be introduced to the Digital Service Squad over the coming weeks. Hanover and Minto’s first major project is hosting two Camp Tech sessions in Neustadt on Nov. 5 and 6 at the Neustadt Community Centre focusing on social media and websites for small businesses. These sessions are free to the local business community and spots can be reserved on Eventbrite by searching “Social Media for Small Business: Neustadt Workshop” and “Small Business Websites 101: Neustadt Workshop” 

Any local business interested in working with Schwandt or suggesting a topic for a workshop, may contact Antonopoulos at or April Marshall at