North Wellington municipalities reactivate Digital Service Squad

Program helps businesses adapt to online commerce

WELLINGTON COUNTY – North Wellington municipalities will once again be offering local businesses assistance with their online commerce efforts.

The Minto Chamber of Commerce, Township of Wellington North and Township of Mapleton announced on July 26 they have received a grant of $11,884 from Digital Main Street’s Ontario Grants Program for a Digital Service Squad (DSS).

The DSS provides trained digital specialists to local small businesses to help them adopt online technologies and “digitally transform” their sales, marketing and back-office operations, states a joint press release from the partners.

Local DSS member Ashley Noble, a Minto native who worked on previous local DSS programs, will begin visiting businesses in Minto, Wellington North and Mapleton on July 27.

“We are excited to launch Digital Main Street (DMS) in northern Wellington County for the third time,” stated Heather Watterworth, President of the Minto Chamber of Commerce.

“DMS has made a real impact on our local business community and 75 businesses have received a Digital Transformation Grant to date. This round of DMS will serve bricks-and-mortar businesses that were not previously eligible or have not received the $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant before.”

Watterworth 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.”

The cornerstone of Digital Main Street, squads consist of trained specialists who meet with 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.

DSS can also assist businesses with developing a 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, 360º photos and social media presence.

The DSS can also provide information on the ShopHERE program, if applicable, to assist with digital storefront set-up and e-commerce.

Where COVID-19 restrictions are in place, DSS experts can provide support through phone and video tools such as Zoom.