Student program, Digital Main Street, jobs/housing website initiatives moving forward

WELLINGTON NORTH –  This township’s economic development department is carrying on with its work, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re trying to keep as busy as we can,” economic development officer Dale Small told Wellington North council during its April 12 meeting.

In 2019 the township collaborated with Saugeen Connects to launch the Student Startup Program (SSUP), which was designed for students Grades 6 to 12 to try entrepreneurship and start their own businesses.

“We’re excited to have that program back again this year, where we can promote entrepreneurship within our youth,” said Small.

The new online program was launched on April 5. Approved students can receive up to $450 for their businesses. One of the requirements is online training running July 6 to Aug. 3.

Small also explained Digital Main Street, a program that helps small businesses use digital tools, has been renewed.

“We’re now able to provide social media and website support to almost any business in the municipality,” he said.

The program was in the past open only to “Main Street” businesses, but the province has opened it up to support other businesses in the municipality that aren’t in the downtown area, Small explained.

Wellington North, in partnership with neighbouring Minto and Mapleton,  has launched a new job and housing site – – that replaced the “Simply Explore” jobs website.

“We’re hoping it kind of becomes a go-to spot for people looking for employment,” said Small, who explained businesses that registered on the old site will be transferred over to the new one.

Due to concerns raised by local realtors, the site will not feature housing sale listings, just private listings and rentals, as well as businesses for sale.

“We kind of run into a conflict with our realtors when we start listing houses for sale, because they tend to feel that’s their domain,” said Small.