The Ontario government is helping more small businesses online through the renewal of the Digital Main Street program, including Digital Service Squads, which have helped thousands of businesses with one-on-one technology support. In the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the province committed to an increased investment of $40 million over two years to help Ontario businesses better compete at home and abroad.
“Main street small businesses are the economic foundation of communities across Ontario,” said Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “Our government is supporting them in reaching new customers and new markets through Digital Main Street. To date, we have helped more than 41,000 Ontario businesses, and expect this funding will give 36,000 more businesses the boost they need to raise their digital profile.”
- Since the program launched, over 41,000 businesses have received support from combined federal and provincial funding.
- In the last year, Digital Main Street has supported over 20,000 businesses, of which, almost 15,000 accessed assistance through 64 Digital Service Squads.
- The Fewer Fees, Better Services Act, passed on March 3, will make it simpler for businesses to access government services.
- The Government of Ontario has renewed its commitment to young entrepreneurs, aged 18 – 39, with the support of a $1 million investment in Futurpreneur Canada. Futurpreneur is a non-profit organization that helps Canadians become business owners with loan financing, mentoring and business resources.
- Ontario is investing $5 million over two years in a targeted program for Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs to start or grow their business. The Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) grant helps to remove systemic barriers by providing funding, training, and culturally relevant services to entrepreneurs. RAISE is administered through the Digital Main Street program.