Cornwall Launches Digital Main Street Service Squad

November 29, 2019
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – Help is on the way for main street small businesses.

Digital Main Street Cornwall

Cornwall’s Heart of the City organization will be launching a Digital Service Squad to help main street small businesses improve their online capabilities. The initiative is being funded with a $10,000 grant from the Ontario government as part of the Digital Main Street program and is being supported by the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre, the Downtown BIA, and the Le Village BIA.

The Digital Service Squad will consist of trained specialists who will visit and assist main street small businesses in the BIA areas to conduct a digital-readiness assessment and enhance their use of digital tools and techniques, such as Google Business and other tactics.

“A healthy bottom line includes a solid dose of technological know-how, and we aim to arm our small business owners with the tools necessary to create, augment and succeed with their digital footprint,” said Todd Lihou, Centretown Coordinator with Heart of the City.

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

“Our government is committed to helping small businesses improve their competitiveness, create jobs and attract investment,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “That’s why I’m so pleased that businesses in the City of Cornwall will benefit from the expertise of a Digital Service Squad to help small businesses embrace digital technology. Our investment in the Digital Main Street program will help to ensure that Ontario is open for business and open for jobs.”

The Ontario expansion of Digital Main Street is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and is part of the government’s $12 million Main Street Enhancement Initiative to create jobs and support communities across the province.

“A Digital Service Squad will help to modernize businesses in Cornwall and make them more competitive,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry. “The training will also provide them with the tools to take advantage of new digital opportunities that will help businesses to grow.”

In addition to the support and assistance of the Digital Service Squad, additional financial assistance is available through the Digital Main Street program, which offers grants of $2,500 to qualifying small “main street” businesses across Ontario to help them adopt new digital technologies.

“Heart of the City is showing leadership by demonstrating how Digital Main Street will help keep their BIAs vibrant and strong,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director of the Ontario BIA Association. “Our small main street businesses are a critical contributor to Ontario’s economic, social and cultural health, and it’s vital that we work together to ensure their success. Digital Main Street will help the main street small businesses of downtown Cornwall to compete in an increasingly digital world.”

Additional information on the Digital Main Street program is available though the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre, and on this article:

Digital Main Street program now open for applications

About the Heart of the City

Heart of the City is an arm’s-length agency that has partnered with both of Cornwall’s BIAs, as well as the City of Cornwall, to administer revitalization projects that add to the vibrance and viability of the city’s downtown areas.

About the Ontario BIA Association

The Ontario BIA Association is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. The Association supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships.

About Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street is an innovative program designed to help main street small businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, grants and Digital Service Squads teams of street-level experts that help main street small businesses manage and grow their operations through technology adoption.


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