Toronto, ON—Small businesses looking to grow their online presence could receive funding through the Digital Main Street Transformation Grant (DTG) program. Those looking to apply will have to do so before the application deadline on Oct. 31.
The grant program provides small businesses in Ontario with the opportunity and resources to grow and transform their online presence. To qualify for the grant, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Has a permanent “brick-and-mortar” establishment in Ontario
- Employs one to 50 employees
- Has not received a DTG previously
- Pays commercial property tax, either directly or through commercial rent
- Is a registered business in Ontario and/or is incorporated
- Open for business/operating at the time of application (not a start-up)
- Open to the general public for walk-in and onsite purchases of goods and services
- Is NOT a business supplying digital services to other businesses
- Is NOT a franchise
- Is NOT a not-for-profit/ charitable organization
- Is NOT renting office space on a temporary basis (month-to-month)
- Is NOT in a shared workspace such as a hot desk or dedicated desk
- Is NOT a purely online business
Additionally, the business must be owned by an Ontario resident who is over the age of 18 at the time of the application and is either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Applicants must also complete the Digital Transformation for Main Street program, which includes the Digital Main Street Assessment, a passing grade for the eligibility quiz, online training, and developing a digital transformation plan.
The Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA) reserves the right to determine who is eligible/ineligible on a case-by-case basis.
The program was expanded by the Ontario government back in 2018 with a $12 million investment. As of July 1, 2021, the Ontario government extended funding for the Ontario Grants Program to provide Digital Transformation Grants to small businesses and Digital Service Squad grants to municipalities, BIAs, Chambers and Small Business Enterprise Centres.
Since 2018, the Digital Main Street Digital Transformation Grant program has successfully provided more than 6,000 Ontario small businesses with a $2,500 grant to support their digital expansion by purchasing and adopting digital tools and technologies.
Established in 2016 by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), Digital Main Street (DMS) was created to help main street small businesses adopt and use digital technologies more effectively.