Local businesses benefit from government grants to improve online presence

Historic Old Walkerville in Windsor. (photo by Mike Vlasveld)

Around 60 local small businesses took advantage of Ontario grants to help boost their online presence during the global pandemic.

The Digital Main Street Program offered technical assistance and online training to create and update websites and establish e-commerce while their physical space was closed to customers.

There were 35 businesses in Chatham-Kent, six in Essex, five in Lakeshore, and 14 in Windsor that took advantage of the grants. The businesses received around $350,000 in funding.

“Southwestern Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and our community,” said Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls. “The Digital Service Squads help businesses transition online by allowing them to access new customers safely and reliably.”

The Belle River On-the-Lake BIA also received funding through this program to offer assistance to their members at no cost.

Currently, only about 60 per cent of Ontario’s small enterprises have a website, and only seven per cent accept online payment.