Digital Service Team returns to Perth County

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A technical support program to help rural small business owners move their operations online will be available in Perth County for at least two years.

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A technical support program to help rural small business owners move their operations online will be available in Perth County for at least two years.

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Perth County has received an $82,000 grant that will allow it to bring back the Digital Service Squad first introduced to the region 18 months ago, officials said Thursday.

The Digital Service Squads – part of Digital Main Street, a provincial program backed by support from tech industry giants such as Google, Microsoft and Shopify – are trained IT specialists available free of charge to eligible small businesses. Their support includes assistance and training with basic website setup, Google business profiles and social media accounts, for example, and can also help qualified small businesses apply for a $2,500 grant specifically. for digital upgrades.

“The local Perth County business community will benefit greatly from this program,” said Perth County Reeve Jim Aitcheson. “The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected small businesses. This support will continue to help build resilience across the county by improving our business community’s online presence.

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas with support from the City of Toronto. It expanded province-wide with government funding in 2018 and was later touted as a pandemic relief tool as Ontario’s small businesses moved online early in the crisis of COVID-19 in March 2020.

“Small businesses are innovative and entrepreneurial, but often lack the resources to respond to change, be resilient, yet flexible,” said Kay Matthews, CEO of OBIAA, a network of business improvement areas in Ontario. “OBIAA is delighted to be working alongside the Digital Main Street team again and are delighted to support the Perth County team. Resources, grants, training and support from the Digital Main Street Program Digital Service Team will enable more small businesses in Perth County communities to embrace innovative ways, create new revenue streams , to expand their markets and to face the future with optimism and confidence.”

Perth County is immediately recruiting for the local digital service team, according to a press release.

The position should be advertised on the county’s website.

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