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Timmins chamber helping to get more small businesses online

Micro-grants available to boost digital presence
2020-02-10 Timmins Chamber MH
The Timmins Chamber of Commerce office in Schumacher. (Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday)

Timmins businesses are being invited to apply for newly established grants designed to help them boost their online presence.

Offered through the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, the initiative is a joint effort of Digital Main Street, NORCAT, and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade.

"The pandemic has made clear the need for any small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), non-profit, or charity to look to digital platforms to ensure their businesses' ongoing viability," said Melanie Verreault, president of the Timmins Chamber, in a news release.

Facilitating Digitization for SMEs will help businesses upgrade technological infrastructure and provide immediate solutions to businesses that need a digital presence.

There are also five Digital Transformation Micro-grants – worth $2,000 each – available for eligible businesses, which will be awarded by way of an application process.

Entrepreneurs looking for support in creating their online marketplaces or instituting new forms of technology to grow their business are encouraged to apply for the grant. 

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Brendan Skiffington, the program coordinator for the Digital Main Street Future Proof program in Northern Ontario, said feedback from local businesses helped shape the programs.

"Through problem-identifying workshops with the dedicated partners in Timmins, it became evident that local businesses did not have the necessary infrastructure or capacity to properly and efficiently transition their business online, ultimately resulting in steep declines in revenue," he said in the release.

"The Street – Future Proof program will help businesses in Timmins and the surrounding region to digitally transform their current operations and will provide essential support during these challenging times while working towards economic recovery and future opportunities."

The Timmins Chamber of Commerce has been in operation since 1949.