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Barrie receives grant from provincial program to help small businesses use digital tools

The grant will fund a "Digital Service Squad," which will be composed of trained specialists that will visit businesses in Barrie's city centre to provide free training and advisory services on digital tools, marketing and sales strategies.
The grant will fund a "Digital Service Squad," which will be composed of trained specialists that will visit businesses in Barrie's city centre to provide free training and advisory services on digital tools, marketing and sales strategies. Hannah Jackson / Global News

The City of Barrie has received a $40,000 grant from an Ontario program, dubbed Digital Main Street, aimed at helping main street small businesses use and adopt digital tools and processes.

The grant will fund a “Digital Service Squad,” which will be composed of trained specialists who will visit businesses in Barrie’s city centre to provide free training and advisory services on digital tools, marketing and sales strategies.

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“Digital Service Squads will help to modernize businesses in Barrie and make them more competitive,” Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil, said in a statement. “The training will also provide them with the tools to take advantage of new digital opportunities that will help our local businesses to grow.”

In the digital age, it’s important that businesses have the ability and tools to integrate technology, Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, said in a statement.

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“Businesses in Barrie will be receiving hands-on training from the Digital Service Squads to support and help grow their online presence,” Downey continued.

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The Digital Main Street program is funded by the Ontario government and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association.

It offers 2,000 grants of $2,500 each to eligible small Ontario businesses to help them adopt new digital technologies.

“Our government is committed to helping small businesses improve their competitiveness, create jobs and attract investment,” Ernie Hardeman, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, said in a statement. “That’s why I’m so pleased that businesses in Barrie will benefit from the expertise of a Digital Service Squad.”

Barrie’s Digital Service Squad is a collaboration between the city and the Small Business Centre, in partnership with the Downtown Barrie Business Association, Georgian College, the Sandbox Centre and the Barrie Public Library.

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