$95K investment aims to boost Ottawa Valley businesses’ use of tech

small business
small business

In what executive director Kelly Hollihan is calling “great news for our business community,” the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce has received a $95,650 grant from Digital Main Street to help small businesses use digital technologies to adapt to a rapidly changing commercial environment.

The grant will involve a two-year Digital Service Squad (DSS) program that will work with chamber businesses in partnership with the Town of Petawawa, the City of Pembroke and the Pembroke Business Improvement Area.

“The Digital Main Street program has already made a huge difference to small businesses in the region during COVID-19 and with this new round of funding we can provide dedicated experts for the next 18 months to help transform business to meet the modern demands of clientele,” said Hollihan in a press release. “Adapting to the transformed marketplace makes shopping local a much easier ask.”

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The DSS program provides trained specialists who help small businesses improve their online presence at no cost, including enhancing their social media presences and providing support for basic e-commerce and website setup. 

“Small businesses are innovative and entrepreneurial, but often lack the resources torespond to change, be resilient, yet flexible,” said Kay Matthews, executive director of

OBIAA, a network that represents BIAs across Ontario. “The Digital Main Street program’s resources, grants, training and Digital Service Squad assistance provide the means for more small businesses in communities across the Upper Ottawa Valley to adopt innovative ways, create new revenue streams, expand their markets and face the future with optimism and confidence.”

Cyndi Mills, president of the chamber’s board of directors, said she is “thrilled to see these investments to help our local businesses use digital technologies to re-emerge from COVID-19 more successful and resilient than ever.”

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