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The Digital Economy Program (DEP) is designed to help small businesses take their businesses online. This program, a partnership between Business Link and Digital Main Street, will help small businesses in Alberta undergo digital transformations and adopt eCommerce practices. DEP is open to home-based or commercial small businesses registered in Alberta with less than 50 employees. The Digital Service Squads guiding businesses through digital transformation, free of charge.
The DSS is focused on providing 1-on-1 FREE local assistance for digital services to small businesses in any region of Alberta. It will include training and advisory support towards digital strategy development, Google My Business assistance, social media posts, taking awesome pictures for your businesses, and more.
Business Link and Digital Main Street (DMS) are collaborating to implement the Digital Economy Program to deliver support to Alberta small businesses.
To be eligible to be a part of the Digital Economy Program, businesses must fit the following criteria: 1. Home-based or commercial businesses, 2. Small businesses registered in Alberta(exceptions apply for some Indigenous businesses), and 3. Less than 50 employees (this includes self-employed business owners with no employees) Non-profits, charitable trusts and franchises are not considered eligible businesses under this program.
There is no cost to businesses to take part in the program. However, there is a requirement for participating businesses to commit time to the program which will be dependent on what services you are utilizing. Your active involvement is essential for your success. This program is funded by the Government of Alberta and PrairiesCan.
The Digital Economy Program is free for eligible businesses to access, once approved. There is no cost to participate.
Apply for the program that you feel best fits your needs. Once you are approved for the Digital Service Squad program, you will complete a digital assessment with the squad member to identify technologies for your digital adoption. Squad members will work alongside you to get those technologies and solutions up and running.
The program is administered by Business Link, an Alberta-based non-profit that helps small businesses start and thrive. Business Link will be working in collaboration with Digital Main Street to support local Digital Service Squads to help deliver the on-the-ground Squad support.
Once your application has been received, the team will assess eligibility. For the DSS Program, you will be contacted by a Digital Service Squad soon after your eligibility has been reviewed and a squad has been launched in your region.
Having a registered business is one of the requirements set out by the funding arrangement. For small businesses located in Indigenous communities, please reach out to the DMS Program Manager ([email protected]) for more information on business registration requirements.
Yes, we will consider applications on a case-by-case basis.Please reach out to the DMS Program Manager ([email protected]) for more information on business registration requirements.
If you don’t have a business registered in Alberta, you are not eligible to apply for this program. Please contact Business Link directly to see how we can help you.
The structure of your business (incorporated, sole proprietorship, partnership, etc.) is not an eligibility factor. As long as you meet the 0-49 employees and have an Alberta registered business, you are eligible to apply. Please note that non-profits, charitable trusts,and franchises are not eligible under this program.
Great! We want to support your growth. You are only required to be 49 employees, or less, at time of application.
Yes, however, the program is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no guarantee there will be space available in the future if the program runs out of funding. You can also contact Business Link directly for support.
Yes. The DSS can help you build a basic website.
Your business may not be approved if you are missing requirements or it doesn’t fit the eligibility requirements.
You may re-apply for the program once you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Digital Economy Program is available to eligible businesses on a first come first serve basis, for as long as funding is still available.
Once the program is finished, there are several Business Link services available to support your ongoing growth and success, including market research, business plan reviews, and free advisory services. Visit the Business Link website for more information or contact Business Link by phone 1-800-272-9675 or email [email protected].
If you need technical support, your Digital Service Squad can assist you while you are in the program. You may also hire your own tech support.
Absolutely! You will get an opportunity to provide formal feedback via a survey at the end of your support service. We encourage you to also give ongoing feedback to the program administrators.
If there are any challenges or issues during the program, we encourage you to connect with your program administrator.
To see a full list of organizations receiving funding to operate Digital Service Squads in your region click here .
Business Link is a nonprofit organization in Alberta that provides personalized support for small business owners and entrepreneurs starting or growing their businesses.
They provide one-on-one coaching and advice, market research, access to experts, training, education sessions, and specialized support for Indigenous and immigrant entrepreneurs. Since 1996, Business Link has been passionate about providing support services that will build business success in Alberta. Business Link is funded by the Governments of Canada and Alberta.
Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and the Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, and Square.
Increase your digital presence, grow your sales, and reach new customers online. Get started with a Digital Service Squad today.