Digital program launching to support small businesses

A new $2.5 million program is now available to help small businesses across Nova Scotia attract more customers and grow sales in the digital economy.

The Digital Assistance Program for Small Business allows eligible businesses to connect with digital consultants for services such as website development, digital marketing strategies and e-commerce tools, up to a value of $5,000. Digital Nova Scotia will administer the program, which is based on the highly successful Tourism Digital Assistance Program, now in its second year.

"The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in this province and this program will help small businesses adapt to a new norm and participate in our economic recovery,” said Labi Kousoulis, Minister of Inclusive Economic Growth. “Going digital can be daunting for small business owners, so having access to this kind of expertise will help support a business’s long-term viability and success.”

Businesses that qualified for the Small Business Impact Grant Part 3 will be automatically eligible for the program. If capacity allows, the program will be expanded to other businesses.

Digital Nova Scotia will host an online platform to manage the submission of expressions-of-interest from those pre-qualified businesses that want to participate. Once a business is approved, Digital Nova Scotia’s needs assessment will help identify a shortlist of digital service providers to address the needs of each participating business.

Qualified digital service providers will have expertise in developing websites, search engine optimization, digital marketing and social media strategy, and building online booking systems and e-commerce tools. Businesses will also have access to an introduction to digital marketing along with live sessions which include webinars, workshops and virtual panel discussions.

Funding for the program will come from the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council.

Online applications and more information on the program are available via Digital Nova Scotia: https://digitalnovascotia.com/portfolio-items/dapsb/

Quotes:

In the current economic climate of uncertainty caused by the global health pandemic, it’s never been more important to maintain a strong digital presence. Building on the success of our partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia, we’re excited to be working with small businesses across the province to connect them with digital marketing experts. The program is designed for economic growth, with participants improving their online experiences to increase web traffic and sales, and Nova Scotian digital service providers generating new business opportunities – it’s a win-win. – Wayne Sumarah, CEO, Digital Nova Scotia

The digital world will have a significant influence on restaurant recovery. It will be one of the drivers to rebuild a more stable and profitable industry. Our provincial government sees the important role it will play in development and will assist owners and operators in advancing digital support programming. – Gordon Stewart, executive director, Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia

The Tourism Digital Assistance Program allowed us to elevate our online and social media presence, show who we are and what we offer. Thanks to the amazing web design team at Boostflow, we are better prepared to offer online ordering and reservations in the near future through our new website. – Hannah Rhyno, owner, Gaia Global Kitchen

Quick Facts:

  • Digital Nova Scotia will manage program funding and all payments to digital service providers who complete work for business participants
  • both Tourism Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Business Inc. also offer digital adoption programs to their clients

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