Bakers Journal

Features Business and Operations Finance
Digital Development Grants for your bakery

Online marketing and website Development grants of up to $2,500


September 11, 2020
By Bonny Koabel, CPA, CGA

Topics

As a result of COVID-19 bakeries have redesigned or are looking to redesign their website to include on line ordering, and curbside pickup options for their customers.

If your business in the process of redesigning your website or implementing a Digital Marketing strategy, consider the Digital Main Street (DMS) part of the Digital Transformation Grant Funding program. DMS provides funding for training, advisory support, and grants up to $2,500 to Small Businesses that are implementing digital marketing strategies.

The Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) is available in Ontario and provides Small Businesses with:

  • The digital literacy skills they need to execute their digital transformation by completing an online training course that provides the basics of how digital technology will transform their business for success. A grant of $2,500 to assist with the execution of their Digital Transformation plan.

In order to qualify for funding, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your business must be located in or close to a downtown main street or a (BIA) Business Improvement Area. Your company must employ 1-10 employees (or fewer than 25 employees if they are a café or restaurant. Employees must be on payroll and tax deductions must be made.
  • Your bakery must be paying commercial property tax (commercially assessed), either directly or through commercial rent.
  • Your company must be a registered business in Ontario and/or is incorporated.
  • Your bakery is open for business/operating at the time of application and not a start up.

The business will be ineligible for funding if any of the following criteria apply:

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If your company is purely on-line:

  • Your bakery is a franchise, including those individually owned and operated.
  • Your bakery or cafe is a not-for-profit or charitable organization.
  • Your company is not renting office space on a temporary basis (month-to-month).
  • Your bakery must be owned an Ontario resident operating a business in Ontario. It must run by a person or group of people 18 years age or older at the time of application, and be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

In order to get started with funding go to: https://digitalmainstreet.ca/marketing-new-economy/#

Once on the site you will need to complete the following: The assessment, the eligibility quiz, the online training and the developing a digital transformation plan.

Under the DTG, the following costs are eligible:

  • Digital Marketing costs including: Hiring a consultant, agency or person to execute Digital Marketing initiatives
  • Website costs including redesign or improvement of existing website or development of a new website
  • Software purchases including graphic design software, productivity Software (LastPass, Hootsuite, Dropbox, etc and Social Media Software (Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.)
    • Security Software
    • Purchases of other website related software may qualify for funding. Businesses will need to be approved by Digital Main Street prior to software purchase.
  • Digital Training costs:
    • Ongoing digital training courses (in-person & online)
  • Hardware costs:
    • Must be hardware deemed necessary for digital marketing expenses

Under DMSG the following are ineligible for funding: The purchase of Microsoft Office, website hosting, domain name renewal, software subscription renewals, Microsoft Software subscription renewals, signage and printing, logo redesign and rebranding, business owner’s salary or current employee salary for executing the project, costs related to land, building or vehicle purchase, costs of intangible assets such a goodwill, whether capitalized or expensed, depreciation or amortization expenses. It will not cover interest on invested capital, bonds, or debentures, bond discount, monthly mortgage, loan and/or rent payment refinancing of an existing debt or losses on investments, bad debts, and any other debts. It won’t cover payments of fines or penalties costs related to litigation hospitality and entertainment costs franchise fees and/or franchise license costs lobbyist fees or new capital expenditures, either.

If your Small Business has previously received funding through the Digital Transformation Funds you may apply for funding a second time as long as all of the reporting and project receipts have been submitted for the previous funding received. The Digital Transformation fund is focused on small businesses, therefore large corporations should not apply for funding. Small Businesses with multiple locations are only eligible to apply for one Digital Transformation Grant. Owners with multiple businesses may only apply for one Digital Transformation Grant.French translation assistance is available to applicants upon request.

DMS Case Studies

Digital Transformation Funding has been available for a few years now. If your company is new to digital marketing or if you would like to learn more, the fund has compiled a list of tools, how-to guides and tutorials available to assist small businesses with embracing digital technology. To learn more on how build your online presence, using social media effectively, paid advertising, and much more go to: https://digitalmainstreet.ca/case-studies/


Bonny Koabel CPA, CGA is President of AKR Consulting Canada, a Mississauga, ON firm specializing in Government Grants, Rebates, Refunds, Subsidies and Tax Credits.