City of Burlington calling for renewed funding to further support local businesses


Published February 22, 2021 at 3:14 pm

Burlington City Council recently unanimously approved a resolution calling for the Federal government to renew funding for the Digital Main Street (DMS) Future Proof program.

Current funding for the DMS Future Proof program will end in February 2021.

Due to COVID-19, Burlington‘s small business community continues to face barriers to technology adoption as well as a lack of resources to implement necessary technologies.

In 2020, Burlington welcomed the development of the DMS Future Proof Program to support local businesses while their business models were transformed due to the impacts of the pandemic.

The resolution was passed, in partnership with the Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN) and Team Burlington and Haltech Regional Innovation Centre.

It is calling on the Federal government to work with the Regional Innovation Centres to renew and expand funding to the program to help businesses adopt new technologies to support their digital transformation and adapt their business model due to COVID-19.

Additionally, it is calling on the government to explore opportunities to provide additional support to the main street business sector in adopting digital technologies and support Canada’s technology sector to develop new technologies.

In partnership with the Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN) and Team Burlington, the resolution was developed.

Haltech Regional Innovation Centre provides entrepreneurial education to technology start-up companies in the region and has worked with over 800 technology and innovation companies.

In its last fiscal year, clients of Haltech generated over $63 million dollars of revenue, created 428 jobs, and raised $21.5M in capital.

The Chair of Haltech Regional Innovation Centre, Jamie Barron, the Chair of BERN Randall Smallbone, and Mayor Meed Ward co-signed a letter to Mélanie Joly, Federal Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages including a copy of the resolution that called for the DMS Future Proof program funding during the pandemic.

“We’ve seen firsthand how critical the Digital Main Street program has been in helping our businesses go digital and adopt new technologies to stay afloat through the COVID-19 storm. Our small business community still faces ongoing barriers to adapting new technology coupled with a lack of resources,” said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

“Federal and provincial government funding is crucial to keep and expand this important support program. I also want to thank BERN for their exceptional advocacy work on behalf of our local small businesses throughout this pandemic and this latest push for the expansion of the Digital Main Street program.”

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