The BIA Goes Digital

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by Paul Cormier

The Old Town Kemptville Business Improvement Area is pleased to announce that it has received some excellent news from the Ontario Association of BIAs: we are the recipient of a $10,000.00 grant to help support the businesses in our foot-print with a Digital Services Squad (DSS). The folks on the “squad” have the knowledge and skills to help our local businesses with their electronic and digital needs.

Like all BIAs, we are constantly looking for new and effective resources by which to grow and support our community. One such need is in digitalizing our efforts for economies of scale. This includes a total rethink of our social media to improve communications with our members and for them to have improved alignment to our efforts on their behalf. Having the resources to move ahead in this area will be of immense advantage to us and to our members.

For a starter, the OTK BIA will be sourcing those who will be part of the DSS, i.e. those who will be offering the service to local businesses. This is the beginning of something much larger for our community. That’s because the BIA Board of Management is not naïve enough to think that a grant of $10,000 will produce any kind of permanent impact in terms of a Digital Strategy for the downtown of Kemptville. It therefore plans to get as much results as we can for the monies available, then plan for continuity with its own budget and the Downtown Renewal Fund managed by the Municipality. This combination should provide a long term and strategic change plan that will put our BIA on the map as “moving with the times” and appealing to a broader base of constituents.

We will keep you posted on progress with our digital plans. However, there is another way that businesses can benefit. The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association also has a number of $2500 grants that any business can apply to as part of their Digital Main Street program. That means you can apply directly to the OBIAA for some financial support for renewing your own businesses technological applications. If you are interested, please get in touch with our new Executive Director, Deron Johnston, at [email protected]. He will be pleased to steer you in the right direction. All the best to those who apply!

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