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Local Solutions to Local Challenges to Support Main Street Businesses

Our Ignition program is a unique partnership created to help support our local main street businesses, who are facing intense challenges due to COVID-19.

Through the Ignition program’s Challenges phase, powered by Libro Credit Union, WEtech Alliance connected with over one hundred small and medium-sized main street businesses across Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, to better understand the most pressing challenges they’re facing.

Following these conversations with business owners, community members and organizations from both main street and the innovation community, the Ignition program identified three (3) key challenges:

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Revenue Loss & Barriers to Online Selling

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Mental Health Impacts on Entrepreneurs

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Enhanced Impact on Tourism & Hospitality Businesses

From there, as part of the Ignition program’s Solutions phase, powered by Digital Main Street Future Proof, we engaged local entrepreneurs and community partners to help develop workable solutions to these challenges, creating resources our main street businesses can leverage, and providing opportunities to use technology to support long term business sustainability during and long after COVID-19.

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Through the Community Collaboration Program, part of the Digital Main Street Future Proof Program and supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Government of Ontario, NORCAT, Communitech, and Invest Ottawa, WEtech Alliance engaged with local entrepreneurs and community partners to develop, implement and financially support tangible solutions to the three (3) key challenges highlighted through the Ignition program.

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Shop My Town Project

Leveraging Windsor-based Splice Digital’s innovative e-commerce platform, shopmytown, this project aims to connect local vendors with new and existing customers who like to shop local. The project will run in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, beginning on January 1st, 2021 and run through to March 31st, 2021. During the duration of the project, platform fees will be reduced to 3% (from 12%). In addition, business owners will have complimentary access to dedicated Customer Success Teams, in partnership with Communitech’s Future Proof Transformation Teams, who can help business owners get online and sell within one business day.

Click the button below to get started.

SHOP MY TOWN

NEED HELP SETTING THINGS UP?

Reach out to a customer support team representative and get the answers you need. WEtech Alliance and shopmytown will make sure the community is here to support you. We’ve got your back! Contact Christine Ricker at christine@splicedigital.com or Noah Campbell at ncampbell@wetech-alliance.com to get started.

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Entrepreneurs on the Front Lines Project

Leveraging the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex County’s programming and expertise, this project aims to provide free, tailored and on-demand support, programming and resources to business owners, entrepreneurs, and their staff with the goal of ensuring well-being is a priority. The project will run in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, beginning on January 1, 2021 and running through to March 31st, 2021.

Business owners and entrepreneurs looking for immediate support and/or proactive support to making mental health a priority in their workplace/company, can access the following:

1. Small Business Outreach Worker: Personnel available to “meet people where they’re at.” This worker is available to meet with owners/ managers to make recommendations on how to support their mental health and that of their staff.

2. Pandemic Response Therapist: If you are experiencing heightened anxiety, depression, grief and even suicidal thoughts – our Pandemic Response Therapist is available to assist with issues related to impacts of COVID-19. During lockdown, visits will be via telephone. Contact (519) 973-4435 to access this service.

3. Mental Health Research and Entrepreneurs Toolkit

4. Mental Health Resources: Online Resources, Apps, Tech, and more.

Click the button below to get started.

ENTREPRENEURS ON THE FRONT LINES
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Sparking Tourism 4.0 Project

Leveraging the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab’s (OTIL) Spark Program, this project aims to connect tourism and hospitality-based businesses and entrepreneurs with technology experts and providers to create and develop new and/or enhanced tourism opportunities, ideas, experiences and partnerships to further support the future proofing of the tourism industry. The project will run in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent in conjunction with the OTIL’s Spark Program.

The quest of the Tourism 4.0 initiative is to unlock the innovation potential by enabling collaboration between all stakeholders of the smart tourism ecosystem to co-create enriched experiences with the help of the key enabling technologies from Industry 4.0.

Up to $10,000 will be provided to one (1) of the winning Windsor-Essex and one (1) of the wining Chatham-Kent Spark program applications to support the technology development/adoption of their project.

Applications are now closed for the Windsor-Essex Spark Program. Applications for the Chatham-Kent Spark Program are coming soon.

Click the button below to learn more.

Sparking Tourism 4.0
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QUESTIONS?

Contact our Tech Community Program Manager, Noah Campbell

Email: ncampbell@wetech-alliance.com