Sudbury, ON. NORCAT, the global leader in skilled labour training and innovation services, is excited to announce it has been selected by Digital Main Street to deliver its new Future Proof program across Northern Ontario. Launched today, the Future Proof program will help entrepreneurs leverage digital solutions and adapt their businesses to regain lost revenue and become more resilient and competitive as the economy recovers in a post COVID-19 world.

The nine-month project, led by Digital Main Street, is delivered in partnership with the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Invest Ottawa, Communitech and NORCAT.

“As Sudbury’s regional innovation centre, NORCAT’s goal is to accelerate the growth of innovative companies that will drive future economic and social prosperity for Canada,” says Don Duval, NORCAT CEO. “We are proud to collaborate with Digital Main Street and our regional and provincial partners to deliver the Future Proof program across Northern Ontario. By empowering small businesses with digital solutions, data insights and the tools to evolve and adapt to today’s economic climate, we can help entrepreneurs across Northern Ontario not only recover, but grow and thrive.”

The Future Proof program targets small and medium-sized businesses in the retail, hospitality, service and trades sectors looking for an advanced level of support to take their established online presence and ambitious market growth plans to the next level. Through the program, business owners will have access to teams of qualified students, experienced digital marketing professionals and business advisors to develop sophisticated digital marketing plans to identify and pursue new domestic and global market opportunities through online sales.

“Ontario’s small businesses are at the heart of our economy and will play a key role in its recovery. That is why we have invested in Digital Main Street. To help entrepreneurs take advantage of the increase in online commerce by supporting them to execute digital transformations, and ultimately succeed at doing business in a digital world. The Future Proof Program will help protect Ontario’s main streets, support local jobs and help our economy come back stronger than ever,” says The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

Through Future Proof, NORCAT will work with over 120 small businesses across Northern Ontario before the project’s completion in March 2021. The program is available to small business owners across Northern Ontario, including Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, North Bay, Timmins and Kenora districts.

“Providing businesses with the tools they need to adapt, recover and grow is a key part of our economic recovery plan throughout reopening and into the future. The Future Proof Program powered offered through Digital Main Street is just one example of how Ontario’s recovery will be driven by innovation,” says The Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Future Proof is the latest initiative developed by Digital Main Street, complimenting the successful ShopHERE and Ontario Grants programs. Created through a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas to help businesses utilize technology such as websites, social media and e-commerce platforms to grow and pursue new opportunities, Digital Main Street has engaged with over 6,000 main street businesses since 2016.

For more information please contact Lindsay Lane | NORCAT | llane@norcat.org | 705.521.8324 x337


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