Propsed grant would help businesses go digital

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County is supporting a proposal to contract a consultant to help businesses grow their digital marketing.
At its meeting Nov 10, council agreed to send a letter of support to Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake Region [CFLSL] for its application to the Alberta Digital Economy Program.
“It’s a good option to help our local businesses become more digital,” says Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services.
CFLSL wants to partner with local municipalities, Northern Lakes College and the Slave Lake and District Chamber of Commerce to bring the program to the region, he says.
Grants of 100 per cent funding are available to hire a staff member to help small businesses implement digital marketing and awareness strategies, plus e-commerce stores at no cost to the businesses.
“This program has the potential to benefit the entire region by creating awareness and a digital presence for our local businesses on large platforms such as Google, Shopify and individual websites,” Hawken says.
It is currently accepting grants and will run until March 2023.
Based in Slave Lake, the staff member would also serve small businesses in Big Lakes, High Prairie, First Nations and Metis Settlements and extending to the M.D. of Lesser Slave River and the M.D. of Opportunity.
“For many of the region’s small businesses or contractors that are invisible or poorly visible to a search on the Internet, this program would help the business with marketing,” sys Hawken.
The staff member would perform digital assessments of small businesses, advise and train business people to implement digital marketing tools.
“For those businesses who want an online store, they can get assistance to create and customize a store, plus training on how to manage and market online,” Hawken says.
The program would provide a 90-day trial to the e-commerce platform.
There is no cost to eligible businesses to take part in the program.
However, there is a requirement for participating businesses to commit time to the program. The amount of time the businesses will be required to commit to this program would depend on what services they are utilize.

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