This article was originally published by Digital Main Street. The TAKU Retail platform allows established main street retailers to seamlessly move their operation online while making it easier for local shoppers to see what products are available and in-stock nearby. With this Digital Main Street program, TakuLabs will be providing free use of the TAKU platform along with all setup services during the pilot period to help several traditional retailers in York Region get their physical stores online in a few weeks and show up when it counts – when local shoppers are searching online for what they sell. “In York Region, our community of entrepreneurs and tech leaders work together to create globally competitive build-to-scale Canadian businesses. At ventureLAB, we believe that tech is critical to the resilience and sustainability of traditional brick and mortar businesses, and we are proud to partner with Digital Main Street to help main street businesses modernize and adopt digital technologies, and future-proof Ontario businesses,” said Melissa Chee, President and CEO, ventureLAB. COVID-19 forced businesses across Ontario to close their doors this spring and ongoing restrictions have led to a dramatic reduction of foot traffic to brick-and-mortar businesses. No other time of year is as important for small businesses as the winter holiday season. The need for businesses to have a robust and reliable online presence is more important than ever before. The Digital Main Street Lab program seeks to pilot innovative, scalable solutions that enable businesses to attract clients in new and creative ways and adapt to ever changing conditions. The pilot runs until March 2021. “Small businesses with high inventory face unique challenges when trying to go online. If the pandemic has proven anything for small businesses, going online is essential. We're excited to launch the DMS Lab pilot with TakuLabs to enhance options for these businesses,” said John Kiru, Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas. The Digital Main Street platform is supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology. Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages. A $42.5–investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa, and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses across the province.
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a not-for-profit umbrella organization working with the 83 Business Improvement Areas within the City of Toronto, who in turn represent more than 40,000 business and property owner
For more than 10 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring FedDev Ontario’s pivotal projects.
ventureLAB is a leading technology hub located in Markham in York Region, Canada’s second largest tech cluster. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, in three key areas of focus: hardware, health, and inclusivity. ventureLAB has enabled thousands of tech companies to scale, and our portfolio of companies have created close to 4,000 jobs that have raised over $200 million in investment capital to continue their growth and scale. www.venturelab.ca