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Norfolk County has started onboarding local businesses to its “Shop Norfolk” digital marketplace platform, and “Visit Norfolk” mobile tourism app.

With funding assistance from the Digital Main Street Community Collaboration Project, a partnership between Norfolk County and Hamilton’s Innovation Factory, Norfolk’s Economic Development team is simultaneously onboarding local retailers and tourism-centric businesses to both platforms – which are to be launched later this spring.

“The County’s Economic Recovery Taskforce identified a number of strategies to assist local small businesses in response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Zvi Lifshiz, Director of Strategic Innovation and Economic Development. “This spring we will be launching an online digital marketplace called Shop Norfolk – where local retailers will be able to sell their products online through a single digital shopping cart.

Once Shop Norfolk’s onboarding is complete, the team will move forward with a mobile destination app called Visit Norfolk. The purpose of the app is to help tourists plan their trip to the community, discover things to do, and find curated Norfolk County experiences at their fingertips.

Visit Norfolk will initially be launched to local residents only – and then to a broader external market once it is safe to do so.

The Digital Main Street Community Collaboration Project funding, which is supporting both of these projects, was made possible through financial support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and the Government of Ontario.

 

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About Digital Main Street

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 of 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-million 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 to go digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.

About Innovation Factory

Innovation Factory is a non-profit business accelerator, serving as the catalyst for tech innovation in the greater Hamilton area since 2011. Innovation Factory provides business services, training and mentorship to help entrepreneurs with advanced manufacturing, clean tech, information tech, life science and social innovations