$95k Investment in Digital Service Squad to help transform the Upper Ottawa Valley business community through online technologies

Media Release July 15, 2022

The Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Town of Petawawa, the City of Pembroke and the Pembroke Business Improvement Area (PBIA), has received a $95,650.00 grant from Digital Main Street for a two-year Digital Service Squad (DSS) program to help small businesses in our region to use digital technologies to adapt to a rapidly changing commercial environment.

“This is great news for our business community,” said Kelly Hollihan, Executive Director of the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce. “The Digital Main Street program has already made a huge difference to small businesses in the region during COVID-19 and with this new round of funding we can provide dedicated experts for the next 18 months to help transform business to meet the modern demands of clientele. Adapting to the transformed marketplace makes shopping local a much easier ask.”

Fundamental to Digital Main Street is the Digital Service Squads, trained specialists who meet with small businesses, at no cost, to help them improve their online presence. The squads assist with several activities, including developing a Google My Business profile, enhancing their social media presence and providing support for basic website and e-commerce set-up. Squads will also assist qualified small businesses through the application process for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant, which includes an online assessment, online training modules and the development of a Digital Transformation Plan (DTP).

“I am thrilled to see these investments to help our local businesses use digital technologies to re-emerge from COVID-19 more successful and resilient than ever. The businesses of the Upper Ottawa Valley attract visitors, create jobs, support families and make life better for everyone who calls this region home,” said Cyndi Mills, President of the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

“Small businesses are innovative and entrepreneurial, but often lack the resources to respond to change, be resilient, yet flexible,” said Kay Matthews, Executive Director, OBIAA. “OBIAA is delighted to work once again alongside the Digital Main Street team and is thrilled to support The Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce’s squad. The Digital Main Street program’s resources, grants, training, and Digital Service Squad assistance provide the means for more small businesses in communities across the Upper Ottawa Valley to adopt innovative ways, create new revenue streams, expand their markets, and face the future with optimism and confidence.”

For information on the Digital Service Squad dedicated to businesses of the Town of Petawawa, the City of Pembroke, and members of the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce until March, 2024, please visit https://upperottawavalleychamber.com/programs/



The voice of the business community in the Upper Ottawa Valley, the Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses and business leaders across much of Renfrew County from Whitewater region to Pembroke and Petawawa, Madawaska and Bonnechere to Deep River. As a Board of Trade, the Chamber advocates on behalf of its members, provides education and development resources, creates networking and marketing opportunity, and works with strategic partners toward the economic well-being of the region. The Chamber is a Board of Trade in a network of thousands across the country, providing the benefits and discount programs that membership with the Ontario and Canadian Chambers of Commerce brings.


OBIAA is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. The Association supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships. OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues.

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 Lightspeed. The program is delivered Pan Canada in support of small business thanks to the support of all three levels of government. www.digitalmainstreet.ca