Downtown Brampton BIA is Hiring! Digital Service Squad – Team Members

The Ontario Digital Main Street Initiative expands the previously existing Digital Main Street program developed in partnership by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA). Thanks to a renewed investment in the Ontario Digital Main Street program from both the federal and provincial governments, even more of the province’s main street small businesses will be able to take full advantage of digital technologies and e-commerce platforms to increase their revenues and create jobs.

The four main components of the Ontario Digital Main Street program include:

  1. Digital Transformation Program: Upon completion of their digital assessment and online training, businesses may apply for a $2,500 grant to offset costs as outlined in their Digital Transformation Plan and budget. These funds are available to help businesses strategically adopt technology and meet their digital goals.
  2. Digital Service Squad Program: Digital Service Squads are digital technology specialists in an area or region of Ontario who deliver one-on-one assistance to main street small businesses. These Digital Service Squads can be set up by BIAs, municipalities, Chambers of Commerce or Small Business Enterprise Centres that may apply for funding based on the number of businesses within their designated commercial downtown area.
  3. Access to Support: Ongoing support including access to basic digital services, a list of vendors that can identify technologies and tools businesses need to be digitally ready, and other resources such as assessments, articles, best practices, etc.
  4. Digital Training (online and in-person): Webinars and workshops focusing on specific digital technologies and strategies, including e-commerce, social media, and website development.

Ontario Digital Main Street is currently seeking outgoing, enthusiastic, qualified candidates for the position of Digital Service Squad – Team Member. This is a unique opportunity to support the growth of one of the province’s most innovative economic development programs. The Digital Main Street program is the first of its kind globally and has experienced excellent traction since its launch in June 2016.

Click here to read the full job description

Downtown Brampton celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Ontario BIAs


Downtown Brampton celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Ontario BIAs

Brampton, ON (September 16, 2020) – Downtown Brampton BIA is very excited to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Business Improvement Areas across Ontario and will be hosting special social media posts from Wednesday September 16th through to Wednesday September 23, 2020.  Enjoy daily posts about the Downtown Brampton BIA and how the BIA is making a difference in the downtown community, and what the BIA is working on with the City of Brampton and many downtown stakeholders.

In case you did not know, business improvement areas (BIAs) started in Ontario back in the 70’s, when the Bloor West Village BIA was the very first BIA created in Toronto.  Through the great efforts of business owner Alex Ling.  Alex Ling became a prominent public figure for the Bloor West Village BIA and eventually assisted in the creation of the Toronto Association of BIA’s (TABIA.) See the full story here.

Today, there are approximately three hundred (300) BIAs in Ontario and close to 500 BIAs across Canada. Business Improvement Areas and districts can be found world wide.   These business associations, serve the local business and community neighbourhood with the intention to create a vibrant and safe community and downtown business district. Internationally, BIAs (or their equivalents) are in more than 10 countries around the world, such as the USA, the UK, Scotland, Germany, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, China, and India.

“BIAs are integral to advancing distinct, livable, vibrant and resilient business community in Ontario and beyond, and arguably Ontario’s (Toronto’s) greatest export,” says Kay Matthews, Executive Director of OBIAA (Ontario Business Improvement Area Association). “We’re excited to see the idea spread and OBIAA strives to be pivotal in building capacity of our BIAs by providing a platform for sharing their wonderful ideas and best practices amongst our BIAs.”

Enjoy our Shop Local Downtown Brampton week from September 16-23, 2020 and learn more about why BIAs play such an integral part of the community.

“The Downtown Brampton BIA is happy to celebrate OBIAA’s 50th Anniversary! Enjoy our OBIAA celebrations with social media posts from September 16-23, 2020 and learn more about the Downtown Brampton BIA and all of the amazing businesses, restaurants and retail in our downtown. Says Kristina Romasco, chair of the Downtown Brampton BIA.”



Suzy Godefroy Executive Director, Downtown Brampton BIA

7 Queen Street West, Brampton (P) 905. 874. 3518 (e)

Click here for the full Press Release

Click here to watch the BIA’s 50th Anniversary Teaser Video

Brampton’s Innovation District will advance economic recovery

BRAMPTON, ON (September 4, 2020) – The City of Brampton is building an Innovation District in the heart of downtown Brampton to promote a dynamic startup community, develop local talent and support entrepreneurs.

Next Wednesday, the new Ryerson Venture Zone will officially launch in Brampton’s Innovation District. This new incubator is dedicated to helping build and grow new businesses within Brampton, create high-skilled jobs, and develop a talent pipeline.

The Innovation District is a key initiative in the City’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy, and will continue to evolve in the coming months and years.

Innovation District Partners

In addition to the Ryerson Venture Zone, a number of entrepreneurial, business incubation, and accelerator spaces have joined Brampton’s Innovation District, including:

  • Brampton Entrepreneur Centre (BEC) Co-working Space & Small Business Resources – Located in a spacious 4,500 sq. ft. storefront, this co-working space is designed to fuel creativity and productivity. BEC hosts frequent seminars and offers business plan reviews and consultations with advisors at no cost to local entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • Catalyst Cyber Accelerator (led by Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst and Ryerson DMZ) – This accelerator is Canada’s first Cybersecurity accelerator for startups and scale-ups. This accelerator, in conjunction with the other cornerstones of the Rogers Cyber Secure Catalyst (including Canada’s first Cyber Range, Cybersecurity training and research and development) is positioning Brampton to be Canada’s hub for Cybersecurity.
  • Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre – A specialized business incubation and accelerator space, the RIC Centre helps startups scale up and take their businesses to the next level. The RIC Centre is a dynamic catalyst for tech companies and has specialized resources for companies working in the areas of Internet of Things, CleanTech and Advanced Manufacturing.
  • The Brampton Board of Trade and the Downtown Brampton Business Improvement Area (BIA) are also key partners in building the Innovation District.

More partners are expected to join the Innovation District later this year.

Talent Development

The Innovation District also offers education and training opportunities to upskill or reskill talent from the around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). From Ryerson University Chang School of Continuing Education and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, to Sheridan College and Algoma University, the Innovation District is a growing hub for talent development.

Economic Recovery Strategy

On May 13, Brampton City Council endorsed Brampton’s Economic Recovery Strategy to move forward with restarting the local economy. The Strategy aims to bring resiliency and competitive advantage to Brampton’s economy through advancing immediate and long-term actions in line with its four corner stones: Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Investment, Infrastructure, and Arts, Culture and Tourism.

Click here to read the full press release.