Ponoka’s main street goes digital

PONOKA – The Town of Ponoka and Ponoka’s chamber of commerce teamed up to help local businesses participate in the Digital Main Street ShopHERE powered by Google program.

The DMS ShopHERE program helps small businesses and artists build a
digital presence and make the transition to doing business online to help minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The town is contributing $5,000 from the Municipal Operating Support Transfer grant to help cover the cost for up to 20 Ponoka businesses to enroll in the ShopHERE program.

“Helping our local businesses expand their online presence offers them an important advantage during this pandemic,” said Mayor Rick Bonnett.

The ShopHERE program provides businesses with over 17 hours of hands-on support from university students to allow these businesses to sell their products and services online. That support includes set up, training, creating of an online store front and launching the online business.

ShopHERE powered by Google started in the City of Toronto. In May, Google Canada announced a $1 million investment to enable Digital Main Street to expand the program to municipalities across the country, offering
more businesses the opportunity to build their own online store and receive the digital skills needed to participate in the digital economy.

“The town’s contribution means those businesses will be able to participate in the ShopHERE program and get started at selling online at no cost to the business,” said Heather Bendera, Executive Manager with the Ponoka chamber of commerce.