News

Digital Main Street Program supported by FedDev Ontario enables collaborative community project to help Prince Edward County “main street” businesses thrive and maintain jobs

February 4, 2021 – Kingston, Ontario – Launch Lab, a Regional Innovation Centre and member of the
Ontario Business Support Network, a provincially-funded network of resources for entrepreneurs, today
announced a new collaborative technology project, Shift Yourself, a community scheduling project, will
allow traditional brick and mortar small businesses in Prince Edward County share a common staffing
base as COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns make requirements unpredictable. The project is supported by
the Digital Main Street (DMS) program, which is funded in part by the Federal Economic Development
Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and Invest Ottawa.

The project delivers a cloud-based collaborative scheduling solution that enables employers throughout
the region find and employ qualified staff on an as-needed basis. Workers will benefit by being able to
sustain full-time employment with multiple businesses.
“As the technology partner delivering the collaborative scheduling project, C3 is excited to support local
businesses during times that pose challenges to their profitability, said David Williams, Solutions
Consultant and Owner, C3 Solutions. “The heart of the project, through collaboration with Launch Lab,
is an easy-to-use web portal that will connect local businesses, staff and community groups and enable
technology-based solutions to help businesses thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

“The Business Improvement Association (BIA) is the organization responsible for the vitality of a
designated downtown region, and as such, we are delighted to support the collaborative scheduling tool
to positively impact our members and their bottom lines,” said Sarah Doiron, Executive Director, Picton BIA. “Even beyond the uncertainty posed by the pandemic for staffing and employment, this project will
help our region’s employers cope with seasonal challenges including maintaining sufficient staff in the
very busy tourist season and providing enough hours for workers in the off-season when business is
much slower.”

“Businesses in Prince Edward County are facing a very tight labour market, so employers want to explore
new ways to attract people to their workforce,” said Lesley Lavender, Executive Director, Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce. “This project’s technology-based solution can address labour
market issues and help maintain robust communities by creating opportunities that support year-round
jobs for residents while allowing new and existing businesses to flourish.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on businesses across our country. The
Government of Canada is pleased to support Digital Main Street and to see innovative technology
projects such as Shift Yourself supporting main street businesses and the labour market in Prince
Edward County,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official
Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. “We are proud to work with Digital Main
Street partners, including Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), Communitech,
Invest Ottawa and the Regional Innovation Centres to help organizations adapt and our innovation
ecosystem grow stronger.”

“As a facilitator of the Digital Main Street (DMS) Lab and Future Proof Program supported by FedDev
Ontario, Invest Ottawa is pleased to bring rich technology-based solutions to Eastern Ontario in
partnership with Launch Lab,” said Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Strategy, Invest Ottawa. “These
innovations, and the critical programs that support their development and adoption, will strengthen our
regional economy. They will drive growth, opportunity and job creation in rural and urban areas, and
help to future proof these communities.”

“Launch Lab is delighted to help drive the Digital Main Street program in Eastern Ontario to enable local
businesses stay viable, even during difficult times,” said Scott Runté, CEO and Entrepreneur In
Residence (EIR), Launch Lab. “As team of entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs, we see clearly the value
in programs like FedDev Ontario’s Digital Main Street that give small businesses the assistance they
need to keep the doors open and deliver employment opportunities to their communities.”

Project development is underway now, with full deployment planned for March 2021. For information
on other Digital Main Street initiatives for Eastern Ontario, such as the Future Proof program, visit
www.launchlabdms.com

About Launch Lab
Launch Lab is a Regional Innovation Centre and member of the Ontario Business Support Network, a
provincially-funded network of resources for entrepreneurs. As a RIC, our regional boundaries consist of
most of southeastern Ontario. Our head office is in Kingston, but our team of Entrepreneurs In
Residence operate throughout the region. We work with tech-based businesses that have an innovative
technology or idea, and a variety of new startups and existing businesses who are experiencing
challenges and looking to grow. Our purpose is to foster entrepreneurship and the commercialization of
innovations to help build globally competitive companies in Eastern Ontario.

About Invest Ottawa
Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s
Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in the City of Ottawa. Guided by a vision to
help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative and future-ready city, Invest
Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion and talent programs and services that
catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms. These include small business training,
mentorship, acceleration for technology firms, foreign business and investment attraction, local
business retention and expansion in targeted sectors, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s
diversified economy and high quality of life. Invest Ottawa is also the founder and manager of the
Area X.O, the futureplex of innovation and collaboration. Since 2012, Invest Ottawa has worked with
thousands of entrepreneurs and companies; helped firms attract more than $666 million in capital;
contributed to the creation of more than 9,714 jobs; and attracted $862 million in domestic and
foreign investment. For additional information, please visit: www.investottawa.ca

About FedDev Ontario
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. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in
southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity,
growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn
more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.

Media Contact:
Stephen Beamish
613-240-6451
[email protected]

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