Communications & IT
1 - CO-OP Advertising program between local media/businesses/and Municipality.
Local media is here to help local businesses. Media partners will offer to cover one-third of the cost of the price of advertising for all local businesses (have to have an outlet/office inside Chatham-Kent) until Labour Day 2020.
Discounts would be business classifieds, ROP display ads, flyers and online advertising, radio commercials and other products as agreed upon.
We would encourage the municipality and senior levels of government to offer some form of assistance to make it as affordable as possible for local businesses to advertise their goods and services. If such funding becomes available, maximums and caps would need to be established to insure all media outlets are helped proportionately. Caps would be established and agreed upon by all local media outlets, and caps would be established on a per business level to be sure that any equity is divided as fairly as possible.
If COVID restrictions remain in place after Labour Day, the topic could be revisited.
OVERVIEW: Co-op is a platform that national companies utilize. THE LOCAL business gets support from the national company to promote their produce.
We’d like to see the MUNI of CK be the NATIONAL company and support small business in this way.
- Municipality CK pays 33.3% of ad packages.
- Businesses must be located in CK.
- LOCAL media provides a discounted rate to assist costs.
- Capping businesses to a maximum amount.
33.3% paid by Municipality
50% paid by client
16.7% paid by MEDIA COMPANY
2- Starting a "Digital Main Street" like local grant program - but a wider program with easier access and no priority to certain geographic areas or industry types. This grant would help small to medium sized businesses improve their adoption of technologies to better promote themselves online, sell products online, and develop a larger footprint online.
By creating online shopping for businesses in all sectors, local businesses will unlock potential new ways of engaging with existing/new customers and markets. They should be taking steps now to build their audience for what could be a long road of financial uncertainty. Assistance may be needed via a grant to help some less technologically-savvy business owners organize themselves into a safe, online presence. These businesses may need help with website development, photography, pricing, supply chain management, social media marketing, message development that focuses on buying local, licensing and affordability of specific plug-ins, site security, e-commerce and delivery services. All sectors, inducing retail, professional and agricultural, should have equal access to this grant to allow them to develop an efficient business process that is easily manageable by staff, while targeting and engaging customers.
3 - Develop a "buy local - shop local - shop safe" brand.
Develop numerous branding tools for use in print, online and on air encouraging the buy local, shop local, shop safe mantra. Underscore how local businesses support local youth organizations, charities, sports teams, and economy in general.
Look at the feasibility of starting a C-K online marketplace. A communal online portal of sorts to act as a showcase of what is offered locally online in various categories. As companies embrace the digital marketplace, this would be an intrinsic element. Local media could support such a development with news content, but more importantly, have a section on their websites supporting it as well.
Develop a #shopsafe branding for stores. Provide standard guidelines that customers could expect to shop safely. Some signage for storefronts and logos for advertising, promotions. Make it readily identifiable and commonplace. Involve CK Public Health so it has their stamp of approval/guidelines. This would set much of the public at ease if they can quickly see if a business meets such standards for safety.
Develop a way to quickly have folks identify what options a business offers in terms of delivery/pickup/shopping? Possibly be the first letter inside a coloured circle (say, a green circle and a 'C' for curbside, for example) on the online marketplace, or in advertising guides.
To coincide with an online marketplace, local media could develop a print flyer to be distributed via all area flyer-capable newspapers. For example, the Voice would handle inside Chatham, while PostMedia would deliver to outlying communities and rural areas, while the other independents would also deliver where possible/feasible.
4 - Group purchasing for equipment needed to retrofit businesses for Covid 19.
All bricks and mortar businesses will have some sort of costs associated with providing a safe operating atmosphere. Costs for plastic barriers, floor decals, directional signage, sanitizer and disinfectant cleaners, masks and face shields just to name a few.
Once businesses establish what is needed to reopen, the daunting task of trying to secure these much sought after items is the next step. Any businesses that are "late to the party" then get over charged because of demand, or face very long wait times.
If the Municipality could designate a single department to coordinate with all local businesses, group purchasing of basic operational products will not only secure better pricing but earlier delivery of hard to get items.
5- Students getting involved to help over the summer with Social Media/digital training.
While the CESB (Canada Emergency Student Benefit) will be providing $1,250 per month for eligible students from May through August 2020, and $1,750 for students with dependents and those with permanent disabilities, many local students will not be eligible for these programs.
The development of a program that would complement the digital grant for students to provide assistance for businesses on social media and other digital platforms. The Federal program for Canada Student Service Grant is to provide students with up to $5,000 to volunteer work over the summer. While the Federal Government is still establishing exact specifications on the program, leveraging those funds could be a real possibility.
6 - Reduce fees to place antennas on water towers
- Would help internet providers provide to businesses that are ramping up online ordering and connectivity.
- Would help provide access to people who are in rural areas but may have to work from home, through increased options and data speeds.
- Would help businesses with multiple locations within the city connect for greater communication/data speeds as they increase internet access for mobile ordering.
- Reduce burden on companies using the towers who may have been affected by Covid-19 (Reduction in revenue, or increase of costs)