A year ago, the COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we knew it. With the various restrictions and preventative measures put in place, many businesses were unsure how to proceed, struggling to keep their doors open and often unable to keep workers employed.
To aid those impacted by the pandemic, the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) introduced FedNor’s COVID-19 Technology Adoption Fund (CTAF). The FedNor-funded program supported businesses, municipalities, and Indigenous communities across the Algoma region in implementing technology solutions to resolve issues created by the pandemic.
Over the course of the CTAF program, SSMIC funded a total of $450,000 to 87 applicants in the Algoma region on behalf of FedNor. These applicants primarily used Algoma service providers to enhance their technology, further stimulating the business community within the region.
“There was an overwhelming demand for CTAF funding,” said SSMIC Executive Director Peter Bruijns. “It was clear our community needed support, and we were ready to help make a difference for these businesses with this funding.”
One recipient that benefited from the funding program is The Breakfast Pig, which received funding for technology equipment to enable online ordering and takeout. “We are extremely grateful to have been a recipient of this support of CTAF funding. This money has truly given life to this business,” said Angela Caputo, owner of The Breakfast Pig.
SSMIC saw many businesses submit for projects similar to this with the goal of increasing their online presence and shifting to online sales. Despite the difficult year, businesses are looking forward and recognizing a strong sense of community.
“It’s been one of the toughest years on record for small business, but we are still here, still working together and still making the best of what we can,” added Caputo.
“CTAF gave many local businesses the opportunity to adjust in response to the pandemic,” explained Taylor Trecroce, Business Development Coordinator at SSMIC. “COVID did not make continuing operations easy for many, and we are glad to have had the ability to support them and our region through this.”