Small businesses embrace digital economy – Nov 3, 2021 Canstar Herald article by Andrew Micklefield

One of the ways life has changed for many of us in the past two years is our increased familiarity with technology. 

More than ever, computers and smartphones now connect us to restaurants, banks, schools, doctors, services and most importantly, to each other. 

Businesses that have quick to adapt now serve customers and access markets in new ways. We are living in a digital-first world and recent shifts have solidified this undeniable reality.

As evidence of this, Dr. Paul Cooley, founder of NextGen Environmental Research, gained government attention and support for software that interprets satellite imagery of land and waterway ice for environmental and agricultural industries.

Also in Rossmere is local author Katarzyna Orlow, whose new book, Your success Begins Today: 10 Proven methods to a Winning, Future-Assuring Life as an Entrepreneur, offers insights into navigating new business opportunities. 

Local people are participating and prospering in Manitoba’s emerging digital markets. This is good news, and Statistics Canada reported earlier this month that Manitoba’s jobless rate is the lowest in Canada. 

Manitoba’s government recently announced the Digital Manitoba Initiative (DMI) to help businesses and non-profits embrace their own digital transformation. Grants of $5,000 and $25,000 are available for training, online subscriptions, e-commerce development, online marketing and other software and web-necessary tools and equipment. 

In the words of Manitoba’s Chambers of Commerce; “The DMI will enable future facing organizations to meet the changing needs of our modern economy, while increasing efficiencies and contributing to scalability.” 

Eligible expenses are retroactive to April 2021, and full program details at

Manitoba is well positioned to emerge from the pandemic ahead of other parts of Canada, and local businesses and industries willing to embrace new digital realities are already blazing their paths forward.

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Rossmere MLA Andrew Micklefield uses digital tools for a remote learning session with students. (Supplied photo)
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