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New Soo Chamber program will help local businesses

New Soo Chamber program will help local businesses

go digital in response to COVID-19

SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO  ~~~~  July 13, 2020  (LSN)  COVID-19 has changed everything, requiring telecommuting, on-demand delivery and services, supply chain resiliency and virtual collaborations. Even as the province begins to reopen, the pandemic has heightened the urgency for businesses to digitize to survive.

To address this change, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and World Trade Centre Toronto created the Recovery Activation Program, or RAP. RAP offers businesses the know-how, blueprint and partners to address the conditions that COVID-19 has created by implementing digital solutions to their front, middle and back-offices. It will not only equip them to come through COVID-19 intact, but to thrive.

“Digital Transformation is not just a buzzword. It’s an essential topic for businesses in Sault Ste. Marie and means using technology to create ways of doing business to drive growth in new and existing markets,” explains Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. “Businesses that are looking to start their digital transformation journey should have a solid understanding of the concepts and approaches. With proper understanding, you can take digital transformation beyond IT and make a positive impact on business performance.”

With the support of a $7.7 million investment from the Governments of Canada and Ontario, RAP is now expanding to support businesses of all sizes throughout the province, including Sault Ste. Marie. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) has been selected as an important partner to help ensure local businesses benefit from the customized services and mentorship that RAP offers.

By enabling this partnership between agencies like the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the governments’ investment in RAP will also help make sure at least half of RAP’s participants are based outside of Toronto.

“The Recovery Activation Program is a direct response to what we’re hearing from our members and the business community at large: digital tools and services are crucial to success, but challenging to implement,” says Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber’s involvement in this program will result in the digital transformation of businesses outside of Toronto who will now be in a position to shore up their current business offerings, create new businesses opportunities and explore new markets.”

“Digital transformation can be different for every organization because every business is unique and they must have a clear vision and purpose, one that serves their customers, partners, and employees. RAP will not only give participants understanding of the digital impacts on how they do business and a blueprint to execute the transformation it will also connect them to local resources for implementation of the transformation,” adds Ring.

The estimated value of this training and mentorship is over $40K - But thanks to generous funding from FedDev and the Province of Ontario, this training is being offered to Sault Ste. Marie businesses at no cost.

Recruitment is currently open. Interested businesses can apply here.

About the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce

The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization comprised of 700 plus businesses and agencies in Sault Ste. Marie and has been serving the needs of this community since 1889. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce will lead the way as the voice of business, advancing economic prosperity for its membership and the business community. Learn more about the SSMCOC at 


About the Toronto Region Board of Trade

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic growth agenda. Backed by more than 13,500 members, we pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region, and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally. We want Toronto to be recognized as one of the most competitive and sought-after business regions in the world, and believe this reputation starts with our businesses. Learn more at and follow us at @TorontoRBOT



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