New program will help Newfoundland and Labrador companies conduct business online 

News release

Federal and provincial governments announce more than $2.7 million to help businesses access digitalization tools and technology solutions  

September 28, 2020 – St. John’s, NL – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency – ACOA 

COVID-19 has had a severe impact on small businesses across Atlantic Canada. As the pandemic has reshaped how people shop, doing business online is now more important than ever. That is why the federal and provincial governments are helping local companies adapt to offer online sales and services and develop new digital capabilities. 

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for
St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable
Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, along with the Honourable Andrew Parsons, provincial Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, today announced a total investment of $2,743,626 for the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology and Innovation (NATI) to offer the Business Tech Solutions Program to Newfoundland and Labrador companies.

Through this program that NATI will administer, businesses can apply for assistance to purchase digital solutions and access expertise so they can create effective, efficient online sales systems to generate new revenue streams. NATI anticipates that the program will help more than 170 small- and medium-sized businesses in the province. 

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to grow the economy by helping local businesses to digitalize their operations. This support is needed as businesses work to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


“As our economy reopens, we’re working with local organizations such as NATI to ensure that Atlantic Canadian companies can bounce back and remain competitive. NATI’s Business Tech Solutions Program will help local businesses pivot their operations so they can adopt new technology, access new opportunities from online business, and become more resilient. Our message is clear: we’re committed to supporting businesses as they reopen and will continue to take steps so that Canadians feel safe returning to work, school, and social activities.”

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA 

“The pandemic has created an even bigger demand for online shopping. Through this funding, NATI will be able to do more of what it does best: help businesses in our Province thrive.”

- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl 

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“COVID-19 has tested the limits of small business in our province, across the country and around the world. In the face of such challenges, many local businesses have been working hard to adjust, proving their resilience by pivoting in innovative ways to continue to reach clients and serve both here and abroad. Today’s funding will help businesses in our province continue to adjust, creating effective online digital solutions to help them boost revenue and manage costs.”

-  The Honourable Andrew Parsons, provincial Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology  

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely challenging, there is an opportunity for businesses to move online, automate processes and adopt digital capabilities. The Business Tech Solutions Program offers assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses, helping to establish our province as a digital, innovation-based economy.”

-   Paul Preston, CEO of NATI  

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Quick facts

  • NATI is a not-for-profit industry association that has represented Newfoundland and Labrador’s technology and innovation sector for over 30 years. 

  • Companies will be eligible for a 90% non-repayable contribution – to a maximum of $15,000 – through the Business Tech Solutions Program for eligible costs to transition their businesses to online sales and services. 

  • ACOA provided a non-repayable contribution of $1,371,813 towards this initiative through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF). The provincial government is contributing an equal amount. 

Associated links


Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages

Paul McGrath
Director of Communications

Lisa Lawlor
Innovation, Energy and Technology
709-729-5777, 709-631-8155

Marlayne Hardy
Director Innovation Programs

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