FAQ – Digital Nova Scotia – Leading Digital Industry

Frequently Asked Questions


This program is not currently accepting new applications.

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Who is eligible to participate in the program?

The program will be offered first to those small businesses that qualified for the Small Business Impact Grant Part 3. If you have not qualified for the Small Business Impact Grant (Part 3), your application will be held and considered should an opening become available in the program. Digital Nova Scotia will host an online platform to manage the submission of expressions of interest from those pre-qualified businesses.

How much does the project cost and where is the funding coming from?

We expect more than 400 businesses across the province to participate at an estimated cost of $2.5 million. The funds are coming from the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Research Council.

Will the program be expanded if there is greater demand?

That is a possibility, but we will be in a better position to answer that after the initial uptake.

How do you select digital service providers to work with small businesses?

Digital Nova Scotia will develop a list of qualified digital service providers from across our province, based on their level of expertise. This list will be created through our existing network of Digital Service Providers who have been engaged in the Tourism Digital Assistance Program. There will also be a call for expressions-of-interest interest from other digital service providers who might be interested in taking part.

How does the program work?

Digital Nova Scotia will conduct a needs assessment for participating businesses, and this input will help in identifying a shortlist of digital service providers from our qualified list. Digital Nova Scotia will manage the tendering process on behalf of each participant, which includes distributing the needs assessment to the shortlist of digital service providers identified. The business participant will then be provided a list of work plan bids to select the digital service provider they feel best aligns with their goals.

Can you choose your own digital service provider?

When filling out an expression of interest you will be able to note a preferred digital service provider if you have someone you have worked with before. If they are not already qualified, DNS will confirm they are eligible and if successful, you can be matched through the program.

What services will be offered to participating businesses?

Qualified digital service providers will have expertise in website creation/enhancements, search engine optimization, digital marketing strategy, social media strategy, online booking systems, and e-commerce tools.

How does the budget work?

Participants have a 100% coverage maximum budget of $5,000 (Including HST). When Digital Nova Scotia provides you with the selection of bids, the digital service providers will all offer service packages within the confines of the $5,000 (including HST) for your selection.

Who manages the payments?

Digital Nova Scotia will co-sign the project work plan and will manage the digital service provider invoices. You will not be responsible to cover and claim costs.

How will participants be selected?

Digital Nova Scotia will host an online platform to manage the submission of expressions-of-interest from those pre-qualified businesses. Applications will be assessed on a first-come-first-serve basis until the program has reached capacity.

What if I don’t know what services I need?

The expression of interest does not require you to know the act services that you need for solving your goals. The program is designed for you to express your online goals, and for digital experts to evaluate and offer solutions to your unique business and goals.

How do I know I’m getting what I need?

The digital assistance plan will be developed around your stated needs and the digital experts review and assessment of your online presence. Digital Nova Scotia will also be conducting our own review and confirmation the services offered match your needs assessment. Finally, the choice of digital service provider and work plan will be your no-pressure decision.

What is my involvement in the project?

You will be the main project contact for the work being completed. The digital service provider will be working directly with you. Digital Nova Scotia will be involved to confirm the progress of work, and the distribution of payments. Depending on the individual relationship you and the digital service provider will work together to determine a plan for coordinating and reviewing digital improvements.