In partnership with Digital Main Street, NORCAT is pleased to join a province-wide pilot of GooseChase, a digital scavenger hunt platform, through the Digital Main Street Lab program. With the support of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, the Digital Main Street Lab seeks to pilot initiatives that enable businesses to attract clients in new, creative, and physically distant ways.
Even as restrictions begin to ease in Northern Ontario, COVID-19 impacts the way we gather and shop. GooseChase offers a digital scavenger hunt platform that can enhance existing programming or stand alone as a way to bring people together from a safe distance while supporting local businesses.
GooseChase hosts digital scavenger hunts which award points to participants for completing missions, including photos, videos, GPS locations, or text-based tasks. Anything from taking a photo in front of a favourite coffee shop or a local landmark can earn participants points, competing for prizes against neighbours in a safe and physically distant way. Participants will also receive special promotions and discounts to local retailers through the app.
"With the global pandemic continuing to impact small businesses across Ontario, it’s more important than ever that we continue to work together to find innovative ways to give these businesses the support they need. We are pleased that the Digital Main Street lab is working with partners like NORCAT to bring GooseChase’s unique offering to Northern Ontario to help small businesses attract new customers." – Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
"Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and their recovery is critical to Ontario’s recovery. Through Digital Main Street, we are helping more small businesses adopt new technologies and digital marketing tools, and creating new revenue streams to help them grow their operations. This partnership with GooseChase will help expand their reach into new markets, and get more people outdoors in a safe way to support our local businesses." – Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.
"GooseChase is a unique way of engaging our community while also helping drive traffic to our local businesses. Through gamification, this initiative is familiarizing Northern Ontario communities on what services or products are available to them and where stores, businesses, and facilities are located. It is much more than a scavenger hunt, and we look forward to seeing communities come together and discover their new favourite local business!" – Brendan Skiffington, Regional Innovation Centre Coordinator, NORCAT
"We’re pleased to offer the GooseChase platform to all main street business associations across the Province of Ontario. Innovative ways to engage with main street are critical as we grapple with COVID-19 through the winter months." – John Kiru, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas
Over the next year, business improvement areas, small business enterprise centres, chambers of commerce, and municipalities across Ontario will have unlimited access to the GooseChase platform under the Digital Main Street banner.
Are you a BIA, SBEC or municipality that wants to create a GooseChase scavenger hunt? Write Cecile Roslin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for instructions on how to start your game!
About Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street (DMS) is a jointly funded provincial and federal initiative designed to assist small businesses in establishing an online presence or maximizing the impact of their existing digital footprint. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages. The joint investment from FedDev Ontario and the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa, and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses to go digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.
About the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a non-profit umbrella organization working with the 85 Business Improvement Areas within the City of Toronto, who in turn represent more than 90,000 business and property owners.
About the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade supports a strong economy that can provide jobs, opportunities and prosperity for all Ontarians. The ministry offers a range of programs, services and tools to help small and medium-sized businesses innovate and compete in today’s fast-changing global economy by connecting them to new markets and consumers to support economic recovery and growth across the province.
NORCAT was founded in 1995 by a team of business and academic visionaries who recognized the need for an organization to promote, educate, and support local entrepreneurs, tech innovators, and skilled labour workers to enable long-term and sustainable economic and social prosperity for Northern Ontario. NORCAT has proudly evolved to be a multi-national, global company offering programs, services, and resources to its clients.