Access TI-SMES: a helping hand to businesses

Accès TI-PME: une main tendue aux entreprises

SHAWINIGAN — Since 2015, the Access program, TI-SMES is accompanied by some 80 companies on the territory of the aid Society’s community development Centre-de-la-Mauricie. But there is still a long way to go to convince all types of SMES to borrow the digital shift, the local economic actors want to demystify this initiative, which can cause a shock to the turnover.

A conference information has therefore been organised on Monday morning at the Center Neofit, in the centre of the city of Shawinigan, in order to disseminate the existence of the Access program, TI-SMES. First launched as a pilot project, the initiative has reached a maturity that allows him to hope for a craze more pronounced over the next few months.

In Quebec, the presence of businesses in the digital world enjoys a strong growth. A survey by the Institut de la statistique du Québec shows that among those who are connected, their presence on the web increased from 65 % to 73 % between 2012 and 2016. On social media, the interest increases even more quickly. During the same period, the companies plugged on these platforms are passed from 30.5% to 50.5 %.

In addition, according to CEFRIO, the proportion of adults who made online purchases during the last month increased from 20 % in 2009 to 39 % in 2017.

There are no statistics as accurate for the region, but local stakeholders believe that the stragglers have to get out there as quickly as possible.

“We want to communicate the program to all companies in the territory,” said Catherine Adam, consultant TI at the SADC Centre-de-la-Mauricie. “Previously, we did a lot of mouth-to-ear. We believe that it is the right time to get the most business possible.”

The City of Shawinigan to support this initiative, by making a contribution of 43 465 $ in 2019, through the development Fund of the territory. The SADC Centre-de-la-Mauricie equal this amount to implement this program.

The mayor of Shawinigan, Michel Angers, cites the example of local business people who may be concerned about the leaks that leads to the online business. Withdraw to his estates, leaving the Amazon’s of this world eat away at the terrain is certainly not the strategy to focus on, according to him.

“Rather than see disaster, some see opportunities,” he noted. The Access program TI-SMES will secure those who are proficient in the least the digital tools at their disposal. The mayor laments in Shawinigan there are still too many businesses who do not even possess a web site.


The program is aimed primarily to assist companies to find the policy that will meet their needs. All sectors can benefit, although the retail door, an ear a little bit more careful for the time being.

“Everyone knows that the web is important, but the leaders do not know where to start,” observes Ms. Adam. “Should they have an online store? Be on social media?”

This assistance is done without charge, an item attractive. The responsible guide simply the contractor, to the best strategy to adopt. It may be the equip for it to take itself support its strategy or entrust a mandate to a specialized firm.

Noah Julian, the owner of the Centre Neofit, agrees that this awareness without charge, attracted his attention.

“When you start a business, the money comes less as it comes out!”, he remarked. “Free has been a caregiver. This is major, because otherwise, we do not dare to knock at the door of specialized companies that could help us, because we would not have the means or the time.”

Art and culture of Bonsai also tastes the benefits of an online presence. Its transactional site allows him to conduct business in the four corners of the planet and the Access program, TI-SME has enabled him to save a precious time.

“We are specialized in the import and distribution of material, coming mainly from Asia, for the practice of the art of bonsai, which is not found in horticultural centres traditional,” explains Louis-Gérard Dallaire, co-owner of the company.

“We are in a niche market and it was essential to reach the customer base in the region, but outside too.”

Mr. Dallaire states that today, his business prominently on the web search engines, online sales increase in Canada and deliveries of products have been conducted in Australia, Switzerland, Poland and the United States. In the last few months, newsletters are sent to subscribers Facebook.

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