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Wage Subsidies and Measures

Federal Government

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

How it works: The Federal Government is providing $675 million to give financing support to small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports, through Canada's Regional Development Agencies.

This initiative includes two components:

  • $675 million to support regional economies, businesses, organizations and communities in regions all across Canada;
  • $287 million to support the national network of Community Futures Development Corporations, which will specifically target small businesses and rural communities across the country.
See Details

Applicability: The Fund will help to mitigate the financial pressure experienced by businesses and organizations to allow them to continue their operations, including paying their employees; and support projects by businesses, organizations and communities to prepare now for a successful recovery.

Department: Through the six regional economic development agencies:

-        Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

-        Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

-        Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

-        Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

-        Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor)

-        Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)

Effective date: Applications to become available in the coming days.

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Business in the Territories (Northern Business Relief Fund)

How it works: Provides short term support, in the form of a non-repayable grant, for ongoing operational costs to small- and medium-sized territorial businesses impacted by economic disruptions due to COVID-19. The NBRF complements the suite of relief measures implemented by the Government of Canada to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Canadian economy.

See Details

Applicability: The Fund will provide eligible territorial SMEs with short-term relief for operational costs in the form of a non-repayable grant ranging from $2,500 to a maximum of $100,000. The funding will cover a maximum period of 4 months, retroactive to April 1, 2020. This support will assist businesses with operating costs not already covered by other Government of Canada measures.

Those eligible are Small and medium-sized territorial businesses operating in one or more of the territories, and which are currently, and expect to continue, operating at a loss as a direct result of economic disruptions associated with COVID-19. Note: Businesses with fewer than 20 employees will be prioritized.

Department: Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Funding: The Government is making available $15 million in non-repayable support for businesses in the territories to help address the impacts of COVID-19.

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Young Entrepreneurs

How it works:  The Government is providing $20.1 million in support for Futurpreneur Canada to continue supporting young entrepreneurs across Canada who are facing challenges due to COVID-19. Futurpreneur, with funding from the Government of Canada, will cover payments for six months on loans disbursed prior to April 1, 2020 and will also offer eligible existing clients top-up loans of up to $10,000.

See Details

Applicability: The new support package will cover loan payments for six months for each of its more than 3,200 Start-up Program clients whose Futurpreneur loan was disbursed prior to April 1, 2020. This loan payment coverage is effective March 25 through to September 24, 2020, and comes at a crucial time for thousands of young entrepreneurs across Canada whose small businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.

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Assisting Innovative and Early-Stage Business (IRAP IAP)

How it works: Available for companies non-eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The Federal Government is investing $250 million to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access other COVID-19 business supports through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

See Details

Applicability: It offers a wage subsidy for up to 12 weeks to employers. Salaries are the only eligible cost. No other costs will be covered under the IAP. Canadian small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) pursuing technology driven innovation who are not eligible for funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy are eligible and can apply for financial assistance under IRAP IAP.

Your company must meet the following to be eligible:

  • Be ineligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
  • Be an incorporated, profit-oriented SME in Canada
  • Be a company with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees
  • Plan to pursue growth and profit by developing and commercializing innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, services or processes in Canada
  • Lack sufficient financial resources to sustain operations from April 1, 2020 to June 23, 2020 inclusive
  • Have a Canada Revenue Agency business number
  • Be incorporated by no later than March 1, 2020

Department: National Research Council

Effective Date: Applications were open from April 22 to April 29th. Companies awarded the support are set to receive a notification on May 11th, 2020.

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Rural Businesses and Communities

How it works: The Federal Government will be providing $287 million to support rural businesses and communities by providing them with much-needed access to capital through the Community Futures Network.

See Details

Applicability: Will specifically target small businesses and rural communities across the country.

Department: Through the six regional economic development agencies:

-        Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

-        Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

-        Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

-        Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

-        Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor)

-        Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)

Funding available: Up to $287 million.

Effective Date: Applications expected to launch in coming weeks.

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Indigenous Small & Medium Business Supports Through Aboriginal Financial Institutions

How it works: Government announced up to $306.8 million in funding to help small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses, and to support Aboriginal Financial Institutions that offer financing to these businesses.

The funding will allow for short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions through Aboriginal Financial Institutions, which offer financing and business support services to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.

See Details

Department: Indigenous Services Canada in partnerships with Aboriginal Financial Institutions who will disburse fund, and the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and the Metis capital corporations who will administer the funds.

Applicability: Measures will help 6,000 Indigenous-owned businesses. The Federal government and NACCA are working to finalize details in the package.  Expected to be available in the coming weeks. Aboriginal financial institutions will be reaching out to clients when the package becomes available.

Funding: Up to $306.8 million.

Effective date: available in coming weeks.

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Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Business

How it works: Provides much needed relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners so that they can reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants by at least 75% for the months of April, May and June, 2020.

To qualify for CECRA for small businesses, the property owner must meet the following requirements:

  • You own property that generates rental revenue from commercial real property located in Canada.
  • You are the property owner of the commercial real property where the impacted small business tenants are located.
  • You have a mortgage loan secured by the commercial real property, occupied by one or more small business tenants.*
  • You have entered or will enter into a rent reduction agreement for the period of April, May, and June 2020, that will reduce impacted small business tenant’s rent by at least 75%.
  • Your rent reduction agreement with impacted tenants includes a moratorium on eviction for the period of April, May and June 2020.
  • You have declared rental income on your tax return (personal or corporate) for tax years 2018 and/or 2019.

* For those property owners who do not have a mortgage, an alternative mechanism will be implemented. Further information will be outlined in the near future.

See Details

Department: Finance/Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Effective Date: Estimated to Mid May.  The program offers assistance for the months of April, May and June 2020.  It can be applied retroactively. Property owners may still apply for assistance once the 3-month period has ended if they can prove eligibility during those months. Property owners must refund amounts paid by the small business tenant for the period.* The deadline to apply is August 31, 2020.

*If rent has been collected at the time of approval, a credit to the tenant for a future month’s rent (i.e. July for April) is acceptable if agreed upon by both the property owner and the tenant. This can be a flexible 3-month period.

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Common Principles, Criteria and Measures for Restarting the Canadian Economy

How it works: A set of common principles, criteria and measures for restarting the Canadian economy has been agreed to by the federal, provincial, territorial governments. The four main principles include:

·       Taking a science and evidence-based approach to decision-making.

·       Coordination and collaboration between all jurisdictions.

·       Continued accountability and transparency of all governments.

·       Flexibility and proportionality based on information that may change over time.

While each province and territory will take different steps at different times to restart their economies, they will be based on the common principles and the specific circumstances of their jurisdiction.

The criteria and measures include:

·       COVID-19 transmission is controlled.

·       Public health capacity is sufficient to test, trace, isolate and control the spread of the virus.

·       Health care capacity is expanded and exists to support COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.

·       Supports and protections are in place for high-risk vulnerable groups, communities and key populations including seniors, residents of group living facilities, homeless people and Indigenous people.

·       Workplace protocols are in place to support and monitor Canadians at their jobs to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19.

·       Non-essential travel restrictions are eased and managed in a coordinated manner.

·       Support for child care, schools, and public transportation in communities, and industry and economic sectors are engaged to reduce viral activity and protect the economy as it restarts.

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Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

How it works: The subsidy will cover 75% of an employee’s salary on the first $58,700 earned, up to a maximum of $847 per week. Employers are expected to make their best effort to contribute the additional 25% of wages and bring employees' salaries to the pre-crisis levels.

Employers who are eligible for CEWS are also entitled to a refund for certain employer-paid contributions including Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan, the Quebec Pension Plan, and the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan paid in respect of employees who are on leave with pay.

For employers that are eligible for both the CEWS and the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for a period, any benefit from the Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid in a specific period generally reduces the amount available to be claimed under the CEWS in that same period.

For employers and employees that are participating in a Work-Sharing program, EI benefits received by employees through the Work-Sharing program reduce the benefit that their employer is entitled to receive under the CEWS.

See Details

Department: Canada Revenue Agency

Applicability: The subsidy is open to employers who have suffered a drop in revenue of at least 15% in March, and 30% in April and May. Eligible employers will include employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy, with the exception of public institutions. It includes all individuals (including trusts), taxable corporations, non-profit organizations and registered charities.

Revenue is calculated using the employer's normal accounting method (accrual method or cash method but not a combination of both). Employers select an accounting method when first applying for the CEWS and are required to use that method for the entire duration of the program. Revenue you earned in the period is compared to revenue you earned in the reference period, the corresponding month in 2019, or the average of the revenue you earned in January and February, 2020. The same method of comparison needs to be used for all periods.

In order to provide certainty to employers, once an employer is found eligible for a specific period, the employer automatically qualifies for the next period.

Funding Available: There is no limit on the subsidy amount that an eligible employer may claim. The measure will have an estimated cost of $71 billion.

Effective Date & Length: Program opened April 27, 2020, with payments expected May 7. Program is retroactive from March 15 to June 6 (12 weeks)

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Extending Work Sharing Program

How it works: Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. (See Overview)

The federal government has made the program available to businesses affected by COVID. Through the following measures:

●      Not limited to one specific sector or industry.

●      Extension of the maximum possible duration of an agreement from 38 weeks to 76 weeks

●      Mandatory cooling off period has been waived for employers who have already used the Work-Sharing program so that eligible employers may immediately enter into a new agreement

●      Reduce the requirement and expand eligibility to employers affected by accepting business who have been in business for only 1 year rather than 2, and eliminate the burden of having to provide sales/production figures at the same time

See Details

Department: Employment & Social Development Canada –via Service Canada

Applicability: Available to Private businesses, publicly held companies, or not-for-profit organizations that have been in business in Canada year-round for at least one year. Eligible employers are those that:

●      Have been involved in a year-round business (private business, a public company, and not-for-profit organization) in Canada for at least two years.

●      Are experiencing at least a 10% recent decline in sales or production levels in the last six months.

●      Can demonstrate that:

-        The recent decline is directly or indirectly related to impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and

-        The work shortage is temporary and beyond the employer’s control.

-        The decline cannot be due to a recurring slow-down.

Funding Available: Not specified.  During the 2008-2009 recession, participation and program expenditures went from a low of just over 10,000 claims and $11 million to a high of about 139,000 claims and $235 million. (See)

Effective Date & Length: Will be available as of April 1 and will cover the period from March 15, 2020, to March 14, 2021.

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Temporary 10% Wage Subsidy

How it works: A three-month measure that will allow eligible employers to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

You calculate the subsidy manually. Once you have calculated your subsidy, you can reduce your current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.

You can start reducing remittances of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax in the first remittance period that includes remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 19, 2020.

See Details

Department: Canada Revenue Agency

Applicability: The following are eligible employers:

·       An individual (excluding trusts), partnership, non-profit organization, registered charity, or a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC);

·       have an existing business number and payroll program account with the CRA on March 18, 2020; and

·       pay salary, wages, bonuses, or other remuneration to an employee.

Individuals employed in Canada are considered eligible employees.

Note: Partnerships are only eligible for the subsidy if their members consist exclusively of individuals (excluding trusts), registered charities, or Canadian-controlled private corporations eligible for the small business deduction. CCPCs are only eligible for the subsidy if they have a business limit for their taxation year that ended before March 18,2020, greater than nil.

Funding Available: The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration you pay between March 18, 2020, and June 19, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee and to a maximum of $25,000 total per employer.

Effective Date & Length: March 18, 2020 to June 19, 2020 (3 months)

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Ontario Government

Ontario Government Framework for Re-Opening the Economy

How it works: “A Framework for Reopening our Province” is a roadmap for re-opening the Ontario economy. It lays out the plans for the next two phases of Ontario’s fight against COVID-19: Phase 2 “Restart” and Phase 3 “Recover”. It explains that all decisions related to the gradual re-opening will be based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts.

See Details

Phase 2 – Re-opening will take place in 3 stages:

·       Stage 1: Opening select workplaces that can immediately meet public health guidance and occupational health and safety requirements through regular or modified operations. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for gatherings of more than 5 people for specific events, like funerals. Hospitals to begin offering some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries and other health care services.

·       Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, base on risk assessments, including some service industries and office and retail workplaces. Continued opening of public spaces and allowing more gatherings of (somewhat) larger crowds.

·       Stage 3: Opening the remainder of workplaces responsibly. Further relaxing restrictions on public gatherings. However, concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future.

No date has been set yet for the implementation of Stage 1. Each stage will be in place for at least 2-4 weeks and will be monitored against establish criteria. The Framework does not specifically identify any businesses that will be able to re-open in any of the stages.  

The full Framework can be viewed here.

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Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA)

How it works: The program shares the cost on rent between small business tenants, landlords with the provincial and federal governments. The program provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing rental shortfalls due to the impacts of COVID-19 on small business tenants. The property owner is eligible for the loan if they agree to reduce the rental costs for their small business tenants for April to June 2020 by at least 75 per cent, signing a rent forgiveness agreement and commit to a moratorium on evictions for three months. As a result, the tenant pays 25 per cent of the rent, the landlord forgoes 25 per cent of the rent and the government covers the remaining 50 per cent of the rent (37.5 per cent by the federal government and 12.5 per cent by the provincial government). The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will administer and deliver the program. The program is also open to property owners who do not have a mortgage secured by a commercial rental property. These property owners should contact CMHC to discuss program options, which may include applying funds against other forms of debt facilities or fixed cost payment obligations (e.g. utilities).

See Details

Applicability: Applies to commercial properties with small business tenants. Also applies to commercial properties with a residential component, and commercial tenants within residential mixed-use properties with a 30 per cent commercial component.

Eligible small businesses tenants must be:

  • A tenant that pays monthly rent not exceeding $50,000 in gross rent payments.
  • A non-essential small business who is experiencing a 70 per cent drop in pre-COVID-19 revenues (determined by comparing revenues in April, May or June to the same month in 2019 or compared to average revenues for January and February 2020) or has temporarily closed.

Not-for-profit organizations and charitable entities are also eligible.

Funding Available: The Ontario government is committing $241 million, with more than $900 million available in provincial-federal relief.

Effective Date & Length: Applies retroactively to April 1 for April, May and June rent. Program should be available mid-May.

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Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses

How it works: The Ontario government issued an update emergency order, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) to temporarily close all places of non-essential business to protect the health and safety of Ontarians. This list reduces the number of businesses classified as essential and orders more businesses to close than the list provided on March 23. These non-essential businesses are still allowed to continue to operate, but must provide services remotely, either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery.

See Details

Applicability: The government provided a reduced List of Essential Workplaces. Questions about what can be open, businesses considered essential and employment can be addressed by the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659. The government has also created a form that businesses can complete if they feel their business category should be added to the list.

Effective Dates: The updated order will be in effect from April 4, 2020 11:59 pm for 14 days with the possibility of extension depending on how the situation evolves.

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Protecting Consumers from Price Gouging

How it works: The Ontario government issued an emergency order, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) that retail businesses and individuals in Ontario cannot charge unfair prices for necessary goods. Offenders will face penalties.

Consumers are being asked to report an individual who is price gouging by filing a complaint at 1-800-889-9768 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, or by filling out a form online.

See Details

Applicability:

Necessary goods include:

·       Masks and gloves used as personal protective equipment.

·       Non-prescription medications for the treatment of the symptoms of the coronavirus.

·       Personal hygiene products, including soap products and paper products.

·       Disinfecting agents intended for cleaning and disinfecting objects or humans.

Penalties:

·       Individual offenders can face a ticket of $750, or, if summoned to court and convicted, could face a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine and one year in jail.

·       A convicted company director or officer could face a fine of up to $500,000 and up to a year in jail.

·       A corporation could face a fine of up to $10 million.

Effective Dates: The order will be in effect from March 17, 2020 when a provincial state of emergency was declared and for the duration.

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Municipal Emergency Act, 2020

How it works: The legislation allows the delivery of goods to Ontario's businesses and consumers 24/7 and will not be impeded by noise by-laws that may impede such deliveries.

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Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020

How it works: The legislation provides job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives. The legislation will also make it clear employees cannot be required to show sick notes.

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Effective Dates: Measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020, the date the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario.

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Municipal Governments

State of Emergency Declared
Toronto
BusinessTO Support Centre

How it works: Mayor John Tory announced the launch of the BusinessTO Support Centre as part of the Mayor's Economic Support and Recovery Task Force's short-term action plan. This new resource provides businesses of all kinds with one-on-one guidance, over the phone or through virtual meetings, on how to access the various government support programs available to companies operating in Toronto, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program, Canada’s Work-Sharing Program, and Canada’s Emergency Business Account Program. Not-for-profits, cultural organizations and consultancies can also access the BusinessTO Support Centre for assistance.

Key Contact Information:
See Details

Process-wise: To access the BusinessTO Support Centre or connect with a Business Advisor, visit the City’s website here.

In addition to these new one-on-one supports, the City of Toronto is also running a series of webinars for businesses with subjects ranging from government supports to managing finances and resources throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Three upcoming webinars are available through the same website and are scheduled on the following dates:

  • Monday, April 27 at 10:00 A.M. - How to Manage Your Financials and Cash Flow During this COVID-19 Crisis – Register here
  • Wednesday, April 29 at 10:00 A.M. - How to Market Your Business Through the COVID-19 Crisis – Register here
  • Friday, May 1 at 10:00 A.M. - How to be Productive Working from Home & Plan during COVID-19 Crisis – Register here

Funding: Unspecified. As required.

Effective Date & Length: Ongoing.

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State of Emergency Declared
Toronto
CurbTO Program

How it works: CurbTO is a program being run by Transportation Services, who have been working in collaboration with Public Health, that encourages physical distancing for pedestrians passing each other on narrow sidewalks through the creation of Curb Lane Pedestrian Zones and providing 10-minute Temporary Parking Pick-up Zones for easier pick-up and delivery at essential service locations. The program is being launched at 10 sites today will be expanded to more than 100 sites over the coming days and weeks complete with signage.

Key Contact Information:
See Details

Process-wise: CurbTO sites are being determined on criteria set by Public Health and principally address sidewalk crowding and access issues at essential service locations that are seeing lineups, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and food locations. As the program expands, businesses providing essential services looking for a Curb Lane Pedestrian Zone or 10-minute Temporary Parking Zone outside their own location can apply to the City for a CurbTO initiative near their business online here or via an email to curbTO@toronto.ca. At this time, the program will not include full road closures and the Chief Medical Officer of Health is continuing to emphasize that the public should continue to stay at home as much as possible.

For businesses located in Toronto Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), BIA offices are being sent correspondence from City staff asking them to act on behalf of all their active businesses and to coordinate with staff on where new CurbTO locations should be sited. A public-facing map is under development for all CurbTO installations and will be shared with the public once ready, but the first 10 spots will be implemented at the following locations:

  1. Carlton Street and Church Street – Pedestrian zone
  2. Danforth Avenue and Broadview Avenue – Pedestrian & Parking zones
  3. Dupont Street and Lansdowne Avenue – Pedestrian zone
  4. Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue – Parking Zone
  5. Front Street East and Berkeley Street – Pedestrian & Parking zones
  6. Gerrard Street East and Parliament Street – Pedestrian zone
  7. Gerrard Street East and Broadview Avenue – Pedestrian & Parking zones
  8. King Street West and Spadina Avenue – Parking zone
  9. Bloor Street West and Bathurst Street – Pedestrian & Parking zones
  10. Queen Street East and Carlaw Avenue – Pedestrian zone

Funding: Unspecified. As required.

Effective Date & Length: Ongoing.

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State of Emergency Declared
Toronto
ShopHERE Program

How it works: Intended to support businesses and artists through the COVID-19 pandemic, the ShopHere program is being run by Digital Main Street now through the end of August and intends to develop 3,000 online stores. The new program was developed as part of the Mayor's Economic Support and Recovery Task Force's short-term economic support and recovery plan for Toronto's businesses and targets small, independent ‘main street’ businesses and local arts makers without a digital presence.

Process-wise: Supports provided by ShopHERE include a template to develop an online store on Shopify, customized branding, hands-on assistance with their website’s development and launch, training for digital marketing and logistics, and free tools and advertising credits. This will be of particular value to small and independent businesses who may have had trouble adapting ecommerce tools and for landlords looking for resources for lessees who may need concrete assistance with developing their web presence.

Key Contact Information:
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Applicability: It is estimated that just over 49,500 businesses are eligible for the ShopHere program, including 7,371 restaurants, bars and cafes. Community and corporate partners supporting the program include the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), Shopify, Google, Mastercard, Microsoft, and others. Corporate volunteers from Toronto’s technology community contributing their time include Global Skills Hub, Scotiabank, General Assembly, Brain Station, Juno, FreshBooks, NEXT Canada, TechTO and TribalScale.

Funding: Unspecified. As required.

Effective Date & Length: Ongoing.

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Our team would be happy to help you assess whether or not your qualify for this initiative.
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Let us help you
Our team would be happy to help you assess whether or not your business organization qualifies for this initiative.
Click here to get in touch with us.