Ontario Helping Small Businesses Create Their Online Presence


The Ontario provincial and Canadian federal governments have partnered together in creating a new fund dedicated to helping small businesses reach more customers online.

This $57-million fund will help up to 22,900 Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs for more than 1,400 students.

This fund will feature three new programs which have been broken down below:

shopHERE powered by Google

To address the importance of establishing an online presence for small businesses, the shopHERE program provides independent small businesses and artists with quick, easy and no-cost tools to get selling online right away.

Businesses will get:

  • Their choice of an online store customized with their information, branding, logo, etc.
  • Hands-on assistance setting up and launching their online store.
  • Training to support their online store, including topics such as digital marketing, shipping, and inventory management.
  • Access to free tools to help support the launch of their online store.

Eligibility requirements:

  • It is a registered business, or a registered non-profit organization.
  • It has a commercial location or is home-based.
  • It has fewer than 10 employees or fewer than 25 employees if a restaurant or bar.
  • It is not a corporate chain or franchise.

Take advantage of this program and sign up for a free online store on the Digital Main Street website.

Digital Main Street (DMS) Ontario Grant

This program provides eligible businesses, municipalities, and local communities with up to $2,500 in grants to help create what the program calls a “Digital Service Squad.” These service squads will have the goal of educating and training coworkers or community members on how to adapt their business online.

Future-Proofing Digital Main Street (DMS)

The Future Proof Main Street program is being delivered in partnership with Communitech and Invest Ottawa to help businesses identify new markets online, pivot their business model, and develop and then implement a deep digital transformation plan.

This program has also not launched at the time of writing, but business owners can sign up to receive updates when the program launches.

COVID-19 Support Programs

With the novel coronavirus taking the world by storm, the Canadian federal and provincial governments have created multiple new funding programs to support Canadian businesses as well as providing funding programs that help businesses do their part to fight or prevent the spread of COVID-19. Mentor Works is creating resources daily to help businesses owners understand the programs available to them.

Learn more about COVID-19 government funding programs by visiting our support page to find webinars, infographics, payroll and income support, and programs to help fight the coronavirus.

Find COVID-19 Funding Support Programs from the Canadian Provincial and Federal Governments

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