ShopHERE powered by Google, started in the City of Toronto, and helps independent businesses and artists build a digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Google Canada announced a one million dollar investment to enable Digital Main Street to expand the program to municipalities across the country.
Local businesses and artists can apply for the program at www.digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere to get their online store built at no-cost.
This program goes beyond main street bricks and mortar locations, it extends to artists, home-based, and rural businesses.
In order to qualify for the program, a business must be independent (not part of a franchise or chain) and have fewer than 10 employees. Cafés, bars and restaurants with fewer than 25 employees are also eligible.
As part of the ShopHERE program, businesses receive their choice of an online store customized with their specific information and branding. They also receive assistance with setting up and launching their online store, and training to support them in areas like digital marketing, shipping and inventory management.
ShopHERE will run alongside the Digital Main Street program, which has been extended to August 31, 2020.