Mississauga and Brampton are among the first municipalities in Canada to announce its participation in the recently launched ShopHERE program.
ShopHERE, a program offered by Digital Main Street in collaboration with vendors like Google, Shopify, Mastercard, Microsoft, Facebook, eBay, and eShipper, first launched in the City of Toronto and provides a service to build online storefronts for local independent businesses and artists at no cost to them. Yesterday, Google announced a $1 million commitment to launch the program nationally, and Brampton is one of the first to be involved.
As independent businesses and artists adjust to the impacts of COVID-19 and move their offerings online, some need support in getting started. ShopHERE helps local businesses build the digital platform they need to continue to sell their products or services and reach customers in new ways.
“The vast majority of businesses in our city are small businesses and their survival will be key in our efforts to reignite the economy. COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of e-commerce and having a digital presence, especially for our local independent businesses,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “This program comes at a critical time in our efforts to help our small business community recover from this crisis. We encourage people to buy local and this program will provide consumers with even more options to do so.”
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.
“Our local businesses are the backbone of our community, and they have suffered greatly from the impacts of COVID-19. We have been working hard to support them, including participating in Takeout Wednesdays and recently launching our Support Local Brampton campaign. I’m thrilled to announce the city’s participation in ShopHERE. I encourage our independent businesses and artists to apply and take full advantage of the resources available to them,” said Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.
To participate in the ShopHERE program, businesses must have fewer than 10 employees, or fewer than 25 if the business is a cafe, restaurant, or bar. Businesses that are part of a franchise or chain are not eligible for the program.
On May 13, Brampton Council approved an Economic Recovery Strategy as a framework for the City to move forward with restarting the local economy. ShopHERE is one of a number of immediate initiatives the City will be implementing as part of this strategy, to help support local businesses as they respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
Businesses can apply to participate here: www.digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere.