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Google to help 50,000 Canadian small businesses get online this year

Google will invest one million dollars to expand Digital Main Street's ShopHERE program nationally

TORONTO, May 28, 2020 /CNW/ - To help Canadian small businesses with their economic recovery, today Google Canada is committing one million dollars to expand Digital Main Street's ShopHERE program nationally with a new pledge to help get 50,000 Canadian small businesses online this year.

Google Canada (CNW Group/Google Canada)

In Canada, small businesses employ 90% of the private sector workforce, but since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, storefronts across the country have been forced to close their doors.  According to the OECD, these closures are likely to hit small and medium-sized businesses hardest. A digital presence brings businesses enormous opportunities for growth, innovation and jobs. However, digital skills and tools can still seem out of reach to many.

Google's one million dollar investment will enable Digital Main Street to expand the program to municipalities across the country, offering more businesses and artists the opportunity to build a digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the opportunities afforded by the digital economy are still limited if people don't have the right skills, Google's investment will also help more small businesses receive the digital skills training needed to participate in the digital economy.

"Since Google began its business in Canada nearly twenty years ago, we've been focused on helping Canadian businesses of all sizes to unlock the prosperity of the internet," says Sabrina Geremia, VP and Country Manager, Google Canada. "We remain optimistic and more determined than ever that technology is the toolkit for a world of opportunities. Our one million dollar investment will go towards expanding the ShopHERE program nationally, so we can help small businesses across Canada navigate the challenges ahead."

The program will begin rolling out in select municipalities next month and businesses will be able to apply for the program at digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere. This program is run in partnership with municipalities; more information on how to bring this to your municipality can also be found on the website.

"Main street businesses are facing unprecedented times due to COVID-19. They need to be able to sell online if they are going to survive and we are proud to expand the ShopHERE powered by Google program to help them achieve this. This program is critical in ensuring main streets can adapt and evolve during this crucial time." - John Kiru, Executive Director, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas

"Since the launch of our ShopHere program, over 1,000 Toronto businesses have signed up to expand their digital presence. We must do everything we can to support our main street small businesses and help them survive this crisis. Thanks to this investment from Google, the ShopHERE program will be available to municipalities across Canada. I encourage communities across the country to sign up and unlock digital opportunities and support for their local businesses."  - John Tory, Mayor of Toronto

About Google Canada
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a global technology leader, Google's innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google Canada has offices in Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa with over 1,500 Canadian Google employees working on teams across Engineering, AI Research, Sales and Marketing.

About Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, MasterCard, Microsoft and Shopify.

About the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a non-profit umbrella organization working with the 83 Business Improvement Areas within the City of Toronto, who in turn represent more than 40,000 business and property owners.

About ShopHERE powered by Google
The ShopHERE program offers businesses and artists the opportunity to build a digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. ShopHERE is supported by a number of community and corporate partners, including Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Shopify, Google, Mastercard, Microsoft, Magnet, and The Schulich School of Business - York University.

SOURCE Google Canada


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