City partners on new program to help local businesses start selling online

(Barrie, ON) To help support local small businesses, the City of Barrie is joining Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google program, which helps independent businesses and artists build a digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Having a strong digital presence is critical in these times. The ShopHERE program will provide more of Barrie’s local businesses and artists with the training and expertise to launch and maintain online stores and participate in the digital economy,” said Stephannie Schlichter, Director of Economic and Creative Development.

The program started in the City of Toronto and in May, Google Canada announced a $1 million investment to enable Digital Main Street to expand the program to municipalities across the country, offering more businesses and artists the opportunity to build their own online store.

“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 $1 million investment will go towards expanding the ShopHERE program nationally, so we can help small businesses across Canada navigate the challenges ahead.”

The program is now available to small businesses in Barrie. Local businesses and artists can apply for the program atdigitalmainstreet.ca/shophereto get their online store built at no-cost.

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.

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Media Contact
Emma Sharpe
Communications Advisor
The City of Barrie
(705) 739-4220 ext. 4436
emma.sharpe@barrie.ca