CORNWALL, Ontario –
In communities across Southern Ontario, main streets gather tourists and locals alike to experience and enjoy the offerings of local merchants, restaurants and attractions. To support the recovery and revitalization of main streets across southern Ontario, the Government of Canada has launched the My Main Street initiative, a new $23.25 million investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“Our main streets are part of what makes our cities unique and vibrant,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “Our government is proud to support southern Ontario to help retail and main street businesses regain their footing, bring people back to local shops and restaurants while protecting jobs and creating new opportunities for employment.”
My Main Street brings together the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) and Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) to help support the revitalization of 200 neighbourhoods across southern Ontario.
- EDCO is receiving a non-repayable contribution of $13.25-million to enable the hiring of local Main Street ambassadors to provide advisory services to local businesses and attract a new generation of local entrepreneurs to fill vacant storefronts in these neighborhoods. The investment includes funding of up to $10,000 for eligible businesses to implement their growth plans.
- With a $10-million non-repayable investment, the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) will work with not-for-profit organizations in communities across southern Ontario to help reanimate neighbourhoods, through installations, events and activities that will help to drive foot traffic back to main streets. The funding delivered through CUI will also help communities develop main street recovery action plans, that will create a roadmap for neighbourhoods to recover post-pandemic.
CUI and EDCO will implement specific measures through their programming to support an inclusive main street recovery, through targeted support for racialized neighborhoods and measures to reduce the barriers faced by underrepresented groups.
“The revitalization of Ontario’s main streets needs to focus on creating inclusive local economies that build on local resources and capacities while increasing community participation and ownership,” said Heather Lalonde, CEO, Economic Developers Council of Ontario. “Ensuring main streets generate livelihoods for local residents will protect their long-term resilience and today’s announcement provides the foundation for communities to realize and retain these local economic opportunities.”
These investments will support 3,000 jobs and nearly 5,000 businesses across southern Ontario and further demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to help locally-owned businesses thrive while restoring vitality and commercial foot traffic to local neighborhoods.