New $15 million Investment for My Main Street in 2024

January 16, 2024
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – Small businesses are a vital part of Canada’s culture and economic prosperity and the Government of Canada is looking to help locally-owned businesses thrive with a $15-million investment in My Main Street.

My Main Street

With this investment, the Canadian Urban Institute will launch two new programs to provide funding and support for businesses and community organizations across southern Ontario. The new programs will support up to 325 businesses on main streets across 100 communities, along with 75 community projects promoting high-impact placemaking activities. These activities will help draw people to main streets and encourage locals and visitors to support an estimated 2,500 community businesses and organizations.

“Communities across southern Ontario offer a variety of exciting experiences and businesses, drawing both local and international visitors to their vibrant main streets. My Main Street will help retail and main street businesses and organizations across southern Ontario bring people back to local shops and restaurants while creating new employment opportunities and growing communities,” said Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

My Main Street will once again include the Community Activator stream, supporting 75 communities’ high-impact placemaking projects that seek to revitalize neighborhoods and reimagine public spaces including main streets, downtown strips and plazas as vibrant and inclusive places that work for everyone.

The investment will include a new program stream entitled the Business Sustainability Program. This stream will provide non-repayable contributions up to $20,000 in direct-to-business funding to support productivity enhancements for up to 325 brick-and-mortar businesses located on main streets across southern Ontario.

The programs will launch on February 15, 2024.

It is expected that the investment into southern Ontario’s main street businesses will support up to 5,750 direct and indirect jobs across southern Ontario. The Canadian Urban Institute has also committed to dedicating at least 25 percent of funding to rural communities and 50 percent of funding to program participants from traditionally underrepresented groups. The continuation of My Main Street will enhance the overall quality of life for residents while also promoting sustainable and inclusive community development.

“A number of local businesses and organizations across Cornwall, Stormont Dundas and Glengarry and Akwesasne have directly benefited from the My Main Street program, and this new funding is certainly welcome,” says Shauna Baggs, Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre. “We encourage business owners to connect with us directly to learn more.”

Quick Facts

  • Since 1990, the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) has been working with city-building professionals to create programs and initiatives, and research and develop policies to promote best practices in urban development. The organization has become a place to learn, share, and collaborate to promote thoughtful urban planning initiatives across the country, including finding ways to make communities more resilient and inclusive.
  • Through My Main Street, CUI will also create and provide Main Street Community Profiles that businesses and organizations in the local community can use to understand the social, economic and demographic makeup of consumers in the region. This will enable small business owners to ensure their business and growth plans are well-informed and tailored to their local community.
  • Since 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $2.5 billion in more than 3,000 projects across southern Ontario, leveraging an additional $3.7 billion in investment in the economy and estimated to create and maintain more than 190,000 jobs.
  • Today’s announcement builds on a 2021 Government of Canada investment, through FedDev Ontario, of $23.25 million to support the recovery and revitalization of main streets across southern Ontario through the launch of the My Main Street initiative. To date, this investment has supported nearly 4,000 businesses and organizations, over 6,000 jobs and leveraged over $16 million in additional investment.

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