Brampton is 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.
While Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton said “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.”
ShopHERE helps local businesses build the digital platform they need to continue to sell their products or services and reach customers in new ways. 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. 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.
Paul Vicente, Regional Councillor, Wards 1&5; Co-Lead, Mayor’s COVID-19 Economic Support Task Force said, “We have been engaging regularly with our business community throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and have heard about the seemingly insurmountable challenges many are facing. They have told us they need support in enhancing their digital presence and we have listened. ShopHERE is an excellent solution to help them enhance their online offerings and evolve to new business models. We’re also very proud that local company eShipper is one of a number of partners who have signed on to support this national initiative.”
Same time Michael Palleschi, Regional Councillor, Wards 2&6; Co-Lead, Mayor’s COVID-19 Economic Support Task Force said, “As we look towards economic recovery, we will be implementing a variety of programs and approaches to boost Brampton’s economy and provide support for our local business community. ShopHERE is one initiative which will help us put the needed supports in place for our businesses to re-think their approaches moving forward.”
Main time David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Brampton “Our staff continue to be committed to building partnerships and implementing innovative new approaches to help serve our residents and business community. ShopHERE is an excellent fit for our organization and our independent businesses and artists.”
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.