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Peterborough & the Kawarthas Joins Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE Powered By Google To Support Local Businesses

The program offers local businesses and artists the opportunity to start selling online

[PETERBOROUGH, ON]: To help support local small businesses, this week, ahead of the United Nations Micro-, Small and Medium sized Enterprises Day on June 27th to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development and the global economy, Peterborough & the Kawarthas is joining the ShopHERE powered by Google program. As part of ongoing regional economic recovery efforts, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) spearheaded an effort to bring the program to the region to support small businesses and artists to help them sell online as quickly as possible.

ShopHERE powered by Google, which started in the City of Toronto, helps independent businesses and artists build a digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Google Canada announced a one million dollar 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.

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 and artists receive the digital skills training needed to participate in the digital economy. The program is now available to small businesses in the City and County of Peterborough. Local businesses and artists can apply for the program at www.digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere to get their online store built at no-cost.

“Through our efforts to connect with businesses through this pandemic, we learned many of our small businesses who had not made investments in digital sales and marketing efforts were struggling significantly more than those who had. While a number of local businesses were able to quickly pivot to online sales and service, this is not the case for all businesses in the region, and we, along with our partners are working diligently to support and retain as many businesses as possible. Small business is the backbone of our local economy and I can’t understate the importance of ensuring that our bricks and mortar businesses have an online presence to sell their goods and services as part of their business model,” said Rhonda Keenan, President & CEO of PKED.

“As we reflect on the importance of micro and small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s), the addition of this program will assist us in our efforts to enhance access to finance and support for SME’s across key sectors of our economy. As identified in our Future Ready Strategic Plan, SME’s are an important element in the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #8 – Decent work and economic growth and #9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure,” added Keenan.

“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.”

“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,” saod John Kiru, Executive Director, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas.

About Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) is the lead regional economic development agency for the City and County of Peterborough. 

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 and The Schulich School of Business – York University.

For additional information please contact Keaton Robbins, Corporate Communications Officer, 705.761.3683 or kerobbins@peterboroughed.ca @PtboEcDev