Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our website for a list of all eligible municipalities, including a map.

We encourage main streets to apply for both the Community Activator (placemaking) and the Local Business Accelerator.

Main Streets can be defined expansively as clusters of independent businesses that are or have the potential to be hubs of commercial, social, and cultural activity in a neighbourhood. Your funding will be for a defined geographic area, for example, a commercial main street or central business district. Funding cannot be used to support programming across municipal jurisdictions.

The funding for Ambassadors will be paid in a number of installments and will be contingent on the provision of invoices and proof of payment for eligible expenses. The non-repayable contributions to local businesses will also be paid in installments and will require invoices and proof of payment.

Selection for Digital Main Street is not related to selection for My Main Street and does not affect the likelihood of approval.

Each would be eligible to apply. We strongly recommend that the municipality, BIAs, and other relevant local organizations consult with each other before applying. In cases where the applicant is not the municipality, a letter of support from the municipality is needed.

It is possible for a single municipality to apply for multiple Main Street Ambassadors, depending on population size.

Table

Yes. Funding applications submitted by BIAs or other organizations will require a letter of support from the municipality where the program will be delivered.

Applicants for the Local Business Accelerator whose funding requests have been denied will be able to resubmit their applications after addressing feedback from My Main Street.

Municipal, BIA or community-based not-for-profits applying for Main Street Ambassador Non-Repayable Contribution(s) will need to indicate additional funding and resources they plan to commit to the project with a minimum of 25% towards the project costs. Funding can take the form of in-kind or cash contributions.

Each Main Street Ambassador can provide service to approximately 100 to 200 businesses.

My Main Street Ambassador cannot be separated from the Local Business Accelerator program.

All applicants will receive notice of whether or not their application has been approved or denied. If an application is denied, applicants will be able to resubmit their applications after addressing feedback from My Main Street.

Yes, the job description is currently on the My Main Street Site here, and other recruitment resources will be posted on the My Main Street site soon.

The My Main Street Ambassador is a 12-month, full-time position. The Main Street Ambassador should ideally have deep local knowledge with significant entrepreneurship experience who will connect the municipality, the community, and Main Street businesses with the wraparound supports and resources offered by My Main Street. The Main Street Ambassador unlocks all other resources, including the market research and the ten $10K non-repayable contributions.

Please view in the application guide here.

The Main Street Ambassador works with the entire designated Main Street neighbourhood, not just the 10 businesses that receive non-repayable contributions.

The Main Street Ambassador is a dedicated full-time position. All Main Street Ambassadors will ideally have a background in economic development or business and will be able to provide insight and advice to entrepreneurs. They will be expected to understand the available business support programs that are available and have lived experience that will help them guide and assist entrepreneurs in their business needs.

My Main Street will provide resources to applicants to assist with recruiting Main Street Ambassadors. Once recruited, all Main Street Ambassadors will have access to the Main Street Ambassadors Network for professional guidance, resources, peer- to-peer sharing of best practises and success stories, and regular Mastermind meetings.

My Main Street will fund $50,000 for this 12-month, full time position. Many applicants will choose to top up that salary with their own contribution. We expect the annual salary will vary from municipality to municipality.

The Main Street Ambassador is employed by the applicant. Part of the application process is to determine who will be the supervisor of the Main Street Ambassador.

My Main Street will fund $50,000 for this 12-month, full time position. Many applicants will choose to top up that salary with their own contribution. We expect the annual salary will vary from municipality to municipality.

In general, each Main Street Ambassador should be dedicated to one Main Street neighbourhood. The purpose of the program is to concentrate resources in specific neighbourhoods to achieve maximum impact. However, there are a number of considerations that vary from municipality to municipality, including the number of businesses in each neighbourhood, the proximity of the neighbourhoods, and the nature of the municipality (urban or rural). Please contact us to discuss your particular application.

For each selected Main Street neighbourhood, we will conduct primary and secondary research with Environics Analytics and others to provide a comprehensive profile, highlighting gaps and potential. This research is based on standardized templates. For each local business that receives a $10,000 non-repayable contribution, market research and data analysis will be conducted to identify market opportunities.

My Main Street is partnering with Environics Analytics and other leading market research firms to provide both primary and secondary research and data analysis to guide My Main Street neighbourhoods and businesses. Each selected My Main Street neighbourhood will work with its Main Street Ambassador to provide input required to complete the research.

The dedicated Main Street Ambassador will identify potential entrepreneurs and businesses based on the community market research which identifies gaps and potential in the Main Street neighbourhood.

There is no charge to the business. My Main Street is working with a specific vendor to carry out the research which will be customized to the business. To be eligible for a Business Community Non-Repayable Contribution, a business will need to complete a Market Research Report provided by My Main Street. The purpose of the Market Research Report is to help guide the business’s investment of the contribution funds.

My Main Street is developing a template with Environics Analytics which will provide a comprehensive picture of the local business and its potential for expansion and growth, to inform the investment of the non-repayable contribution.

A key part of the Ambassador program is the awarding of ten $10,000 non- repayable contributions in their targeted area. Only Main Street Ambassador neighbourhoods are eligible to access the 10 non repayable contributions. The goal will be to deliver five non-repayable contributions for new businesses and five for existing businesses; if the target for new businesses cannot be reached, any remaining contributions may be allocated to existing businesses. There is a detailed and transparent governance, selection and approval process. The businesses will work directly with their Main Street Ambassador to apply. Main Street Business Community Non-Repayable Contribution Applications will be reviewed within two weeks of submission by two representatives who must score and agree collectively to approve the non-repayable contribution. The reviewers will include:

  • My Main Street – Business Development Manager

  • My Main Street – Main Street Ambassador (from the main street community)

    More detailed information will be provided to Main Street Ambassadors.

The $10,000 non-repayable contributions for 10 local businesses per Main Street Ambassador are fully funded and do not require matching.

Applicants for the Local Business Accelerator whose funding requests have been denied will be able to resubmit their applications after addressing feedback from My Main Street.

Yes. Funding applications submitted by BIAs or other organizations will require a letter of support from the municipality where the program will be delivered.

It is possible for a single municipality to apply for multiple Main Street Ambassadors, depending on population size.

Table

All applicants will receive notice of whether or not their application has been approved or denied. If an application is denied, applicants will be able to resubmit their applications after addressing feedback from My Main Street.

My Main Street Ambassador cannot be separated from the Local Business Accelerator program.

Each Main Street Ambassador can provide service to approximately 100 to 200 businesses.

Municipal, BIA or community-based not-for-profits applying for Main Street Ambassador Non-Repayable Contribution(s) will need to indicate additional funding and resources they plan to commit to the project with a minimum of 25% towards the project costs. Funding can take the form of in-kind or cash contributions.

Please view in the application guide here.

The My Main Street Ambassador is a 12-month, full-time position. The Main Street Ambassador should ideally have deep local knowledge with significant entrepreneurship experience who will connect the municipality, the community, and Main Street businesses with the wraparound supports and resources offered by My Main Street. The Main Street Ambassador unlocks all other resources, including the market research and the ten $10K non-repayable contributions.

Yes, the job description is currently on the My Main Street Site here, and other recruitment resources will be posted on the My Main Street site soon.

My Main Street will provide resources to applicants to assist with recruiting Main Street Ambassadors. Once recruited, all Main Street Ambassadors will have access to the Main Street Ambassadors Network for professional guidance, resources, peer- to-peer sharing of best practises and success stories, and regular Mastermind meetings.

The Main Street Ambassador is a dedicated full-time position. All Main Street Ambassadors will ideally have a background in economic development or business and will be able to provide insight and advice to entrepreneurs. They will be expected to understand the available business support programs that are available and have lived experience that will help them guide and assist entrepreneurs in their business needs.

The Main Street Ambassador works with the entire designated Main Street neighbourhood, not just the 10 businesses that receive non-repayable contributions.

My Main Street will fund $50,000 for this 12-month, full time position. Many applicants will choose to top up that salary with their own contribution. We expect the annual salary will vary from municipality to municipality.

The Main Street Ambassador is employed by the applicant. Part of the application process is to determine who will be the supervisor of the Main Street Ambassador.

My Main Street will fund $50,000 for this 12-month, full time position. Many applicants will choose to top up that salary with their own contribution. We expect the annual salary will vary from municipality to municipality.

In general, each Main Street Ambassador should be dedicated to one Main Street neighbourhood. The purpose of the program is to concentrate resources in specific neighbourhoods to achieve maximum impact. However, there are a number of considerations that vary from municipality to municipality, including the number of businesses in each neighbourhood, the proximity of the neighbourhoods, and the nature of the municipality (urban or rural). Please contact us to discuss your particular application.

The dedicated Main Street Ambassador will identify potential entrepreneurs and businesses based on the community market research which identifies gaps and potential in the Main Street neighbourhood.

My Main Street is partnering with Environics Analytics and other leading market research firms to provide both primary and secondary research and data analysis to guide My Main Street neighbourhoods and businesses. Each selected My Main Street neighbourhood will work with its Main Street Ambassador to provide input required to complete the research.

For each selected Main Street neighbourhood, we will conduct primary and secondary research with Environics Analytics and others to provide a comprehensive profile, highlighting gaps and potential. This research is based on standardized templates. For each local business that receives a $10,000 non-repayable contribution, market research and data analysis will be conducted to identify market opportunities.

My Main Street is developing a template with Environics Analytics which will provide a comprehensive picture of the local business and its potential for expansion and growth, to inform the investment of the non-repayable contribution.

A key part of the Ambassador program is the awarding of ten $10,000 non- repayable contributions in their targeted area. Only Main Street Ambassador neighbourhoods are eligible to access the 10 non repayable contributions. The goal will be to deliver five non-repayable contributions for new businesses and five for existing businesses; if the target for new businesses cannot be reached, any remaining contributions may be allocated to existing businesses. There is a detailed and transparent governance, selection and approval process. The businesses will work directly with their Main Street Ambassador to apply. Main Street Business Community Non-Repayable Contribution Applications will be reviewed within two weeks of submission by two representatives who must score and agree collectively to approve the non-repayable contribution. The reviewers will include:

  • My Main Street – Business Development Manager

  • My Main Street – Main Street Ambassador (from the main street community)

    More detailed information will be provided to Main Street Ambassadors.

There is no charge to the business. My Main Street is working with a specific vendor to carry out the research which will be customized to the business. To be eligible for a Business Community Non-Repayable Contribution, a business will need to complete a Market Research Report provided by My Main Street. The purpose of the Market Research Report is to help guide the business’s investment of the contribution funds.

The $10,000 non-repayable contributions for 10 local businesses per Main Street Ambassador are fully funded and do not require matching.

We will be developing resources to support applicants, recipients and community organizations with their placemaking work over the course of the My Main Street program. However, we will not be providing a template for a placemaking strategy for applicants. We encourage applicants that wish to develop a placemaking strategy to use relevant local methodologies and expertise.

You must select a primary placemaking category for your application (event/activation, community improvement, policy/capacity building) though we welcome applications that have benefits and activities across the three categories.

Yes, applicants are invited to submit more than one application. Each application will be assessed on its own merit according to our assessment criteria and scoring matrix, which are available in the Applicant Guide. Please note, however, that the program will aim to distribute available non-repayable contributions across southern Ontario.

We will aim to fund projects in their entirety though there may be circumstances where partial funding is awarded on a case-by-case basis by our independent assessment committees.

The Community Index is being developed to validate and benchmark applicant projects and to help guide our assessment of different regional applications against one another. Using aggregate data, it looks at the impact of the pandemic related to on the ground retail spend and mobility patterns, and at demographic representation. The Index will contribute to but not be determinative of award decisions. For more information on the Community Index, please see the Applicant Guide.

All applications for Round 1 of the Community Accelerator will be reviewed and assessed by independent assessment committees in November 2021, after the application deadline has passed.

Yes, events taking place after December 31, 2021 are eligible for the first intake, but only expenses incurred during the eligibility period (June 8, 2021 - December 31, 2021) will be eligible for reimbursment.

Projects can start or end outside the eligible program period (June 8, 2021 - December 31, 2021). However, only expenses incurred during this period will be eligible for reimbursement.
Yes, you can apply for bringing back an annual event that was postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 and which meets our eligibility criteria.
New projects will not be judged more favourably than completed projects. We encourage applications for any projects that are planned, underway or complete.
We encourage collaboration on placemaking projects. Scoring will reward projects that have the capacity and appropriate partners to deliver the proposed project.

No, projects in the city of Toronto is not eligible. Find out more about Toronto’s main street recovery programs.

Community-led organizations or community groups not listed as eligible may indirectly apply to the Community Activator program by entering into an intermediary relationship or by finding a collaborator on the project who is an eligible organization. The eligible applicant must submit the application. If the application receives funding, the eligible organization enters into the funding agreement with CUI. Eligible organizations include:
– Municipality, local or regional government;
– Business improvement areas (BIAs);
– Indigenous governing body or development corporation;
– Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit;
Should you apply with multiple partners, please provide details of each partner's roles in your application. We encourage collaboration on placemaking projects. Scoring will reward projects that have the capacity and appropriate partners to deliver the project.

Funding awarded through the Community Activator program does not require matching contributions. The program reimburses up to 100% of eligible program costs incurred during the eligibility period (June 8, 2021 - December 31, 2021).
Labour and consultant costs are eligible expenses as long as all costs are directly associated with the delivery of the placemaking project.
No. It is important to note that any rent expenses included in the project budget should be a direct cost associated specifically with the project. Indirect and overhead costs unrelated to the funded project are ineligible.

All above ground supplies related to temporary placemaking activites are eligible. Renovations to existing buildings and ndirect and overhead costs unrelated to the proposed project are ineligible. Kitchen supplies could be eligible if they are directly related to the proposed placemaking project. Please refer to the Eligibity and Criteria section of the Community Activator Applicant Guide and ensure that your project identifies how it will contribute to sustainable economic and social vibrancy, and support the inclusion, safety and prosperity of equity seeking groups.

All above ground costs associated with placemaking activations are eligible expenses. Barricades, seating, and tables for a temporary patio are considered eligible.

Activator projects should focus on a defined geographic areas. Applications that propose to undertake programs in multiple defined geographic areas (e.g., on multiple main streets) are also eligible.

The Community Improvements category of the Activator program will fund above grade enhancements to a streetscape, design, landscaping and amenities that support the transformation of a specific geographic area by enhancing the physical and visual assets that can set the area apart. To discuss the details of your specific application with us, please reach out to [email protected]

It would qualify if the project was submitted by en eligible organization, and meets the program's eligibility criteria, including having a specific and measurable goal for community placemaking that supports connections between people and places, drives economic activity and supports the inclusion, safety and prosperity of equity-seeking groups. Projects must be in the public interest by operating in publicly accessible space, open for anyone from the public to attend, and for public benefit.

The Community Improvements category of the Activator program will fund above grade enhancements to a streetscape, design, landscaping and amenities that support the transformation of a specific geographic area by enhancing the physical and visual assets that can set the area apart. To discuss the details of your specific application with us, please reach out to [email protected]

Activator projects should focus on a defined geographic areas. Applications that propose to undertake programs in multiple defined geographic areas (e.g., on multiple main streets) are also eligible.

It would qualify if the project was submitted by en eligible organization, and meets the program's eligibility criteria, including having a specific and measurable goal for community placemaking that supports connections between people and places, drives economic activity and supports the inclusion, safety and prosperity of equity-seeking groups. Projects must be in the public interest by operating in publicly accessible space, open for anyone from the public to attend, and for public benefit.

Funding awarded through the Community Activator program does not require matching contributions. The program reimburses up to 100% of eligible program costs incurred during the eligibility period (June 8, 2021 - December 31, 2021).
All above ground costs associated with placemaking activations are eligible expenses. Barricades, seating, and tables for a temporary patio are considered eligible.

All above ground supplies related to temporary placemaking activites are eligible. Renovations to existing buildings and ndirect and overhead costs unrelated to the proposed project are ineligible. Kitchen supplies could be eligible if they are directly related to the proposed placemaking project. Please refer to the Eligibity and Criteria section of the Community Activator Applicant Guide and ensure that your project identifies how it will contribute to sustainable economic and social vibrancy, and support the inclusion, safety and prosperity of equity seeking groups.

No. It is important to note that any rent expenses included in the project budget should be a direct cost associated specifically with the project. Indirect and overhead costs unrelated to the funded project are ineligible.
Labour and consultant costs are eligible expenses as long as all costs are directly associated with the delivery of the placemaking project.
We encourage collaboration on placemaking projects. Scoring will reward projects that have the capacity and appropriate partners to deliver the proposed project.

No, projects in the city of Toronto is not eligible. Find out more about Toronto’s main street recovery programs.

Community-led organizations or community groups not listed as eligible may indirectly apply to the Community Activator program by entering into an intermediary relationship or by finding a collaborator on the project who is an eligible organization. The eligible applicant must submit the application. If the application receives funding, the eligible organization enters into the funding agreement with CUI. Eligible organizations include:
– Municipality, local or regional government;
– Business improvement areas (BIAs);
– Indigenous governing body or development corporation;
– Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit;
Should you apply with multiple partners, please provide details of each partner's roles in your application. We encourage collaboration on placemaking projects. Scoring will reward projects that have the capacity and appropriate partners to deliver the project.

Yes, events taking place after December 31, 2021 are eligible for the first intake, but only expenses incurred during the eligibility period (June 8, 2021 - December 31, 2021) will be eligible for reimbursment.

New projects will not be judged more favourably than completed projects. We encourage applications for any projects that are planned, underway or complete.
Yes, you can apply for bringing back an annual event that was postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 and which meets our eligibility criteria.
Projects can start or end outside the eligible program period (June 8, 2021 - December 31, 2021). However, only expenses incurred during this period will be eligible for reimbursement.

We will aim to fund projects in their entirety though there may be circumstances where partial funding is awarded on a case-by-case basis by our independent assessment committees.

All applications for Round 1 of the Community Accelerator will be reviewed and assessed by independent assessment committees in November 2021, after the application deadline has passed.

The Community Index is being developed to validate and benchmark applicant projects and to help guide our assessment of different regional applications against one another. Using aggregate data, it looks at the impact of the pandemic related to on the ground retail spend and mobility patterns, and at demographic representation. The Index will contribute to but not be determinative of award decisions. For more information on the Community Index, please see the Applicant Guide.