Canadian Urban Institute and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario partner to launch My Main Street
The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced a $23.25 million investment today to establish My Main Street—a two-year program to support the recovery and revitalization of main streets and local businesses in southern Ontario. The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) are partnering to deliver My Main Street through two programs:
- EDCO will lead a program to support the revitalization of 65 main street communities and support 975 businesses with direct business grants, market research and business support programs.
- CUI will support 150 local community projects, including events, main street enhancements and activities designed to draw visitors and increase local vibrancy.
My Main Street will launch with a call for applications in the fall 2021.
Main streets play a major role in supporting the economic, cultural and social cohesion our communities rely on to thrive. They are the heart of communities, where people gather, socialize and connect with one another. According to Bring Back Main Street (bringbackmainstreet.ca), a nationally-coordinated research and action campaign led by CUI:
- Almost 98 percent of businesses in Ontario are small businesses and are responsible for 64 percent of private sector employment
- Since the beginning of the pandemic close to half of Canadian independent businesses saw revenues drop by 70 percent and 30 percent of people employed by small businesses have been laid off.
- Money spent at small, local, and independent businesses circulates in the local economy far longer compared to spending at chains or larger corporations, generating more local activity and creating more employment.