Eligibility for Local Business Accelerator

September 28, 2021
| News

The My Main Street Business Accelerator supports the revitalization of 65 main street communities through Main Street Ambassador contributions, direct business support, market research and business support programs. The heart of the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator is the Main Street Ambassador Contribution.

 Main Street Ambassador Staffing Contribution

Participating Main Street communities will receive a non-repayable contribution of $50,000 towards the 12-month salary of a Main Street Ambassador for their neighborhood. Participating municipalities or community organizations will be required to contribute additional funding to support the position. A contribution of at least 25% towards staffing and project costs is expected.

The Main Street Ambassador Contribution is the program that unlocks all the resources available to participating Main Street neighborhoods. The Main Street Ambassador Contribution features several program components and funding resources, including:

  • Delivery Support Contribution - Participating Main Street communities will receive a contribution of $7,500 to support local program delivery costs, such as hardware, local marketing, and delivery expenses.
  • Local Business Contributions - Participating Main Street communities will receive up to ten $10K contributions to support local businesses. Five contributions are available for existing businesses, while five contributions are available for new businesses.
  • Community Market Profile - Before programming begins, each participating main street community will undergo a detailed Community Market Profile. This will involve secondary market research to understand the community’s trade area, its demographics, how residents spend their money, their mobility, and how they consume media. It will also involve primary research that surveys the local community to understand what types of products and services are missing from their local community. Both the primary and secondary research will be used to target opportunities for rebuilding the participating Main Street.
  • Wrap-Around Business Support - With the community market profile completed, each Main Street Ambassador will focus on providing wrap-around community economic development support for both new and existing businesses.

Main streets that were struggling pre-COVID and/or have demographics that reflect equity-seeking communities will have a preference in receiving Main Street Ambassador Contributions.

Applications for the Main Street Ambassador Contributions Program will open October 1st. and will close March 31st. 2022, or when all 65 neighborhoods are allocated.

In order to qualify for the My Main Street Ambassador Contributions Program:

  • Your project must occur within Southern Ontario.
    Except for the City of Toronto: https://www.toronto.ca/news/to...
  • The application must be submitted by a:
    • Municipality, local or regional government
    • Business Improvement Area
    • Community-based registered not-for-profit
      (Funding applications submitted by BIAs or community-based not-for-profits will require a letter of support from the municipality where the Main Street Ambassador Contribution will be delivered.)
  • Your funding will be for a defined geographic area, such as a commercial main street or central business district. Funding cannot be used to support programming across municipal jurisdictions
    (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 neighborhood.

To support our mandate of driving business and restoring vibrancy to local communities' applications should aim too:

  • Identify how you will work with local Small Business Enterprise Centre and/or Community Futures Development Corporation, specifically how you can leverage local business support programming.
  • Identify any other local community delivery partners, such as BIAs, service clubs or community economic development organizations.

A municipality can receive multiple Main Street Ambassador Contributions depending on their size. Each contribution will need to be focused on a defined geographic area within the municipality.

The following provides a breakdown of available contributions depending on the size of each municipality


Further Information:

  • Municipal, BIA or community-based not-for-profits applying for Main Street Ambassador Grant 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.

Complete applicant guides will be posted before applications launch on Oct. 1.