My Main Street launches application intake, providing funding directly to main street businesses and community placemaking projects

February 22, 2024
| News

Building on the success of My Main Street, this additional investment from the Government of Canada will continue to encourage growth and economic prosperity on main streets across southern Ontario.

February 22, 2024 – TORONTO, ON - Applications are now open for an additional round of support through My Main Street to support main street businesses and communities across southern Ontario. The My Main Street program returns with a $15 million investment to offer streamlined, direct-to-business and community supports that will help attract visitors and locals to main streets. Advanced market research tools will be used to address the localized needs and identify opportunities for participating main streets to support business recovery, sustainability and growth strategies.

Funded by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), My Main Street is being delivered through two streams that open for applications on February 22:

  • The Business Sustainability Stream will support brick-and-mortar businesses located on main streets across southern Ontario. Funding will support productivity enhancements through direct-to-business non-repayable contributions of up to $20,000. Funding will be made available to businesses that employ between 1 and 50 staff and provide a solid business case on how the funding will strengthen their existing capacity and support their growth.
  • The Community Activator Stream will support community not-for-profit projects focused on high impact placemaking activities. Support will be provided in the form of non-repayable contributions of up to $250,000. Funded projects will include initiatives such as events and festivals, community enhancements and streetscape improvements.

“Small businesses in communities across southern Ontario offer exciting experiences and opportunities that draw both local and international visitors to their vibrant main streets,” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “The My Main Street program will work with retail and main street businesses and organizations across southern Ontario by providing the support they need to expand their business and make main streets vibrant while creating jobs in growing communities.”

My Main Street is built on the principle of supporting community economic development and creating vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods where residents from all backgrounds can benefit, enjoy and feel safe in their communities and on their main streets. The program will take an inclusive approach, supporting areas that have commercial and community importance, and will provide targeted support to reduce barriers in traditionally underrepresented and equity-deserving groups and neighbourhoods.

“Main streets work at every level across southern Ontario – from large, metropolitan cities to rural townships. A community's resilience is anchored in its main street businesses, and investing in them fosters economic prosperity and growth,” said Mary W. Rowe, CEO and President, Canadian Urban Institute. “My Main Street provides an opportunity to build healthy, robust main street business communities supported by placemaking to drive social cohesion and economic recovery where it’s needed most.”

The renewed program has built upon the first investment of $23.25 million from FedDev Ontario to streamline how businesses access funds and has expanded the number of businesses and communities it will support.

What’s new to the program:

  • Both streams are being offered across rural and urban southern Ontario, now including the city of Toronto.
  • The Business Sustainability stream offers direct-to-business non- repayable contributions of up to $20,000 (previously $10,000).
  • A simplified application process streamlines how businesses access funds.
  • Businesses will receive industry-specific market research reports tailored to their businesses.

Applications launch on February 22 and close March 31, 2024. Businesses, municipalities, BIAs and community organizations can receive more information and apply at

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Media inquiries can be directed to:

Samantha Staresincic

  • Communications Manager, My Main Street
  • Email:

Lindsay Webster

  • Program Director, My Main Street
  • Email:

Edward Hutchinson

Emily Wassmansdorf

About My Main Street: The My Main Street program has returned with a $15-million Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to spur local economic recovery. The funding aims to revitalize neighbourhood main streets with a healthy retail mix while generating inclusive economic opportunities. The program now features two streams – the Business Sustainability Program stream and the Community Activator stream. My Main Street is delivered by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI).

About Canadian Urban Institute (CUI): The Canadian Urban Institute is a leading organization dedicated to advancing urban solutions. CUI collaborates with city builders, researchers, and community leaders to create thriving, equitable, and sustainable urban spaces across Canada.

About FedDev Ontario: For 14 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.