My Main Street program launches application intake

This additional investment from the Government of Canada will continue to encourage economic prosperity and growth on main streets across southern Ontario.

Photo credit: My Main Street

Applications are currently open for an additional round of support through My Main Street to support main street businesses and communities across southern Ontario.

The program has returned with a $15 million investment to offer streamlined, direct-to-business and community supports that aims to help attract visitors and locals to main streets.

Advanced market research tools will be used to address the needs as well as identify opportunities for participating main streets to support business recovery, sustainability and growth strategies.

The program is funded by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and is being delivered through two streams that began accepting applications on February 22, 2024.

They include the Business Sustainability Stream, which will support brick-and-mortar businesses located on main streets across southern Ontario and the Community Activator Stream, which will support community not-for-profit projects focused on high impact placemaking activities.

“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 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.”

The program is built on the principle of supporting community economic development along with creating vibrant and diverse neighbourhoods for residents. My Main Street will take an inclusive approach and support areas that have commercial and community importance, while also providing 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. Additionally, both streams will now be offered across rural and urban southern Ontario, including the city of Toronto.

New to the program is also the Business Sustainability stream, which will now offer direct-to-business non- repayable contributions of up to $20,000 (previously $10,000) and a simplified application process streamlines how businesses access funds. Businesses will also now receive industry-specific market research reports tailored to their businesses.

Applications close on March 31, 2024.

For more information or to submit an application, click here.

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