City Leading Toronto Tech Initiative to Get Local Small Businesses Online

The City of Toronto is set to announce a new program, ShopHERE, aimed at helping Toronto’s independent businesses build and optimize online stores at no cost, BetaKit has learned.

Launched in conjunction with Digital Main Street, a program of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, the initiative will also receive support from Toronto’s technology community.

ShopHERE’s goal is to help local independent small businesses and artists that currently do not have the resources to build an online store. Web developers from a number of Toronto tech companies will build and launch 3,000 online stores through the program over the next three months.

To be eligible for ShopHERE, businesses must pay commercial property taxes in Toronto, and have fewer than 10 employees (or fewer than 25 employees if they are a cafe, restaurant, or bar). The businesses also cannot be part of a corporate chain or franchise. The City estimates there are 49,051 businesses in Toronto that fit these eligibility requirements.

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Victoria Krisman
Victoria Krisman is Interactive Media Specialist and Communications Manager for the Intelligent Community Forum.
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