City of Kitchener joins Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google to Support Local Businesses

Posted On Friday May 29, 2020

The program offers local businesses and artists the opportunity to start selling online

KITCHENER – To help support our local small businesses, today the City of Kitchener is joining the ShopHERE powered by Google program, with a goal of getting more businesses online this year.

ShopHERE powered by Google, which started in the City of Toronto, helps independent businesses and artists build a digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Google Canada announced a one-million-dollar investment to enable Digital Main Street to expand the program to municipalities across the country, offering more businesses and artists the opportunity to build their own online store.

Because the opportunities afforded by the digital economy are still limited if people don’t have the right skills, Google’s investment will also help more small businesses and artists receive the digital skills training needed to participate in the digital economy.

The program is now available to small businesses in Kitchener. Local businesses and artists can apply for the program at www.digitalmainstreet.ca/shophere to get their online store built at no-cost.

“I want to thank Google Canada and the City of Toronto for making this program available to small businesses in the City of Kitchener and elsewhere,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Google is a key partner in our Waterloo region innovation ecosystem and Toronto is a key partner in the Toronto Waterloo region innovation corridor.  This initiative demonstrates what can be achieved to support the small businesses in our community through the power of collaboration."

"We are proud to bring the ShopHERE powered by Google program to the City of Kitchener and help our local small businesses get online.  We've had a presence in Kitchener-Waterloo for almost 15 years, and we are always excited to be engaged with helping build and support communities in which we live and work,” said Steven Woods, Canada Engineering & Waterloo Site Lead.

 “Since Google began its business in Canada nearly twenty years ago, we’ve been focused on helping Canadian businesses of all sizes to unlock the prosperity of the internet,” says Sabrina Geremia, VP and Country Manager, Google Canada. “We remain optimistic and more determined than ever that technology is the toolkit for a world of opportunities. Our one-million-dollar investment will go towards expanding the ShopHERE program nationally, so we can help small businesses across Canada navigate the challenges ahead.”

“We know this is a challenging time for many of our small businesses and local artists with the necessary measures in place due to COVD-19,” explains Cory Bluhm, Executive Director Economic Development. “Strong partnerships with industry leaders such as Google help ensure that we can offer valuable and meaningful support for local businesses to help them as they begin planning their recovery.”

 About Google Canada

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a global technology leader, Google's innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google Canada has offices in Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa with over 1,500 Canadian Google employees working on teams across Engineering, AI Research, Sales and Marketing.

About ShopHERE powered by Google

The ShopHERE program offers businesses and artists the opportunity to build a digital presence and minimize the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. ShopHERE is supported by a number of community and corporate partners, including Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Shopify, Google, Mastercard, Microsoft, Magnet, and The Schulich School of Business - York University and The Schulich School of Business - York University.

 

For more information:

Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications and Marketing
shawn.falcao@kitchener.ca

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