New Support to Businesses – Digital Main Street Program, Chandra Arya, MP Nepean


New Support to Businesses – Digital Main Street Program, Chandra Arya, MP Nepean

Retail business in Nepean get more federal support to combat the crisis


Traditional Main Street businesses in the retail, restaurant, and hospitality sectors have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, as a result in-person commerce has been halted. As you know, the federal government has implemented a comprehensive economic plan in response to COVID-19.

We have now launched the Digital Main Street Program (DMS). For small businesses in Nepean riding the funds will be administered through Invest Ottawa (with $9.3 million from the federal government) and Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (with $12 million from federal government and $3.8 million from Ontario government).


This will help SMEs build out their digital and e-commerce capabilities (website development, e-commerce adoption, digital marketing, digital supply chain management, etc).  This is a multi-level platform that will offer differing levels of service to businesses based on their needs (from entry level e-commerce adoption, to sophisticated HR or supply chain management software adoption).

  1. Digital Main Street – basic level assistance to main street business to conduct digital assessments, develop digital transformation plan and support the cost of implementing that plan through $2,500 non repayable contributions.
  2. ShopHere – pair students with business owners to develop online storefronts for their businesses and initial follow on support (social media, etc).
  3. Future-proofing Main Street – deep and sustained engagement with main street businesses in key sectors (services, restaurant/hospitality, retail, tourism) to provide in-depth digital marketing, business advisory and market diversification support for growing their online business.
  4. Recovery Activation Program – to support small and mid sized businesses (primarily in the business-to-business space) to drive transformative digital adoption.

SMEs, Business Improvement Areas, and Chambers of Commerce who are interested in applying can sign up for the Digital Main Street Program at the following link:


Since the beginning of this pandemic, our government is taking immediate and decisive action to help Canadians and businesses through this challenging time. We are helping Canadian businesses protect jobs, and pay their bills. We are providing an up to 75% wage subsidy for qualifying employers until August 28, allowing businesses to defer GST/HST payments, and customs duties until the end of June. The new Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) is launched to help provide interest-free loans to small businesses and not-for-profits. We have created the new Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) for Canada’s largest employers and expanded the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) for mid-sized companies. We are also providing up to $60 million ($80 million in the case of guarantees) of support to help cover operational costs. We are implementing the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses, to provide forgivable loans to commercial property owners who in turn lower the rent for their tenants by 75%. These new measures will provide immediate help to Canadian businesses so that they can weather the impacts of COVID-19. Please remember, we will face this crisis together, and we will get through this together.