In December, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a $23.25-million investment to the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) to establish My Main Street —a two-year program to support the recovery and revitalization of main streets and local businesses in southern Ontario through two program streams.
The program will be led by investStratford in partnership with the Stratford City Centre Committee, the Town of St Marys Tourism and Economic Development Department and St. Marys Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA). EDCO is delivering the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program stream, which supports the revitalization of 65 main street communities, and provides non-repayable contributions for more than 650 local businesses across southern Ontario. The program focuses on creating and maintaining vibrant and inclusive local main streets while providing residents, new entrepreneurs, and existing businesses with economic opportunities in our main street communities. With a local investment of more than $300,000, downtown business and main street communities in both Stratford and St. Marys will each be supported with a dedicated Main Street Ambassador, customized market research, data analysis and non-repayable funding contributions for new and existing small businesses.
Stratford and St.Marys downtown businesses are provided hands-on business advisory support by two location-dedicated My Main Street Ambassadors who will support entrepreneurs along their main streets.