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Empowering Local Businesses: A Guide to My Main Street's Business Sustainability Stream

Updated: Mar 14


My Main Street funding guide

Special Offer to Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce Members! Contact us if you'd like some help with your application.


In the heart of southern Ontario, the My Main Street initiative is a funding opportunity for brick-and-mortar businesses striving towards growth and sustainability.


Offering up to $6.5 million in non-repayable contributions, directly benefiting businesses with financial support up to $20,000 (non-repayable), this program is designed to catalyze productivity enhancements for businesses nestled on main streets, fostering vibrant, sustainable ecosystems.


This quick guide aims to provide a brief overview of the Business Sustainability Stream, including eligibility criteria, the application process, support beyond funding, and the transformative impact it promises.


Eligible Expenses

Non-repayable contributions can be used to cover a range of eligible expenses.


Bricks-and-Mortar Startup Costs

For businesses located at their address under 1 year

  • Equipment

  • Lease (e.g., initial lease costs)

  • Leasehold improvements (e.g., improvements to the business space, etc.)

  • External façade renovations (e.g., signage or external façade updates)

  • Inventory (e.g., purchasing inventory)

  • Marketing

  • Technology (e.g., securing tech to support business operations)


Business Expansion Costs

  • Equipment

  • Leasehold improvements (e.g., improvements to the business space, etc.)

  • External façade renovations (e.g., signage or external façade updates)

  • Inventory (e.g., purchasing inventory)

  • Marketing

  • Technology (e.g., securing tech to support business operations, such POS, CRM or other systems)


Detailed Requirements for My Main Street Applicants

Understanding the specific requirements is crucial for a compelling submission:

  • Geographic Location: Must be located in southern Ontario with a bricks-and-mortar presence on a main street. Use their mapping tool to to see if your business qualifies.

  • Size of the Business: Open to businesses employing between 1 and 50 staff members.

  • Demonstration of Revenue Growth: A history of revenue growth is required.

  • Business Case: Must present how the funding will enhance operations and contribute to growth.

  • Physical Location Criteria: Priority for businesses that contribute to the vibrancy of main streets.

  • Property Tax and Business Registration: Must be paying commercial property tax and be a registered business.

  • Operational Requirements: Must be open to the public for walk-in and onsite purchases.

  • Exclusions: Excludes franchises, shared workspace businesses, consulting/professional services companies, and purely online businesses.

  • Equity and Inclusion: Special consideration for businesses owned by equity-seeking groups.

  • Documentation and Submission: Requires business registration papers, proof of commercial property taxes, and a storefront photo.


Application Process

The process involves eligibility verification, preparation of documents, and submission within the specified window from February 22 to March 31, 2024. Applicants should prepare thoroughly to align with the program’s objectives.


Support Beyond Funding

The program offers access to customized market research reports, business opportunity identification, and various training sessions to enhance operational success. These resources aim to support community economic development and sustainability.


Potential for a Second Round of Funding

While the current application window is set, there's potential for a second round of funding. This opportunity could further extend support to local businesses that miss the initial application period or find themselves in a better position to apply later. Prospective applicants should stay informed about My Main Street announcements and updates for any news regarding additional funding rounds.


Conclusion

The My Main Street Business Sustainability Stream offers a significant opportunity for local businesses in southern Ontario to embrace growth and significantly contribute to their communities. By providing financial support and tailored resources, this initiative highlights the importance of investing in main streets, the lifeblood of our towns and cities.


Call to Action

Businesses poised to benefit from this opportunity should visit the My Main Street website for more information and guidance through the application process. This is your chance to elevate your business and by extension, your community—apply to the My Main Street Business Sustainability Stream today, and stay alert for potential future funding rounds.


Special Offer to Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce Members! Contact us if you'd like some help with your application.



5 Things to Know About My Mainstreet Application-1
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