The City of Barrie is putting some Google-based software to good use in the hopes of minimizing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses.
The City is joining Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google program, which helps independent businesses and artists build a digital presence amid the pandemic. Those who apply could have an online store built at no cost, according to the city.
The program is only open to small independent businesses and artists that meet certain requirements; they must be registered businesses or non-profit organizations; have a commercial location or be home-based, have fewer than ten employees, or fewer than 25 if a restaurant or bar, and are not a corporate chain or franchise.
Eligible businesses and artists must be located in a participating municipality, like Barrie. It is expected the program will expand to other municipalities in the coming weeks.
“Having a strong digital presence is critical in these times. The ShopHERE program will provide more of Barrie’s local businesses and artists with the training and expertise to launch and maintain online stores and participate in the digital economy,” said Stephannie Schlichter, Director of Economic and Creative Development.
The program is now available to small businesses in Barrie. Applications can be submitted online.