Businesses in Bracebridge are being given more resources to start selling online.

The town announced in a press release Tuesday that it is joining the ‘ShopHERE powered by Google’ program to help local independent artists and businesses build a digital presence and provide a revenue stream during COVID-19.

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.

The town notes Google’s investment will also help more small businesses and artists receive the digital skills training needed to participate in the digital economy.

Mayor Graydon Smith says there are some businesses that do not have an online store as part of their business plan, and many rely on in-person customer sales.

“By joining the ShopHere program, the Town of Bracebridge is providing another option for our local business community to remain sustainable during this economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage our business community to consider this opportunity and sign up.”

Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation.

The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and a Digital Service Squad – a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.

Vice President and Country Manager of Google Canada Sabrina Geremia says since Google began its business in Canada nearly twenty years ago, they’ve been focused on helping Canadian businesses of all sizes to unlock the prosperity of the internet.

“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.”

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto.

DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, MasterCard, Microsoft and Shopify.

Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas John Kiru says main street businesses are facing unprecedented times due to COVID-19.

“They need to be able to sell online if they are going to survive, and we are proud to expand the ShopHERE powered by Google program to help them achieve this. This program is critical in ensuring main streets can adapt and evolve during this crucial time.”

To apply to the program or for more information, head here.