Oshawa to receive $157,500 in federal funding to help revitalize downtown

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Published February 24, 2022 at 11:51 am

Downtown Oshawa businesses will be participating in the federal My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program to help revitalize main streets in cities across the country.

The two-year program will inject $157,500 in non-repayable contributions to support local businesses, along with other services.

“Downtown businesses are an essential component of Oshawa’s dynamic economy and their post-pandemic recovery is critical to our community,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter, who added that the program will “enhance the revitalization efforts” of companies in the city’s core.  “Our downtown is a cultural hub, major employment district and a significant asset within the eastern Greater Toronto Area. We continue to strive towards creating a vibrant, attractive and animated downtown where people come together to live, work, learn, shop, meet and engage.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Development Agency (FedDev Ontario)unveiled a $22.3 million business investment program in partnership with the Canadian Urban Institute and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario: 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.

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 the main street communities.

Sections of Simcoe Street South, Bond Street East and King Street West in the City of Oshawa will be supported with a dedicated Main Street Ambassador, customized market research, data analysis and non-repayable funding contributions for new and existing small businesses.

Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, said the program was initiated because of the challenges main street business faced during the pandemic.

“The My Main Street program offers critical funding and services to help local businesses find innovative ways to adapt and create new and inclusive economic opportunities to help them rebuild and restore vibrancy to their main streets.”

The Business Advisory Centre Durham will be helping deliver the program and CEO Teresa Shaver said the organization is “excited” to play a role. “Main Street businesses have suffered during the pandemic and this program will help them recover and strengthen their offering to the community.”

Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce CEO Jason King, who is celebrating the official opening of the chamber’s new headquarters in downtown Oshawa the same day as this announcement, is also happy to be involved in the program.

“Oshawa’s downtown has long been a hub for cultural and entrepreneurial expression, and the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce is absolutely thrilled to be involved with this exciting project that will deliver enabling resources and energy to our downtown area.”

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