Today, the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area (BIA), Downtown Kitchener BIA and Downtown Cambridge BIA announced the creation of funding programs for businesses to assist with changes made to their business models/plans as a result of the pandemic.
Over the past number of years of construction, Uptown and Downtown businesses have used their entrepreneurial talents and creativity to keep their doors open and their customers engaged. Now, due to COVID-19, they are being tasked to change up their business models and discover new and innovative ways to do business.
The funding programs will be available for the Uptown and Downtown businesses respectively, once all businesses are permitted to reopen, to fund initiatives such as: costs associated with creating and managing e-commerce platforms, cleaning and sanitation products, PPE etc. More information will come in the following days.
With the drastic rise of e-commerce, it should be easier to shop local online. Canadians want to support their local cities, their neighbourhoods and their people, now more than ever, but they need a streamlined approach.
The three BIAs have also been working with a new, online marketplace for local retailers called HeyLocal. Created here in Waterloo Region, HeyLocal is looking to bring commerce back to our community by allowing people to shop local online with the same ease as giants like Amazon and Walmart. HeyLocal is currently an approved app in the Shopify App Store and is looking at additional integrations with other e-commerce platforms. A formal announcement will be provided later this week.