Shopify, Government of Canada Partner for Local Shopping Initiative

The program will offer support to independent businesses as they navigate post-COVID e-commerce.

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Need to Know

  • Go Digital Canada is a joint initiative between Shopify and the Government of Canada that will help more small businesses engage in online commerce post-COVID.
  • Shopify will provide tools, resources to businesses via a central resource hub; eligible businesses will also be given a free Tap & Chip Reader and POS Pro.
  • Merchants who apply to the program before October 1 will be eligible for a free 90-day trial.

Analysis

As Canadian small businesses continue to adapt to a new retail climate brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has partnered with e-commerce giant Shopify to help these merchants thrive and succeed.

On Tuesday, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng, announced that the federal government and Shopify have teamed up to launch Go Digital Canada, a new resource hub aimed at supporting small businesses with the digital tools and resources they need to succeed.

Go Digital Canada will help businesses at any and every point in their digital journey, whether they are just entering the e-commerce arena or looking to better personalize and streamline their online stores. Canadian entrepreneurs will have access to a number of tools, including step-by-step guidance with Shopify Compass, live webinars, and 24/7 Shopify support. Additionally, users of Go Digital Canada’s program tools can then tailor online stores to suit their needs, set up payment options, and add pickup and delivery functionality.

Store owners who sign up for Go Digital Canada before October 1 will have access to program resources for free for 90 days—including a free store-build and launch—and eligible merchants will be provided with a free Tap & Chip Reader and POS Pro.

The program also offers free courses on getting started with Shopify, the ability to hire a Shopify expert for additional support, and step-by-step checklists that ensure new merchants are properly set up as they begin or continue their e-commerce journey.

“As Canadians, we are resilient – finding solutions where others just see a challenge,” Ng said in a statement. “Our government is working hard to harness this entrepreneurial spirit and help Canadians turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses — and help them rebuild in the months to come. Shopify is an incredible made-in-Canada success story, and their work to help Canadian entrepreneurs go digital, as we increasingly shift online in response to COVID-19, will help create even more Canadian success stories.”

The Go Digital Canada initiative has partnered with Digital Main Street, the previously announced initiative from Shopify and Google that was originally launched in Toronto but later expanded nationwide. Go Digital Canada will ensure all qualifying independent businesses are referred to Digital Main Street’s “ShopHERE powered by Google” program.

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