Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Canadian economy, representing nearly 98% of companies in the country*. When COVID-19 hit, these businesses faced unimaginable disruption, forcing entrepreneurs to reflect, pivot and ultimately reinvent to survive in the ‘new normal’. At Shopify, we were fortunate enough to play a role in supporting these small businesses during this critical period, and we remain ever committed to helping Canada’s small businesses thrive during times of change.
Today, at an event with Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng, we launched ‘Go Digital Canada’ to bring thousands of small businesses online and help them adapt to a digital economy, fast. Go Digital Canada was developed to support the digitization of businesses in Canada wherever they are in their journey, whether business-owners are new to ecommerce or looking for more tailored solutions to scale their existing business.
Go Digital Canada is a central resource hub, making it easier than ever for Canadian entrepreneurs to get online and grow their business with confidence through support resources and tools offered by Shopify and our ecosystem of partners and experts. Small businesses across Canada can launch their business online for free with an extended 90-day trial (for new merchants that register before October 1), and can access a suite of resources and tools to build their store including step-by-step guidance with Shopify Compass, live webinars, and 24/7 support from our team. Business owners can tailor their stores to suit their individual needs, from setting up online payments, gift cards and local pickup/delivery options, to launching free email marketing campaigns (until October 1), and much more. Also, as part of the Go Digital Canada initiative, we’re working with our partners and experts to help get Canadian small businesses online fast. For example, Digital Main Street will ensure all qualifying** independent businesses are referred to the ‘ShopHERE powered by Google’ program, so they don’t miss out on an opportunity to have their online store built and launched on Shopify at no-cost.
“As Canadians, we are resilient – finding solutions where others just see a challenge,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “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. Now is Canada’s time.”
Beyond helping businesses adapt to a digital economy, building a business around a seamless omni-channel experience has never been more important for businesses. So, to set Canadians up for long-term success, we’re providing eligible merchants with a free Tap & Chip Reader*** and POS Pro (until October 31) to help retail stores as they reopen.
“Shopify proudly calls Canada home, with our values rooted in supporting the small businesses that make up the backbone of the Canadian economy,” said Harley Finkelstein, Shopify Chief Operating Officer. “Our partnership with the Government of Canada to launch Go Digital Canada is the latest way we’re helping to remove barriers for entrepreneurs, by giving them the tools and resources they need to digitize their business with confidence, at no cost.”
To learn more about Go Digital Canada in partnership with the Government of Canada, and the free guidance, tools and resources available to future-proof Canadian businesses, visit shopify.ca/canada. Canadian organizations looking to partner with Shopify to join Go Digital Canada, and help bring more Canadian businesses online are encouraged to contact email@example.com.
**Independent businesses in Ontario and other select municipalities
***While supplies lasts