$1.4 Million Opportunity to Transform Toronto’s Retail Spaces

The City of Toronto has recently unveiled a significant financial initiative aimed at supporting the local small business community. The Main Street Recovery and Rebuild Initiative (MRRI), an ambitious project, has announced an injection of $3.3 million into various programs designed to bolster small businesses and nonprofits across the city.

 

Breakdown of the $3.3 Million Funding:

  • The Main Street Innovation Fund (MIF) and the Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant (CMGP) will receive $1.9 million. These funds are earmarked for nonprofits and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs).
  • An additional $1.4 million is allocated to the Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program (CSRG), targeting renovations of retail spaces in various Toronto neighborhoods.

Since its inception in 2021, MRRI has been instrumental in supporting over 325 local projects, channeling more than $9.4 million into local small businesses, nonprofits, and BIAs. To date, this initiative has helped 664 entrepreneurs and 113 community and business organizations.

The funding, provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), is a testament to the government’s commitment to enhancing the well-being and vibrancy of Toronto’s main streets.

 

In-Depth Look at the MRRI Programs:

  1. Main Street Innovation Fund: This program offers non-repayable contributions to BIAs and nonprofit organizations supporting local businesses. These contributions can range up to $100,000, depending on the project scale. The focus is on creative solutions to main street business challenges that can be replicated elsewhere.
  2. Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program (CMGP): Opening for applications in January 2024, this program will have up to $700,000 available. It aims to fund community-driven initiatives that alleviate the impact of construction on local businesses.
  3. Commercial Space Rehabilitation Grant Program (CSRG): This program offers a matching fund up to 50% for business operators and storefront owners for interior improvements, including compliance with health regulations and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The maximum grant per project is $24,000, with additional funds for multi-unit properties.

 

Additional Government Support:

  • FedDev Ontario, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, is providing up to $18 million for various economic recovery projects.
  • Additional resources for small businesses include free business webinars, digital transformation support, small business tax subclass reductions, the Commercial Façade Improvement Grant Program, and the Outdoor Mural and Street Art Program.
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