Small businesses have been hit hard by COVID, and this will lead to many businesses losing their brick-and-mortar establishments. Dufferin is not excluded from this. Many businesses will turn to selling products online rather than through a brick-and-mortar storefront. Big corporations have offered to assist in these efforts by making programs available to help transition businesses to an online store. Dufferin County recently announced that they have partnered with Digital Main Street to offer one of these programs to local businesses. This initiative is called ShopHERE powered by Google, and they are providing businesses with the opportunity to get a free online store built at no charge. There is no doubt that this will help some small businesses in the short-term, but harm them long-term. Will it hurt other small businesses in the area? These are factors to consider when taking corporate hand-outs. In addition to ShopHERE powered by Google, similar assistance programs from Facebook and Shopify are discussed.
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