The Ontario Government is investing over $3.5 million to support more than 700 businesses in the Ontario agri-food sector to establish or expand their online presence, helping provide consumers with more access to local food.
Under the Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative, 22 businesses in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock will each receive provincial grants of up to $5,000. The grants will be used to establish an online marketing presence and are providing a total of $97,698.60 in financial support for businesses in HKLB.
“Our government will continue to provide supports that help local agri-food businesses to adapt to the challenges COVID-19 presents,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “Developing an online market place not only allows people to expand their business, it also increases safe options for community members to buy locally sourced products.”
With $3.5 million in Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) funding, food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations have developed or expanded e-commerce ventures this year, which are helping to broaden their marketing channels, increase online sales and provide consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.
“This support has helped many Ontario agri-food businesses to better and more quickly adapt to the retail challenges of this unprecedented time and to modernize their operations for the future,” said Minister Hardeman. “COVID-19 has changed the way we shop, and our investment in e-business will go a long way to safely connect more retailers with more consumers.”
- Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed support to more than 4,200 projects, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership
- The funding is in addition to other programming launched this year to assist the sector in meeting challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak, including:
- The $25.5 million Agri-food Prevention and Control Innovation Program to help reduce disruptions in business operations and risks of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace;
- The launch of a portal to connect farms and other agri-food sector business with labour needs to job seekers;
- The creation of a $26.6 million Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program;
- The investment of an additional $50 million into the Risk Management Program for 2020, one year earlier than originally promised.