Ontario Revitalizing Main Streets, Helping Small Businesses Grow in Niagara region

Province Helping Boost Tourism, Create Jobs, Enhance Economic Growth

A News Release from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley

Posted April 25th, 2018 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley

Ontario is helping Niagara region attract investment and tourism, create jobs and enhance local economic growth by investing in the revitalization of the region’s downtown and main street areas.

Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines, and Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister Responsible for Small Business were in downtown St. Catharines today to make the announcement. The province is providing municipalities across Niagara region with up to $773,000 for a number of projects through the Main Street Revitalization Initiative, to help revitalize downtown and main street areas.

Vibrant main streets help attract visitors, create jobs and increase the competitiveness of small businesses, which are the backbone of our communities.

That’s why the province is helping municipalities enhance and revitalize their downtown and main streets through improvements such as the installation of pedestrian crosswalks or landscaping. Municipalities can also direct funding to local businesses to improve the appearance of their storefronts by installing lighting or new signage. 

Supporting small businesses and communities across the province is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


 “Our government is committed to ensuring our communities and downtown cores thrive today and for many years to come. Investments that support small businesses and main streets will help communities be better positioned to attract investment, create jobs, and grow their local economies. For St. Catharines, this means the continued revitalization of St. Paul Street, the city’s most traditional and vital main street.” — Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines

 “Our government understands the unique challenges faced by many small businesses all across Ontario. By supporting the development of healthy and vibrant main street areas, we can help to improve local economic development, strengthen small businesses, and create good jobs across the province.”  — Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister Responsible for Small Business

“On behalf of the City of St. Catharines I’d like to thank the province for supporting this strategic investment in our downtown. St. Paul St. is one of the most historic main streets in Niagara and one of the busiest gathering spaces for festivals and events. The support from the Main Street Revitalization Fund will improve pedestrian safety and allow us to complete the work envisioned in the St. Catharines Downtown Creative Cluster Master Plan. The new plaza will enhance the Wine Route and the Meridian Centre and create a new gathering space for the community to enjoy all that downtown has to offer.” — St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik


  • §  Ontario is investing up to $26 million in the Main Street Revitalization Initiative, which will be administered by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and its rural arm, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association.
  • §  The City of St. Catharines is eligible to receive up to $141,077 as part of the Main Street Revitalization Initiative.
  • §  This initiative is part of a $40 million investment over three years in the Main Street Enhancement Initiative, which will help strengthen small businesses in downtown and main street areas and enhance the digital presence and capabilities of small businesses through increased access to digital tools like e-commerce.
  • §  The revitalization initiative expands upon and complements the Downtown Revitalization Program that supports main street revitalization in rural areas.
  • §  Funding will be allocated to municipalities based on population size, using the most recent data from the 2016 Statistics Canada Census of Population.
  • §  The funding formula includes an adjustment for those municipalities that have fewer than 25,000 residents. This adjustment ensures that small communities are provided an appropriate level of funding where their population figures would otherwise limit their respective funding allocations within the parameters of the program.
  • §  About one-third of Ontario workers are employed by small businesses, which are businesses that employ less than 100 paid employees.
  • §  To strengthen Ontario small businesses, the province is providing more than $500 million over three years in new initiatives that include lowering the small business tax rate by 22 per cent from 4.5 per cent  to 3.5 per cent, investing in youth employment, providing support for downtown main street businesses and reducing red tape.

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For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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