Shopify Partners with Canadian Government to Move Small Businesses into Digital Economy

Jessica Finch
Jessica Finch
Jessica Finch is a writer and editor based in Toronto. She holds a BA in English and Psychology and is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Publishing program. She has extensive managerial experience in the food service industry, and is interested in exploring innovations within this sector and other retail environments.

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On July 15, Canadian multinational ecommerce company Shopify — in partnership with the Government of Canada — announced the launch of ‘Go Digital Canada’, to assist thousands of small businesses with their transition into the digital economy quickly and efficiently.

The event — which included Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, Mary Ng — saw Shopify introduce the initiative in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As Canadians, we are resilient – finding solutions where others just see a challenge,” said Mary Ng. “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.”


Small businesses create the backbone of the Canadian economy, representing nearly 98% of companies in the country. The COVID-19 shutdowns have threatened to decimate many of these businesses, as most are struggling with little knowledge of how to leverage a business onto a digital platform. Small businesses are being forced to pivot their business models, reinventing themselves to adapt to the ‘new normal’ in order to survive, and Go Digital Canada is ready to help in this transition.

Go Digital Canada, available at, is a central resource hub designed to make it easier than ever for Canadian business owners to get online, providing access to a suite of free resources and tools offered by Shopify and its ecosystem partners and industry experts.

Canadian entrepreneurs can launch their online store for free, with 24/7 support and access to resources that will help them to build, run, and grow their business with confidence. 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 has the necessary tools.

Canadian small businesses across the country 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 the Shopify team. The platform gives business owners the opportunity to tailor their online stores to suit individual needs and preferences, from setting up online payments, gift cards and local pickup/delivery options, to launching free email marketing campaigns (until October 1).


Beyond that, Shopify have also partnered with Digital Main Street, a non-profit organization that helps main street retailers with the adoption of technology. This collaboration is designed to further elevate the quality of the online store, as qualifying independent businesses are referred to Digital Main Street’s ‘ShopHERE’ program where they can have their online store built for them at no-cost.

“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.”

Beyond helping businesses navigate the digital economy, Shopfiy recognizes the importance of building a business around a seamless omni-channel experience. For this reason, Shopify is providing eligible merchants with a free Tap & Chip Reader and POS Pro (until October 31) to help retail stores as they reopen.

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 Canadian organizations looking to partner with Shopify to join Go Digital Canada, and help bring more Canadian businesses online are encouraged to contact And to learn more about Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE program click here.

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