York U business students help Toronto businesses go online to fight impacts of COVID-19 


TORONTO, ON: Students from York University’s Schulich School of Business will help small businesses struggling due to the impacts of COVID-19 quickly gear up for online commerce. The students will participate in the City of Toronto’s Digital Main Street (DMS) ShopHERE program, a major new initiative that is supported by a team of leading global technology companies committed to helping Toronto's main street retailers survive the COVID-19 crisis.

The new work-integrated learning program was developed to support the DMS ShopHERE effort and is possible thanks to $500,000 from the City and Magnet, a social innovation platform with a mission to accelerate inclusive economic growth in Canada.

The 50 students from Schulich’s MBA, Master’s and Undergraduate degree programs who have been selected for the paid summer placements and work-integrated learning opportunity will directly help Toronto's small businesses and artists move their businesses online at no cost. The DMS ShopHERE program offers students a hands-on learning experience, specialized training, and academic credit.

The students will also benefit from the support of leading technology and e-commerce firms such as Shopify, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, eBay and Mastercard Canada. To help develop the stores, volunteers from Toronto’s technology community are contributing their time, including: Global Skills Hub, Scotiabank, General Assembly, Brain Station, Juno, FreshBooks, NEXT Canada, TechTO and TribalScale.


“York University is delighted to partner with the City of Toronto on an initiative like ShopHERE at a time where many local businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. ShopHERE will provide students at our Schulich School of Business the opportunity to apply their learning outside of the classroom to support local businesses recover from the pandemic and thrive in a new economy.” – Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

"I want to thank the business students of the Schulich School of Business and York University for bringing their talent and energy to help us fight for Toronto’s small businesses and artists. Their work will help ensure our main streets survive this crisis and that the culture and lively streets we all enjoy – and the jobs – will be there when we move into the recovery period.” – John Tory, Mayor, City of Toronto

“Schulich is proud to partner with the City of Toronto in helping local small businesses and entrepreneurs rapidly transition to selling online. We’re also proud to see that our students are playing an essential role in stabilizing our economy by supporting local businesses during this transformational time.” – Dezsö J. Horváth, Dean, Schulich School of Business, York University

Find out more about how York University is creating positive change in the COVID-19 pandemic here.

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.

Media contact:
Anjum Nayyar, York University Media Relations, cell 437-242-1547, anayyar@yorku.ca