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.CA domains to help small businesses and artists get online and recover from COVID-19 downturn


OTTAWA – September 30, 2020 – As Canadian businesses pivot to digital amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is working with Digital Main Street and Google Canada to offer .CA domain names to the thousands of Canadian small businesses accessing the ShopHERE powered by Google program.

ShopHERE powered by Google helps small, independent businesses and artists that lack the expertise and resources to build their online stores to get selling online.

As Canadians prefer to visit and do business with .CA websites, CIRA is proud to help give these small businesses a boost with a .CA domain name.

Key facts

  • CIRA expects to see as many as 3,000 .CA domain names as part of the first phase of the ShopHERE powered by Google program.
  • The .CA domain names will be fulfilled through Google Domains, a .CA reseller.
  • Google Domains has been helping Canadian businesses get online since 2016 with a website and email from Google.
  • Seven in ten Canadians prefer to support Canadian businesses when possible. A .CA domain name is the quickest and easiest way to show your business is Canadian online.
  • According to survey data, Canadians are four times more likely to choose a .CA website over a .com when shopping online.
  • It is estimated that as many as 40 per cent of Canadian businesses are still without a website.

Executive quotes

Small businesses are the heart of the Canadian economy—and the core of our customer base. We are proud to join the ShopHERE program and do what we can to help the thousands of small businesses who are still without a website to get online and thrive in a difficult economy.”

-- David Fowler, vice-president, marketing and communications, Canadian Internet Registration Authority

“Being able to provide our businesses with access to .CA domains through this unique partnership will allow us to continue to expand our support offering for businesses through the program and ensure these businesses can secure a domain that helps them stand out to their customers."

-- John Kiru, Executive Director at Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)

Google Domains aims to make it easy to find, buy and use domain names. We're delighted to join ShopHERE powered by Google and help Canadian businesses find their place online.

 -- Matthew Bilsland, Head of Business, Google Domains

Additional resources

About Google Canada

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.  As a global technology leader, Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google Canada has offices in Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa with over 1,500 Canadian Google employees working on teams across Engineering, AI Research, Sales and Marketing.

About Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology. Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Facebook, Intuit Quickbooks, Square, MasterCard, Microsoft and Shopify. A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together Communitech, Invest Ottawa, the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses to go digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.

About the Canadian Internet Registration Authority

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services—such as CIRA DNS Firewall and CIRA Canadian Shield—that help support its goal of building a better online Canada. The CIRA team operates one of the fastest-growing country code top-level domains (ccTLD), a high-performance global DNS network, and one of the world’s most advanced back-end registry solutions.