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Coronavirus: New website appeals for donations to Toronto businesses closed amid pandemic

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A website has been launched aimed at administering donations for Toronto businesses closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Toronto Mayor John Tory touted the launch of the site, Distantly.ca, and added that “main street” businesses are key a key part of the city.

“One of my greatest fears is that Toronto comes through this crisis and sees its main street businesses decimated and our streets devoid of the activity that make our city’s life in normal times so exciting and so fulfilling,” Tory said.

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Distantly.ca is aimed at supporting local businesses in the city that have been forced closed due to the pandemic, including coffee shops, nail salons, and restaurants, officials said.

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It was created by Susan McArthur, a former partner at a venture capital fund, as well Daniel Spataro and Moe Katib, co-founders of Buildable Technologies in response to calls from Tory that tech companies help come up with ways for the city to respond to the pandemic.

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Officials said the platform was created in collaboration with the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, an umbrella organization working with the city’s 83 BIAs, representing over 40,000 businesses and property owners.

“Local businesses are important to the fabric and well-being of every community,” McArthur said in a statement.

“I wanted to find a scalable solution so that other Canadians could easily help their local businesses by providing some needed cash flow to help ensure that our vital local businesses survive and continue to serve our communities for years to come.”

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