In 2021 the Government of Canada announced the $4 billion Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to help small businesses:
Increase online sales
Adopt security software and protocols
Improve the digital user experience for online customers
The CDAP program has two streams, each designed to help businesses in different stages of their development:
- Grow Your Business Online (Stream 1) and
- Boost Your Business Technology (Stream 2)
These streams are offered separately from each other and eligibility for each is different. This means you can apply for both grants!Start a discussion
Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online Grant
To stay competitive in the digital age, consumer-facing businesses must develop and implement e-commerce capabilities. As businesses become more adept at working with digital technologies, they can better serve their existing customers and attract new ones. Micro-grants of up to $2,400 are available to eligible businesses to help with the costs associated with adopting digital technologies.
Who is eligible for the Grow Your Business Online Grant
- For-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and cooperatives
- Consumer-facing businesses
- Registered or incorporated businesses
- Businesses with a minimum of one employee
- Businesses that can be accessed by customers or that provide in-person services to customers.
What is covered by the Grow Your Business Online Grant
- A new e-commerce website or added functionality to your existing site (e.g. online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
- Hiring a consultant (like us!) to execute digital marketing initiatives related to your e-commerce store
- Tracking and managing inventory and sales, marketing to customers, offering discounts, maintaining a loyalty program, or increasing cyber security
- Paying up to 20% of the total cost of hardware and software
There’s a bunch that’s not covered, so please see our FAQ below for more information
How to access the Grow Your Business Online Grant
- Access the CDAP website portal
- Apply online and get approved. This application is facilitated by the Canadian Government, so let us know if you run into any issues!
- Work with us on your project. We’re an approved Service Provider!
- Submit your receipt
- Get paid back up to $2,400
Stream 2: Boost Your Business Technology Grant
Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that are Canadian-owned and want to adopt new digital technologies can apply for the Boost Your Business Technology Grant. Interested businesses will have access to a marketplace of digital adoption experts (we’re one of them!) who will help develop a digital adoption plan tailored to their needs. We then help companies make the best of the digital economy by recommending digital pathways and strategies to increase their competitiveness.
The maximum grant value is $15,000 and the grant contributes up to 90% of the cost to retain our services to develop a digital adoption plan. Our Digital Adoption Plans cost $15,800 which means that your out-of-pocket expenses end up only being $1,659 (including GST)!
Once the digital adoption plan is complete, the business can then take the completed document to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which offers up to a $100,000, 0% no-fee loan that has a 5-year term with 12 months capital postponement.
Who is eligible for the Boost Your Business Technology Grant
- Those incorporated federally or provincially, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
- For-profit, privately owned businesses
- Businesses with between 1 – 499 full-time equivalent employees
- Businesses with at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years
What is covered by the Boost Your Business Technology Grant
The purpose of the Boost Your Business Technology Grant is to provide funds to cover the cost of developing a Digital Adoption Plan. This plan can serve many different purposes including:
- Developing strategies to improve your information technology ecosystem and infrastructure.
- Finding ways to optimize your existing business operations to reduce cost, drive efficiency, and increase effectiveness.
- Learning how to create digital platforms to engage with new and existing customers in meaningful ways.
- Strategizing ways to implement new business models and products.
How to access the Boost Your Business Technology Grant
- Let us know you’re interested in the grant by using the form at the bottom of the page. We’ll help you along the journey.
- Head over to the CDAP website and begin your application. It’s surprisingly painless to apply.
- One of the first steps in the application process will be to complete a free Digital Needs Assessment (DNA) document. This will be an important tool in the development of your Digital Adoption plan.
- Once you have been approved for the grant, which typically happens the same day you apply, head to the CDAP Digital Advisor Marketplace to let us know you are interested in working with us on your Digital Adoption Plan.
- Over the next four weeks we’ll work with your team to:
- Complete an analysis of your business, using research from interviews with you and your staff, as well as evaluating your DNA document.
- Identify and prioritize potential digital solutions that will benefit your specific business.
- Review your cyber-security measures.
- Create an actionable implementation roadmap on how to move forward with these recommendations.
- Once the Digital Adoption Plan is complete, you can submit the plan, along with our invoice, to the CDAP program which will then reimburse you for up to $15,000.
- If you want our (or anyone's) help in implementing the actionable roadmap outlined in your Digital Adoption Plan, you submit the plan to the BDC for further financing and, if accepted, you can receive up to $100,000 as an interest-free loan.
What’s not covered by the Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online?
- Internet connectivity
- Shipping of goods purchased through the e-commerce platform
- Purchases made prior to grant approval
- Renewal of digital services such as domain names or software subscriptions (including existing e-commerce subscriptions)
- Signage and printing
- Logo redesign and rebranding
- Owner's salary or current employee salary for executing the project
- Purchase of land, buildings or vehicles
- Intangible assets such as goodwill, whether capitalized or expensed
- Depreciation or amortization expenses
- Interest on invested capital, bonds or debentures
- Bond discount
- Monthly mortgage, loan and/or rent payments
- Refinancing of an existing debt
- Losses on investments, bad debts and any other debts
- Fines or penalties
- Fees for administrators, including payments to any member or officer of the business’s board of directors
- Opportunity costs
- Hospitality and entertainment costs
- Franchise fees and/or franchise licence costs
- Lobbyist fees
- New capital expenditures
- Consulting fees for submission of CDAP application or any costs not related to the acquisition or set-up of technology solutions
What proof of expense is necessary from my business to claim the Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online Grant?
Do you have more information on the BDC financing?
- Business revenues between $500,000 and below $5M: you can request a loan between $25,000 and $50,000
- Business revenues $5M and more: you can request a loan between $25,000 and $100,000
- 5-year term with 12 months capital postponement (total of 6 years)
- No fees
Convenient application deadline
You have 1 year from the completion of your approved digital adoption plan to make a loan request.
More information on BDC financing can be found at https://www.bdc.ca/en/canada-digital-adoption-program