Canada Digital Adoption Program to Help Small and Medium-sized Local Businesses Grow

Canada Digital Adoption Program to Help Small and Medium-Sized Local Businesses Grow

The purpose of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reach their full potential. This article covers various aspects of CDAP, and we will show you how you can benefit from it as a local business owner.   

What is CDAP? 

The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) announced in Budget 2021 aims to help small businesses perform better by adopting digital technologies. The initiative intends to assist Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises in becoming more efficient, taking advantage of e-commerce, and being more competitive in the domestic and international markets. This $4 billion program offers the following funding streams: 

  1. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) grow with $1.42 billion in grants, training, and advisory services through Innovation, Science & Economic Development (ISED) provided by the Government of Canada.
  2. $2.6 billion over four years, beginning in 2021-22, through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to assist with technology adoption financing.

This new initiative intends to assist small and medium-sized businesses in embracing new digital technologies. It translates to funding for technological advisory skills and financial choices for technology adoption in manufacturing and food processing businesses. 

Two Funding Components of CPAD

1. Online Growth for Businesses

The grow your business online funding plans to support 90,000 small businesses. The goal is to enable service industries, consumer-based enterprises, and small businesses to adopt e-commerce technologies. For-profit firms, such as social enterprises and co-operatives, qualify for a $2,400 micro-grant.  

A network of service providers was also established as part of this programme to assist small businesses in achieving their e-commerce objectives. Small businesses will receive advice from these business assistance organizations in establishing an impactful online presence. They will also provide the $2,400 micro-grant indicated earlier to offset expenditures associated with e-commerce adoption. This micro-grant covers website development, e-commerce platform subscription fees, search engine optimization and social media advertising costs.  

These groups will also form a network of adolescent e-commerce consultants to assist small firms in implementing new digital tools. The placement of 11,200 young people is also part of this program. 

2. Technology Boost in Businesses

Boost your Business Technology funding is for SMEs to improve their position in the digital marketplace. Businesses having between 1 and 499 employees and annual revenue of $500,000 to $100 million are eligible to get this funding.

The Boost Your Business Technology funds - will support around 70,000 SMEs. Businesses seeking this funding may be aiming to adopt new digital inventory management systems, customer relationship software, network security software, and other technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics that can boost their bottom line. 

SMEs can conduct a free digital needs assessment to assess their digital readiness. They can apply for a grant to cover 90% of the cost of designing a digital adoption plan, up to a maximum of $15,000. A list of experienced digital consulting service providers is available to assist SMEs in developing their strategies. SMEs will be able to apply for an interest-free loan of up to $100,000 from the Business Development Bank of Canada to help them implement their digital adoption plan and acquire new technologies.

How can My Small or Medium-sized Local Business Benefit from CDAP?

Small businesses are known to be the backbone of the Canadian economy. Especially after the pandemic, every business's need to become digitalized has increased. The Government of Canada has introduced CDAP in budget 2021 to help small businesses grow, prosper and create job opportunities. Following are spectacular benefits from this program: 

  1. Up to 160,000 small businesses across Canada would be assisted with this $4 billion investment over four years, creating middle-class jobs across Canada.
  2. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Canada will be able to assess their digital readiness and apply for grants and loans online as part of the CDAP.
  3. To remain competitive and fulfill their customers' expectations in the digital marketplace, CDAP funding will help enterprises take advantage of e-commerce opportunities, improve or adopt digital technologies, and digitize their processes.

During the pandemic, retail e-commerce has surged. Retail e-commerce increased by more than 110 percent year over year in May 2020 compared to May 2019. As we recover from the epidemic, accelerating the digital revolution will help Canadian businesses stay competitive while also creating jobs and growing the economy.  


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