Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)
The small business sector is the backbone of the Canadian economy and the heart of our communities. Small businesses can continue to grow, thrive, and create jobs as they adapt to the digital economy and COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Justin Trudeau announced today the launch of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to help SMBs grow their web presence and upgrade or adopt digital technology. The investment, which will provide $4 billion over four years, will foster the growth of up to 160,000 small businesses across the country and create good middle-class jobs, including thousands of new jobs for young Canadians.
Grow Your Business Online
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.
Up to 90,000 small businesses will benefit from the Grow Your Business Online grant.
Micro-grants of up to $2,400 will be available to eligible businesses to help with the costs associated with adopting digital technologies. Services are offered locally and regionally across Canada. As part of the service provider network, e-commerce advisors will provide advice and help small businesses transition to e-commerce.
Steps to Appy for CDAP
Step 1: Use the assessment tool to determine if your business is eligible and best suited for the Grow Your Business Online grant.
Step 2: Read the eligibility criteria carefully to make sure your business meets the required criteria to apply.
Step 3: Businesses will be directed to their local service providers in their home province or region for details on how to apply for the grant.
Step 4: Your service provider will ensure that your business meets the eligibility requirements.
Small Business Eligibility
Applications can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:
- Is a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
- Is a registered or incorporated business
- Is a consumer-facing business
- Can be accessed by consumers or provides in-person services to consumers
- Has at least one employee
- Must commit to maintaining digital adoption strategy for six months after participation in the program
- Must consent to participating in follow-up surveys, sharing information with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada), and having the name of the business published as a recipient of funding
The following types of small businesses are ineligible:
- Corporate chains, franchises or registered charities
- Representatives of multi-level marketing companies
- Real estate brokerages
Small Business Micro-Grant Value
Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Costs related to the implementation of a digital e-commerce plan (e.g. online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
- Costs related to website search engine optimization (SEO)
- Costs related to the installation of an e-commerce platform (including subscription fees/costs)
- Costs of back-office solutions to support an e-commerce strategy
- Costs of social media advertising
- Costs related to the creation of customer databases
Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Costs of connectivity
- Costs related to the shipping of goods purchased through the e-commerce platform
Working with a Digitial Advisor
E-commerce advisors will have the opportunity to work with local small businesses to assess their digital needs and help them develop their e-commerce strategies and deploy new digital technologies.
Advisors will receive training from their service provider covering several topics:
- Understanding the Grow Your Business Online grants
- Learning the capabilities of several e-commerce solutions and related tools
- Understanding the basics of cyber security
- Developing communication skills
- Determining an individual business's needs and values
Boost Your Business Technology
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 who will help them develop a digital adoption plan tailored to their needs.
Businesses that qualify for the grant can use it to hire a digital advisor. They will help companies make the best of the digital economy by recommending digital pathways and strategies that will increase their competitiveness.
Up to a maximum grant value of $15,000 per SME, the grant contributes up to 90% of the eligible cost of retaining a digital advisor to develop a digital adoption plan.
To assist businesses in acquiring new technology, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) also offers 0% interest loans. Furthermore, applicants can take advantage of subsidized work placements provided by talented post-secondary students and recent graduates.
Before applying, your business must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:
- Be incorporated federally or provincially, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
- Be a for-profit, privately owned business
- Have between 1 – 499 full-time equivalent employees
- Have at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years