Canada Digital Adoption Program – What You Need to Know
In March of 2022, the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) was announced by the federal government. As part of Budget 2021, the $4 billion investment over 4 years is dedicated to supporting 160,000 small businesses through access to micro-grants, loans, and a network of professionals ready to support the planning, implementation, and execution of new digital technologies. In addition to supporting the growth of SMEs, the program is designed to create thousands of jobs, including 30,000 jobs for young Canadians. The CDAP is broken out into two separate funding components, Grow Your Business Online and Boost Your Business Technology.
Grow Your Business Online
Grow Your Business Online is aimed at small consumer-facing businesses to help them adopt e-commerce technology and strategies to grow their business online. In partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the program is set to support up to 90,000 businesses, including service-based businesses, with micro-loans of $2,400 and access to guidance and service providers.
The grant can be used to cover costs associated with launching and growing an e-commerce profile. It can be applied to website design, fees for e-commerce platforms, social media advertising, and search engine optimization.
- Small businesses that are incorporated, for-profit, co-operatives, and social enterprises are eligible to apply.
- The business must be accessed by consumers or provide in-person services to consumers.
- Have at least one employee (other than the owner) OR had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the previous fiscal year.
- For businesses in operation less than 80 weeks who have not yet filed their first year’s taxes or received their CRA Notice of Assessment, the Business must have a gross revenue of at least $30,000 in the last 12 months of operations or since incorporation/registration.
- The Business must commit to maintaining a digital adoption strategy for at least six months after participation in the program.
- The Business must consent to participate in follow-up surveys, and sharing information with the Government of Canada (IESD and Statistics Canada).
- The Business agrees to have the name of the business published as a recipient of funding.
Boost Your Business Technology
This program is geared toward SMEs adopting a digital transformation strategy. In addition to the CDAP funding, businesses in this component will have access to an additional $2.6 billion in zero-interest loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The CDAP is looking to support 70,000 businesses through this program which includes grants of up to 90% of costs for digital transformation up to $15,000, eligibility for loans of up to $100,000 with a 5-year term from BDC, and a wage subsidy of up to $7,300 for recent post-secondary graduates.
It can be used to cover customer relationship software, digital inventory management systems, network security software, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics. Eligible businesses will also have access to the Digital Advisor Marketplace.
- The Business must have between 1 and 499 employees.
- Is Canadian-owned.
- Has had at least $500,000 in annual revenue in 1 of the last 3 years.
To find out what grant is right for you, there is a free assessment tool available. Canada Digital Adoption Program— Grant assessment tool.
The CDAP is a strong program that can help SMEs adjust to a rapidly transformed marketplace in the wake of COVID-19. It provides both funding opportunities as well as access to guidance and service providers who can help make the transition smoother and more effective. With a focus on job creation, particularly for recent post-secondary graduates, it includes funding for training to help facilitate and expedite the adoption of e-commerce and digital transformation strategies.
For more information at https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/canada-digital-adoption-program/en