With growing rates of globalization, the technological revolution has created a completely new digital landscape. The Government of Canada made the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) as a result of the 2021 federal budget’s intentions to deal with these digital changes.
“Our government is partnering with Canadians to invest, grow and succeed in the global economy.”–The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
SMEs who need to adopt digital technology as a priority to survive in the new digital age can find help through the CDAP program. Through two streams, the CDAP will invest $1.4 billion over a four-year period beginning in 2021:
- The Grow Your Business Online stream: Supports small businesses to leverage e-commerce opportunities through micro-grants, and
- The Boost Your Business Technology stream: Supports businesses that require more advanced technological updates, such as industrial companies in processing and manufacturing.
Stream #1: Grow Your Business Online
The Grow Your Business Online stream of the Canadian Digital Adoption Program is supporting up to 90,000 small businesses that have yet to leverage the opportunities of e-commerce and digital technology. Restaurants, tourism, recreation, and start-ups are in the hardest-hit industries and may be successful applicants. Additionally, this stream provides micro-grants to 11,000 young digital advisors in Canada if they can use their skills and practices to help SMEs transition with digital technology accordingly.
Digital technology implementation expenses may be supplemented for up to $2,400 for eligible applicants via the Grow Your Business Online stream.
Eligible applicants for the Grow Your Business Online stream will meet the following criteria:
- Is a for-profit business;
- Is registered or incorporated and is consumer-facing;
- Is accessible by consumers in-person;
- Has a minimum of one employee;
- Is committed to maintaining digital adoption strategy for a minimum of six months after program participation; and
- Will participate in follow-up surveys, sharing information with the Government of Canada, and having business published as a recipient of funding.
To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following activity criteria:
- Adopt digital technologies that will enable the business to serve customers more effectively, as well as attract new customers in the digital marketplace; and
- Leverage new e-commerce opportunities, including, but not limited to, implementing a digital e-commerce plan (e.g., online reservation and booking tools), search engine optimization, subscription-style fees, social media advertising, and more.
Please note that the application intake period for this program is now open and will close once all funding is allocated.
Stream #2: Boost Your Business Technology
The Boost Your Business Technology stream of the Canadian Digital Adoption Program is providing SMEs with the opportunity to use government funding support to strategically adopt new technologies for business. The CDAP will partner food processors, manufacturers, service providers, and other industry stakeholders with digital advisors that have been vetted and approved. Working together, both parties will develop a digital adoption plan to achieve an agreed-upon objective in a timely manner.
Amount of Funding
This stream is offering grants that will cover up to 90% of eligible costs for up to $15,000 to organize and implement a digital adoption initiative for SMEs.
Applicants for the Boost Your Business Technology Stream may be eligible if they meet the following criteria:
- Has been incorporated federally or provincially, or the sole proprietor is a Canadian resident;
- Is a for-profit business that is privately owned;
- Maintains 1–499 full time equivalent (FTE) employees; and
- Has a minimum of $500,000 in annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years.
For a comprehensive understanding of this program, please review the full outline.
Eligible applicants will be digital advisors that are able to successfully help SMEs develop a digital marketing plan that outlines the following:
- Hiring the services of a digital advisor;
- Completing a report that outlines financial costs of implementing said digital adoption processes;
- Outlining how new or existing employees may be trained to adopt and carry out the digital adoption plan;
- Creating a well thought-out implementation roadmap that will touch on timelines, costs, resources, and more; and
- Developing recommended digital strategies that may help their business achieve their goals and increase competitiveness.
The Boost your Business Technology stream is now open and will close once all funding is allocated.
Learn More About Government Funding Opportunities
If your business needs government funding programs, there are many available. Leveraging grants and loans can be an effective way to complete hiring and training, perform research and development,and secure capital & tech adoption. To learn more about the government funding activities, check out our easy-to-watch funding videos.
When applying for one of these funding programs, please reach out to a Mentor Works representative.