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Canada Digital Adoption Program 2022: Here’s All You Need to Know

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A 2021 study into the digital priorities of small businesses found 48% had plans to grow or maintain their online sales post-pandemic. Among the major reasons cited was the potential of the online space to increase their business revenues and competitiveness.

To support businesses with the skills, tools, and strategies needed to move online or strengthen their existing digital presence, the federal government has rolled out the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP).

This program offers funding and support to businesses through two streams:

  • Grow Your Business Online
  • Boost Your Business Technology

Grow Your Business Online

How does this grant work?

This grant provides up to $2,400 to eligible small businesses to cover expenses related to switching to digital technologies. Funding would be distributed through local and regional service providers.

The service providers will also establish a network of e-commerce advisers to help small businesses.

How do I know if my business is eligible for this grant?

To apply, a small business must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
  • Be a registered or incorporated business
  • Be a consumer-facing business
  • Can be accessed by consumers or offer in-person services to consumers
  • Have 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

Which businesses are ineligible for this grant?

  • Corporate chains, franchises, or registered charities
  • Representatives of multi-level marketing companies
  • Real estate brokerages

What costs can this grant be used to cover?

Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs related to the implementation of a digital e-commerce plan (for e.g., online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
  • Costs related to website search optimization
  • 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

What expenses are ineligible?

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs of connectivity
  • Costs related to the shipping of goods purchased through the e-commerce platform

How to apply for this grant?

The first step is to use the assessment tool on the Canada Digital Adoption Program web page to decide if your business is eligible for the Grow Your Business Online grant. Make sure you carefully review the eligibility criteria.

Eligible businesses will be directed to their local service providers in their province or region for more information on how to apply.

Boost Your Business Technology

How does this grant work?

This grant helps Canadian-owned small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) incorporate new digital technologies.

Businesses who are eligible will have access to a marketplace of digital adoption experts. The experts will help them create a digital adoption plan customized to their requirements.

The grant can be utilized to pay for the services of a digital adviser. These advisers will work with businesses to recommend digital strategies that’ll help them increase their digital competitiveness and reach their business goals.

The Boost Your Business Technology grant covers up to 90% of the eligible cost of retaining the services of a digital adviser, up to a maximum of $15,000 per SME, to develop a digital adoption plan.

Eligible businesses will also be able to secure a 0% interest loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to purchase new technology.

The grant will also make available youth placement wage subsidies of up to $7,300. Successful applicants must apply for the work placement and ensure they offer a significant learning experience for a youth.

How do I know if my business is eligible for this grant?

To be eligible, your business must:

  • Be incorporated federally or provincially, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
  • Be a for-profit, privately owned business
  • Have between 1 to 499 full-time equivalent employees
  • Have at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years

Please note that only an owner or a director can complete the application form.

How to apply for the Boost Your Business Technology grant?

Eligible applicants must submit their grant applications through the Canada Digital Adoption Program website. You may only submit one grant application form per company.

For more details on the program eligibility requirements and the application process, please refer to the Canada Digital Adoption Program guide.

What about the fast-track option?

If you have already participated in a digital adoption program, you could be eligible for the grant’s fast-track option. If your existing plan is approved, you’ll be eligible to apply for up to $100K zero-interest loan from BDC.

How do I know if I am eligible?

You are eligible if your digital adoption plan was created by one of the programs below* within the last 12 months:

If you already have a plan from one of these programs and need more expert advice in one or more areas, you may be eligible for a grant to continue working on the existing plan.

To be considered you must:

  • Fulfil all program eligibility requirements
  • Upon completion of the updated plan, provide a copy of the initial digital adoption plan used to create your revised plan
  • Work with a digital adviser recognized by CDAP

*The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is in the process of identifying equivalent digital adoption programs across the country. This list of approved programs will be updated on an ongoing basis. You can also submit a digital adoption program to CDAP to assess.

Do you need support navigating business issues as you reopen your business post-pandemic?

Our experts can help you create company policies, and assist you with any HR management, health & safety, and employment advice you may need.  If you’re planning to take your business online, you’ll have to consider new policies for your business regarding privacy and data usage. Our experts are here to help you write these as well, and update your company handbooks to reflect any changes.

To learn more about how our services can benefit your business, call an expert today at 1 (833) 247-3652.