The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)

For small business owners, cost has always been a limiting factor in adopting new technology. Let’s face it, it’s expensive and can be a challenge to identify which tools and strategies will benefit your business in the long run. Luckily, the Government of Canada is implementing The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to help small businesses fund their digital transformation. The CDAP will support up to 160,000 SMBs to adopt new technologies while creating thousands of jobs for young Canadians. This $4 billion program was announced in the 2021 budget plan and is positioned to modernize the Canadian economy.

SMB owner begins his digital transformation journey with the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)

Why Digitizing Your SMB is Important

According to a 2021 survey, 71% of respondents in a managerial role said the COVID-19 pandemic influenced their company’s choice to make more processes digital.

Benefits of digitizing your business can include:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Lowering costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Improving the customer experience
  • Increasing profits

Don’t delay your digital transformation any longer, take advantage of what the CDAP has to offer. Keep reading for details on how much your business may be eligible for and how you can apply right away.

What you Need to Know About CDAP

The CDAP will be focusing on two separate streams of digital transformation, both offering grants to different sized SMBs. Its overarching goal is to equip SMBs with digital skills, in order to stay competitive and to grow.

The program will offer SMB owners the opportunity to work alongside expert digital advisors, helping them develop and deploy a sophisticated digital adoption plan and to implement e-commerce capabilities. Depending on your business size, and where it’s situated in its digital adoption journey, the government of Canada will recommend which grant is right for you. The Grow Your Business Online grant focuses on helping you implement e-commerce capabilities, providing you with the opportunity to reach new and existing customers. On the other hand, the Boost Your Business Technology grant is for seasoned businesses, that may or may not already possess e-commerce capabilities, but looking to expand its digital technology (e.g., digitizing inventory control & CRM).

How to Apply

Applying is easy, and it can be done within minutes – just follow these 3 steps:

Step 1 – Head over to the Canada Digital Adoption Program— Grant assessment tool to find out which grant is right for you.

Step 2 – Once you have determined which grant is the right fit for your business, read the eligibility criteria to ensure your business qualifies for the grant

Step 3 – It’s now time to apply. For the Grow Your Business Online grant, you will be directed to apply through your local service provider in your home province or region. As for the Boost Your Business Technology Grant, you will be prompted to sign-in with a GCKey or through a Sign-In Partner on the Government of Canada website to access the application.

Where Else to get Financing

If your business isn’t eligible for the grants or you’re looking to weigh in your options, OnDeck Canada can offer you the necessary funds to boost your e-commerce capabilities and expand your online presence in as little as 24 hours. We offer a wide variety of lending options with both flexible or fixed repayment options such as Term Loans, Lines of Credit and Flex Funds. To be eligible for OnDeck’s financing programs, your small business should meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Be in business for a least 6 months or more
  • Have an average of $100K annual sales

Click here to see how much your business may qualify for. There is absolutely no obligation to continue and applying will not impact your credit score.

CDAP Grants

The Grow Your Business Online Grant

Purpose? In this growing digital industry, consumers expect to find and to buy their favorite products or services online. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, you may miss out on a big portion of your potential customers. To remain competitive, it’s crucial for consumer-facing small businesses to adopt e-commerce capabilities. This will provide you with an opportunity to better serve your existing customers and to attract a broader landscape of new buyers.

How much? The grow your business online grant is available through local and regional service providers across Canada and offers a micro-grant of $2,400 to help small businesses adopt digital technologies. SMB owners will have access to e-commerce advisors to help them develop their e-commerce strategies and to deploy new digital technologies.

Who is this for? Along with a few more eligibility requirements, small businesses must be a registered or incorporated business, consumer facing and accessible in-person, and must commit to maintaining a digital adoption strategy for six months after participation in the program. This program is intended for small businesses who are at the beginning of their digital adoption journey and would like to take advantage of e-commerce opportunities. Apply now before it’s too late!

The Boost Your Business Technology Grant

Purpose? Eligible SMBs will have access to a marketplace of digital adoption experts to help and support them to develop a digital adoption plan which fits their needs. Once you have applied, your ‘’digital maturity’’ will be assessed to determine your current digital capabilities, where your business stands on the digital roadmap, and to identify potential improvements.

How much? This grant covers 90% of associated costs with hiring a digital advisor, up to a maximum value of $15,000, enabling SMBs to create a comprehensive digital adoption plan. If your digital adoption plan is approved and you lack the necessary cash flow to implement it, BDC will be offering a 0% interest loan up to $100,000 to secure the cost of putting it into action. This loan is also accessible through a fast-track program, intended for businesses who already participated in a digital adoption program in the last 12 months. Recognized programs can be found on the Government of Canada website. Lastly, SMBs will be able to leverage the talents of newly graduated students and post-secondary students through subsidized work placements with wage subsidies of up to $7,300. These funded work placements will be an integral part in achieving your digital adoption goals.

Who is this for? This grant is for small and medium sized businesses who may already be embarked on their digital journey and looking to expand their digital technology. Digital adoption experts will provide your business with the tools and knowledge needed to support and bring your digital adoption plan to fruition. Depending on your industry, key elements of digital transformation may vary, but common examples can include digitizing inventory, implementing a customer service relationship management tool, cloud storage, communication tools, and many more! Before you apply, you must meet all the following requirements:

  • 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

Be aware, you must meet all criteria from CDAP before applying for a 0% loan with BDC. You will also have to meet BDC’s credit worthiness criteria in order to receive a loan offer. For additional details and conditions about the Boost Your Business Technology grant, please consult the program guide.

Time to Take Action

With how quickly technological change is happening, as a small business owner it can be difficult to keep up with new trends and digital advances. That said, in our hyper connected, automated and data-driven world, small businesses need to embrace digital adoption or risk falling behind. Digital adoption is paramount to your SMBs future success. From managing remote employees, to automating processes or enhancing the customer experience, take advantage of CDAP and start your digital journey now. The ball is in your court.