In July 2022, the Government of Canada opened the $4 billion Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to help businesses across Canada develop an e-commerce presence and to help digitalize their company’s operations.

To remain competitive and grow, small and medium-sized businesses need to adopt new digital tools and CDAP aims to provide funding and support to businesses, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians in the role of Digital Advisors.

When applying for funding there are two streams:

  1. Grow your business on-line – a micro grant of $2,400

Eligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Costs related to the implementation or improvement of a digital e-commerce plan (e.g. online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
  • Costs related to website search optimization
    • Note: plan cannot be used solely for website search optimization, it needs to be tied to overall eCommerce implementation plan, and not a standalone item
  • 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
    • Note: plan cannot be strictly social media advertising, it needs to be tied to overall eCommerce implementation plan, and not a standalone item
  • Costs related to the creation of customer databases
  • Hiring a consultant/agency to execute Digital Marketing initiatives related to your e-commerce store
  • Development of new e-commerce website
  • Upgrading existing eCommerce site for added functionality (i.e., new plugins, or features);
    • Please note redesign of an existing site is not eligible
  • E-commerce software including:
    • Software to track and manage product inventory, as well as fulfill and ship orders,
    • Software for product databases
    • Software to track sales, market to customers, offer discounts, maintain a loyalty programs
    • Software to simplify marketing
    • Cyber Security software or certifications
  • Hardware and accompanying software up to 20% of total grant amount
    • As for examples of limited coverage for software, it would be any software that is bought with the equipment that is required to support an e-commerce strategy. For instance, if a small business buys a new e-commerce integrated point of sale (POS) system that costs $1,300 (including software), CDAP will cover 20% or $260.

* Please note all eligible costs must be directly tied to the sale of goods and services online (i.e. online reservations/ordering or chat bot function on website), and you will need to clearly outline this in your application.

  1. Boost you Business Technology

The grant covers up to 90% of the eligible cost of retaining the services of a digital advisor, up to a maximum of $15,000.

Eligible costs are costs incurred in Canada by the applicant directly associated with retaining a registered Digital Advisor and for the direct production of a Digital Adoption Plan for the applicant. Eligible costs include:

  • Fees, commissions and charges by organizations providing Digital Advisory services and registered on the Digital Advisor Marketplace website for the production of a Digital Adoption Plan.
  • Applicable federal and/or provincial sales taxes applied to the fees and commissions charged by the Digital Advisors listed on the Digital Advisor Marketplace and only for the purpose of producing a Digital Adoption Plan for the funding recipient.

To get started your company will need to:

  • Provide basic information in the initial application.
  • Assess your business’ digital readiness by completing a digital needs assessment
    • The digital needs assessment tool will generate a report outlining your company’s digital maturity and compare it to an industry-specific benchmark. You may share this report with your digital advisor later in the process
  • Once you’ve completed your digital needs assessment, you will be able to find a digital advisor to develop your digital adoption plan
    • You will access CDAP’s Digital Advisor Marketplace and select a digital advisor you would like to partner with to develop your digital adoption plan.
    • You and your digital advisor will then agree on the terms of work, and final cost for creating the digital adoption plan.

When your digital advisor has completed your digital adoption plan, you will then submit it to process the grant payment.