Boost your business digital strategy with the Canada Digital Adoption Program
Is your business taking advantage of the Canada Digital Adoption program? Learn more about CDAP two initiatives and how they can support business growth through a digital strategy.
The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) launched on March 3rd, 2022. The $4 billion program funds two initiatives with a focus on supporting businesses in developing a digital strategy. The two government grant initiatives include the Grow Your Business Online Initiative and the Boost Your Business Technology Initiative.
Over the past two years, as businesses adapted to the new demands and environment of a global pandemic, it became evident that a digital strategy is crucial to business continuity. Evidently, businesses can no longer survive solely based on in-person, store-front activities. Due to the increasing needs of the Canadian economy, the Canadian government announced the $4 billion CDAP program as part of the 2021 Federal Budget. The focus of the program is to help businesses get online, gain an e-commerce presence, and digitize business operations.
What can this program be used for?
Digital Marketing enables businesses to reach a much broader audience than they would if limited to brick-and-mortar stores. With digital marketing, your business can grow and extend beyond geographic boundaries. It’s also an opportunity to expose yourself to the world and help spread the word to customers who would otherwise not come across you and your brand. Under the CDAP program, digital marketing services are identified as part of your digital strategy. You can use the funds from this government grant to cover:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – improve your search engine outreach and make it easier for businesses to find you.
- Social Media Advertising – promote your business where your audience is. Leverage social media to target and reach your target audience and build community.
- Consumer Databases – costs related to building consumer databases and lead generation
E-commerce programs make it easier and more efficient for clients to purchase products and services from your business. With the convenience of online stores, online booking systems, inventory tracking and increased reporting, investing in e-commerce can boost your business sales, and productivity and support strategic planning. Under the CDAP, the following e-commerce expenses are included:
- Implementation and Improvement of e-commerce – boost your digital strategy by making it easier for customers to interact with your business. E-commerce implementation includes an online reservation system, accepting electronic payments, online booking, online store and ordering systems.
- Installation and back-office costs – subscription fees, e-commerce software and specialist fees in launching your e-commerce strategy
- Hiring a digital marketing agency – receive expert advice and leverage a digital marketing agency to strategically implement your e-commerce solution.
What are the differences between the two initiatives?
Grow your Business Online Initiative
The Grow your Business Online Initiative supports 90,000 small businesses by providing micro-grants of $2,400. In addition, eligible applicants also access e-commerce advisors who can support applicants in choosing and adopting the right digital technology for their business. This grant covers digital marketing services such as website development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media advertising, and subscription fees for e-commerce platforms.
To be eligible for this government grant, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Is a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
- Is a registered or incorporated business
- Is a consumer-facing business
- Can be accessed by consumers or provides in-person services to consumers
- Has at least one employee (other than the owner) OR has had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year
- Must commit to maintaining a digital adoption strategy for six months after participation in the program
- Agrees to participate in follow-up surveys, share information with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada), and have the name of the business published as a recipient of funding
For more information on eligibility, visit the program website.
Boost Your Business Technology Initiative
The Boost Your Business Technology Initiative helps businesses develop a digital strategy and pursue digital transformation. This initiative includes a grant that covers up to 90% of digital adoption plan costs (up to $15,000) as well as the opportunity to apply for interest-free loans of up to $100,000 from the Business Development Bank of Canada.
To be eligible for the program, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Is a sole proprietor whose owner is a Canadian resident Or Is a business incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province or territory
- Is a for-profit business
- Has between 1 – 499 full-time equivalent employees†
- Has at least $500,000 of annual revenues but not more than $100,000,000 in one of the previous three tax years from the date of submitting a grant application.
- Privately owned business
- Is a Canadian-controlled Private Corporation (CCPC) as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency (applicable if the business is incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province or territory)
- Is a business that respects human rights codes, labour, environment and anti-corruption standards, as well as engages exclusively in legal activities
For more information on eligibility, visit the program guide.
Interested in discussing the best options for your business?
At E&E we understand that navigating government grants, federal taxes and accounting matters can be challenging and confusing. Especially when you are already handling so much to run and grow your business. That’s why we offer Small Business Consulting services. If you would like expert advice on which programs and tax incentives are available for your business, contact us today.