Canada Digital Adoption Program
The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is a government initiative to help small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt new digital technologies. The Canadian government has committed $4 billion to the program over the next four years.
If you’re a registered, incorporated business in Canada with at least one full-time equivalent employee, you’re likely eligible for one or both grants.
The CDAP grant is composed of two streams, a microgrant and the larger Boost Your Business Technology grant with stricter eligibility criteria.
For Stream 2, SEMs must work with an approved digital advisor registered with CDAP. These are organizations that meet and maintains all of the required criteria to deliver digital advisory services. Approved advisors are required to provide vendor neutral advice and are subject to CDAP’s Code of Conduct. They will work with eligible SMEs to digital adoption plans which are required to meet the minimum viable elements identified in the CDAP digital adoption plan guide.
Big Cedar is a registered CDAP Digital Advisor.
A listing of all CDAP digital advisors is available in the program’s marketplace after approval of the CDAP grant.
The official program site has a Grant Assessment Tool with these questions to determine which is right for you:
Stream 1 is intended for customer-facing businesses who haven’t yet adopted digital tech or are looking to improve, with funding to support up to 90,000 businesses. This microgrant of $2,400 does not have the minimum revenue requirement.
Stream 2 is designed to help up to 70,000 SMEs adopt new digital technologies and strategies as part of an adoption plan, so the grant is much larger. It’s best suited for enterprises with high operational costs and the business is in need of capital and outside, independent expertise to move technology forward.
Stream 1 benefits most businesses looking to improve their technology.
Businesses are paired with a government appointed advisor who will work with you to determine where to invest your funds.
The microgrant can be spent on a variety of tech initiatives. Eligible costs include website upgrades, web design, search engine optimization (SEO), eCommerce implementation, online reservation and bookings, social media support, digital advertising, and fees for eCommerce platforms and software including a portion of POS systems. See a list of eligible and ineligible expenses on the Small Business BC program page.
Originally the grant was to hire only a government supplied student “e-Commerce advisor”, but as of June 2022 this has opened up to allow the hiring of digital marketing consultants and agencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s a government grant and it has been confusing for all involved.
Simply put, if you have at least one FTE employee you’re likely eligible for the $2,400 Stream 1 grant, which can be spent in many ways (link to SBBC).
If you have revenues >$500k in any of the past 3 years, you can also apply for the $15,000 CDAP Stream 2. Unlike the Launch Online and SMB Grants before it, this grant has stricter requirements on eligible costs and is designed to create a plan, and you’re fast tracked for a 0% loan after to implement that plan.
For Stream 1, yes. For Stream 2, only government-approved digital advisors like Big Cedar can provide services.
The federal government has simplified the grant application process, compared to previous grants like the SMB and Launch Online grants. They’ve said they’re trying to get this money out as fast as they can, as easy as they can. The application takes less than 20 minutes.
Applications opened in January 2022 and the program is set to run for four years, with a review after one year.
The program administrators have said that most applications take a few days to two weeks to review and approve, but they’re working on reducing this time to less than a day.
Funds will be sent by the government to the SME within 30 days of uploading the completed digital adoption plan.
SME’s are expected to work with advisors to come up with a deposit and payment structure. Talk to us about financing options.
No, it’s free to apply for and Big Cedar does not charge for assisting in the application process.
An SME has six months to accept the CDAP terms, then nine months to submit the Digital Adoption Plan to the government (see Section 3.2 of the Program Guide). Most plans are completed in less than two months.
For questions on eligibility, the progress of your application and eligible spending categories, contact the grant administrators:
No, though the wording makes it sound like the grant administrators prefer it. However we’ve worked with accounting firms and environmental consulting firms who have used it to boost their SEO, update their websites and create social media plans and their costs were approved.
Business owners or directors must apply for the grant, however we can walk you through the process.
For Stream 1, yes.
For stream 2, after approval applicants will have access to the CDAP Digital Advisor Marketplace, which is a searchable and filterable list of all registered digital advisors.Big Cedar is on this approved list.
SMEs are able to reach out to any number of digital advisors, but can only work with one for Stream 2.
Yes, Big Cedar is a registered and approved advisor. Learn more about the requirements to be a CDAP digital advisor on the program site.
We’d be happy to guide you through the assessment process. Book a call at the bottom of this FAQ!
As with most government grants, if an application meets all eligibility requirements, grants are approved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Only government-approved digital advisors can provide services for Stream 2.
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