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 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 to implement their e-commerce strategies, with funding to support up to 90,000 businesses.
Stream 2 is designed to help up to 70,000 SMEs adopt new digital technologies and strategies, 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.
Businesses are paired with a youth digital advisor and funds can be spent on a variety of technologies including web design, eCommerce implementation, online reservation and bookings, social media support, search engine optimization (SEO), digital advertising, social media and fees for eCommerce platforms.
Applications are through the official Canada Digital Adoption Program website:
Click here to apply for Stream 1 on ic.gc.ca
Click here to apply for Stream 2 on ic.gc.ca
Big Cedar can work with you to select the right CDAP stream(s) and assist you in preparing and submitting the applications. We’ve been approved by the federal government in advising Canadian SMEs under the CDAP program.
Only government-approved digital advisors can provide services for Stream 2.
We’d be happy to guide you through the assessment process. Book a call at the bottom of this FAQ!
Yes, Big Cedar is a registered and approved advisor. Learn more about the requirements to be a CDAP digital advisor on the program site.
The federal government has simplified the grant application process, compared to previous grants like the SMB and Launch Online grants. We’re here to help with the application process.
The program administrators have said that most applications take a few days to a week to review and approve, but they’re working on reducing this time to less than a day.
The Government of Canada requires these four elements in every plan:
The plan may also include optional elements such as skill requirements and high-level requirements for each recommendation.
See the Canada Digital Adoption Plan and Guide for more details.
Source: CDAP Webinar (May 3, 2022)
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 can be completed in less than two months.
Applications opened in January 2022 and the program is set to run for four years, with a review after one year.
As with most government grants, if an application meets all eligibility requirements, grants are approved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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.
Business owners or directors must apply for the grant, however we can walk you through the process.
No, it’s free to apply for and Big Cedar does not charge for assisting in the application process.
After approval into Stream 2, 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.
The funds can only be used to create the Digital Adoption Plan, and is not for implementation or software or ad costs.
From the Canada Digital Adoption Plan and Guide:“The SME and the digital advisor will work together to develop a digital adoption plan that meets the CDAP requirements. Upon completion, the SME will upload their completed digital adoption plan and invoice to the CDAP portal. Once accepted, the grant will be issued to the SME.
With a digital adoption plan in hand, the SME is now eligible to access a zero-interest loan from the BDC as well as a subsidized youth work placement to implement their plan and adopt new digital tools for their business.”
We realize this is not often the way professional services work – typically a consultant or agency is hired to do the research, create a plan, and then execute the plan. Book a call with us and we’ll explain further.
If you do choose us to create your CDAP plan with us, we can offer a $1,000 credit towards implementation services.
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