Canada Digital Adoption Program

Fund Your Digital Projects with the Canada Digital Adoption Program

Access up to $15,000 in government funding through the Boost Your Business Technology grant, and $100,000 in interest-free loans.

What is the CDAP Grant?

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.

How much is the CDAP grant?

The CDAP grant is composed of two streams, a microgrant and the larger Boost Your Business Technology grant with stricter eligibility criteria.

Stream 1

  • $2,400 microgrant towards digital implementation by a government-trained student or new grad advisor.

Stream 2

  • Up to $15,000 to cover 90% of the costs of hiring an approved advisor to develop a digital plan.
  • $100,000 in interest-free loans for implementation of the plan.
  • $7,300 in wage subsidies to hire Canadian youth to implement the plan.

Where can I find a CDAP Digital Advisor?

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.

Which stream is right for my business?

The official program site has a Grant Assessment Tool with these questions to determine which is right for you:

  1. Do you have between 1 and 499 employees?
  2. Which sector is your business in?
  3. Where is your head office located?
  4. What are you looking to do?
  5. Did you have annual revenues between $500,000 and $100,000,000 in any of the past three tax years?

 

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.

CDAP DNA screenshot

What costs are eligible? How can the CDAP grant benefit my company?

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. 

 

  • Stream 2 is to be used to retain a digital advisor to provide advisory service. This can include:
  • Providing support during the grant application process to maximize funding.
  • Completing a digital needs assessment to review your operations, current technology and business strategy to identify where you can benefit most and what to prioritize.
  • Research and recommend technology solutions to fit your business and budget, including a cost / benefit analysis of the top options. Some areas Big Cedar has expertise in are marketing automation, CRM, booking systems, marketing strategy, analytics, Google Workspace integration, eCommerce and SAAS / platform recommendations.
  • Developing a comprehensive digital strategy and implementation roadmap with steps, timelines, and resources to achieve your business objectives.

How do I apply?

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.

CDAP FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work with any company that offers digital services?

Only government-approved digital advisors can provide services for Stream 2.

I’m not sure how to answer my Digital Maturity Assessment, can Big Cedar help?

We’d be happy to guide you through the assessment process. Book a call at the bottom of this FAQ!

Is Big Cedar an approved digital advisor for the CDAP program?

Yes, Big Cedar is a registered and approved advisor. Learn more about the requirements to be a CDAP digital advisor on the program site.

Is it difficult to apply for the Canada Digital Adoption grants?

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.

How long does the application process take?

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.

What is in a Digital Adoption Plan?

The Government of Canada requires these four elements in every plan:

  1. Executive summary:
    Provide a high-level summary of the key elements of this plan for the SME.
  2. Current state analysis:
    Provide an overview of key business information, such as their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, their external issues as well as key IS/IT information.
  3. Digital adoption analysis and recommendations:
    Identify a minimum of three potential digital/technology solutions for the SME to consider, including how each of those solutions will benefit the SME’s business.
  4. Implementation roadmap:
    Identify the key elements to implement the recommended options including timeline, dependencies, costs to acquire the technology, etc.

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)

How long does it take to create a Digital Adoption Plan?

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.

When do applications for the CDAP grant open?

Applications opened in January 2022 and the program is set to run for four years, with a review after one year.

How are applicants chosen?

As with most government grants, if an application meets all eligibility requirements, grants are approved on a first-come, first-serve basis.

When will I receive funds?

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.

Is my business eligible for the CDAP grant?

Use the CDAP Program’s Grant Assessment Tool. Unlike other recent tech grants, you must have at least 1 full-time equivalent employee.

Can Big Cedar help us apply for the CDAP grant?

Business owners or directors must apply for the grant, however we can walk you through the process.

Are there fees to apply for the grant?

No, it’s free to apply for and Big Cedar does not charge for assisting in the application process.

What experience does Big Cedar have in providing digital adoption plans?

In addition to developing marketing strategies, web design, and SEO services, we pride ourselves in finding the best technologies for our clients and their budgets. We’ve researched, recommended and implemented systems including:
  • Reporting and automated document creation via Excel, Google Sheets and databases
  • eCommerce setup and integrations
  • Email marketing automation
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) – virtual timesheets, payroll
  • Project / Task Management (i.e. Trello, Asana, Notion)
  • Shared Social Media and Content Calendar
  • Integrations with systems such as Google Workspace, Outlook, QuickBooks, AirTable and more using Zapier or directly through API’s.

Can I choose my own digital advisor?

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.

CDAP Canada Digital Adoption Plan Digital Advisor screenshot

Can I choose more than one digital advisor?

SMEs are able to reach out to any number of digital advisors, but can only work with one.

Can I use the funds towards SEO, ads or building a website?

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.