New Program to Help Small Businesses Thrive in the Digital Economy

June 9, 2022
By Bob Peters

Cornwall Ontario – As small businesses adapt to the digital economy and the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new program will them adopt new digital technologies.

Canada Digital Adoption Program

The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is designed to help Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses grow their online presence and upgrade or adopt digital technologies. The program, which has received $4 billion in funding, will support up to 160,000 small businesses across the country.

“Small businesses have shown incredible resilience over the last two years as they faced unprecedented challenges from the pandemic,” says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “The Canada Digital Adoption Program will empower small businesses with the digital tools they need, while helping them create good jobs, particularly for young Canadians.”

Under the CDAP, Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to assess their digital readiness and apply for grants and loans online. This funding will help them leverage e-commerce opportunities, upgrade or adopt digital technologies, and digitize their operations to stay competitive and meet their customers’ needs in the digital marketplace. Depending on their size, specific needs, and goals, businesses can apply for funding through two streams:

  • Grow Your Business Online
    • Eligible businesses will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with the costs related to adopting digital technologies.
  • Boost your Business Technology
    • The grant covers up to 90% of the eligible cost of retaining the services of a digital advisor, up to a maximum grant value of $15,000 per SME, to develop a digital adoption plan. Businesses also have the opportunity to secure a 0% interest loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to facilitate the acquisition of new technology.

Cornwall area companies are invited to apply through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce:

Quick Facts

  • Announced in Budget 2021, the CDAP is expected to support as many as 160,000 small businesses and help create thousands of jobs, including nearly 30,000 job placements for young Canadians to gain valuable work experience, while helping businesses succeed.
  • Funding under the CDAP consists of $1.4 billion in grants and advisory services to SMEs and up to $2.6 billion in loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to help SMEs cover the cost of implementing digital transformation plans.
    • Grow Your Business Online funding provides micro grants of up to $2,400 and youth e-commerce advisors’ support to help small businesses implement digital storefronts and e-commerce capabilities.
    • Boost Your Business Technology funding provides grants covering 90 per cent of costs up to $15,000 to access advisory services to develop a digital adoption plan, access to zero per cent interest loans from the BDC, as well as opportunities for student placements.
  • SMEs interested in applying for a grant or loan under the CDAP can answer a few quick questions online to help determine the funding that is best suited to meet their needs.
  • Retail e-commerce has rapidly increased during the pandemic. According to Statistics Canada data, year-over-year retail e-commerce increased by more than 110 per cent in May 2020 compared to May 2019.

Additional Information

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