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Canada Digital Adoption Program: $4 Billion for the Mass Scale Digital Transformation of Canada’s Small Businesses

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.

Prime Minister Trudeau has announced the ‘Digital Adoption Program’.

As he describes in the feature video the purpose of the program is to accelerate the digital transformation of Canadian SMEs.

The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) has a budget of $4 billion to help Canadian small businesses get online, boost their e-commerce presence or help digitize their operations. Support is provided via grants, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians.

i. Grow Your Business Online

Grow Your Business Online will provide up to $336.8 million funding for 90,000 businesses at up to $2,400 each, to support implementation of a digital e-commerce plan and costs related to website search optimization, installation of an e-commerce platform (including subscription fees/costs), back-office solutions to support an e-commerce strategy, social media advertising and the creation of customer databases.

This will be supported by a network of e-commerce advisors, who will work with local small businesses to assess their digital needs and help them develop their e-commerce strategies and deploy new digital technologies.

The first step is to take the eligibility assessment, and then submit the application.

ii. Boost Your Business Technology

The Boost Your Business Technology grant offers support to Canadian-owned small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) who want to adopt new digital technologies, through access to a marketplace of digital adoption experts to help them develop a digital adoption plan tailored to their needs.

Eligible businesses can leverage the grant to pay for the services of a digital advisor, covering up to 90% of the cost to develop a digital plan, up to a maximum grant payment of $15,000.

The first step is to complete a digital maturity assessment, and then find a digital advisor to develop your digital adoption plan, through accessing CDAP’s Digital Advisor Marketplace and selecting a digital advisor you would like to partner with to develop your digital adoption plan. The program is explained in detail here.

Organizations that have already participated in a previous digital accelerator program, such as Digital Boost or the Digital Acceleration Fund, may further be eligible for a $100k interest free loan from BDC.

Digital Business Guide and Webinars

Our program to support this critically important initiative is our Digital Business campaign.

This will contribute resources to the key challenge of providing educational content that explains and inspires, helping small businesses understand the different technology and digital business model options available to them.

From the Cloud to Low Code development to mobile apps and the Blockchain, a vast array of different technologies are available to small businesses to accelerate their digital transformation journey, and there are also multiple possible digital business models, from e-commerce through virtual communities.

All of this can prove confusing for non-technical businesses, and so our guide and supporting webinar series walks through each of these possible options in an accessible form, with supporting advice to map it to their business scenario.

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