Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) – What Do You Need to Know?

COVID-19 had a widespread impact on businesses and the way they operate. The restrictions that were imposed to various extents around the world severely limited many industries that relied on face-to-face interactions. Consequently, this led to a post-pandemic push to conduct more business online, which means that many businesses are seeking to improve their digital capabilities.

With the growing emphasis to conduct more business online, franchise opportunities are becoming increasingly attractive as they offer the advantage of proven business models, comprehensive support, and an established customer base, making them a compelling choice for those seeking to adapt and thrive in the post-pandemic era. 

In addition, in an effort to help businesses leverage technology to improve their operations and services, the Canadian government established the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), a $4 billion investment.

What is the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)?  

This initiative offers two types of grants for small and medium-sized businesses in Canada.  

  • Grow Your Business Online – This grant provides up to $2,400 to help a business adopt digital technologies to set up e-commerce and grow online sales. The micro-grant comes with support from a network of e-commerce advisors from Small Business BC and Digital Main Street
  • Boost Your Business Technology – This grant gives up to $15,000 for a business to get advice regarding which technologies to pursue. Furthermore, the grant offers up to $100,000 in interest free loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) for the implementation of these technologies. 

What Does the CDAP Cover?   

Grow Your Business Online 

This grant helps businesses get the advice they need, and it also alleviates some of the costs associated with the implementation of a digital adoption plan. Eligible costs include: 

  • Expenses related to the implementation of a digital e-commerce plan
  • E-commerce software
  • Hardware & accompanying software (up to 20% of the total grant amount). 

Visit Digital Main Street for more details on eligible and ineligible costs for this grant. 

Boost Your Business Technology 

Eligible businesses can apply for this grant and a BDC loan. Once approved, this grant’s provisions include:  

  • Purchasing new IT equipment 
  • Improving existing IT equipment 
  • Installing new technologies 
  • Technology onboarding, which includes staff training and other support services 
  • Providing additional advisory services related to the digital adoption plan 

What Are the CDAP Requirements?  

A business can get funding through CDAP if it meets the specific grant’s requirements. 

Grow Your Business Online

Here is a summary of this grant’s eligibility requirements.    

An eligible business: 

  • is for-profit 
  • is registered or incorporated 
  • is consumer-facing 
  • has at least one employee OR had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year 
  • makes a six-month commitment to the digital adoption strategy 
  • will participate in follow-up surveys, share data, and have its name published as a grant recipient 

Businesses that are not eligible: 

  • a corporate chain, franchise or registered charity
  • a representative of a multi-level marketing company
  • a brokerage firm (e.g. real estate agents, investment advisors, and insurance agents)
  • a business that is engaged in online reselling or drop-shipping reliant on third-party suppliers
  • a wholesale or distribution business and manufacturer (unless you sell directly to consumers)

Boost Your Business Technology 

You are eligible if your business: 

  • is Canadian-owned
  • is for-profit 
  • has 1-499 employees 
  • has had at least $500,000 in annual revenue in 1 of the last 3 years 

You can also check out this grant assessment tool to determine which grant you should apply for. 

How to Apply for the CDAP?  

The Government of Canada outlines the following instructions for how a business should apply for each grant. 

Complete the following steps to get started with your application for the “Grow Your Business Online” grant: 

  1. Read the eligibility criteria to ensure you meet the requirements 
  2. Connect with your local service provider here
  3. Work with your service provider to apply for the grant 

Complete the following steps to get started with your application for the “Boost Your Business Technology” grant: 

  1. Create an account here 
  2. Confirm you’re an eligible candidate 
  3. Develop a digital adoption plan with help from a digital advisor 
  4. Submit your digital adoption plan in order to receive the grant 

If you’re interested in a CDAP grant for your business, getting started is easy! 

Set Your Franchise Business Up For Success  

“There is no alternative to digital transformation. Visionary companies will carve out new strategic options for themselves — those that don’t adapt, will fail.” Jeff Bezos (Amazon) 

It’s important for businesses, both franchised and non-franchised, to take steps to keep up in the digital age. Businesses that pursue digital advancements will reap many benefits including: 

  • Lowered overhead costs
  • Faster transactions
  • Quicker response time 
  • Efficient ways to manage inventory 
  • Improved logistics related to the supply chain

If you are considering franchise ownership, then having access to programs like the CDAP can be a huge aid in growing your business. FranNet, a premier franchise consulting firm, is also here to help you succeed as a Canadian business owner. Our consultants will evaluate your specific goals and skills to match you with the right franchise brand. We will guide you as you weigh your options and provide you with the resources you need to make an informed decision. All of this comes at no cost to you! Schedule your free consultation to get started! 


Jul 31, 2023