What is the Canadian Digital Adoption Program?
The Canadian Digital Adoption Program (also known as CDAP) is a government-sponsored initiative designed to help small to medium-sized businesses adopt new digital technologies and provide work opportunities for young Canadians. The Canadian government has committed $4 billion to the CDAP program over the next four years.
With increasing numbers of large-scale companies moving their business operations online to meet demand, many SMEs are left behind due to a lack of resources. CDAP aims to provide these businesses with the financial and professional support needed to adopt new digital technologies that will allow them to take advantage of eCommerce opportunities and modernize their business.
How does CDAP support businesses?
Support for businesses via the Canadian Digital Adoption Program is split into two areas — or “streams.”
Stream 1 of CDAP is designed to help companies develop/grow the online side of their business, enabling them to take advantage of eCommerce opportunities in their industry. Stream 2, on the other hand, helps companies develop and implement digital adoption strategies across the business as a whole. Let’s take a look at both in more detail.
What is Stream 1 of the Canadian Digital Adoption Program?
CDAP Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online is exclusively for businesses that haven’t taken advantage of eCommerce opportunities yet. Support in this stream comes in the form of microgrants of around $2400 to help with digital adoption costs and will be available for up to 90,000 small businesses. The grants can be used for various activities, including website development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media advertising, and fees for eCommerce platforms.
What is Stream 2 of the Canadian Digital Adoption Program?
CDAP Stream 2 is focused on helping up to 70,000 SMEs level up with access to new digital solutions. Grants in this stream are much larger and can be used for a number of things:
- Grants of up to $15,000 are available to cover 90% of the cost of developing a digital plan
- Interest-free loans of up to $100,000 are available to support the implementation of the plan
- Wage subsidies of $7,300 can be used to hire Canadian youth to help with the digital/online elements of the business on short-term placements
In addition to the grants, participants in Stream 2 of the Canadian Digital Adoption Program will also have access to a network of advisors to help with the design and implementation of digital plans.
To be eligible for Stream 2 of CDAP, your business must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a privately owned, for-profit business
- Be incorporated provincially or federally, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
- Have no more than 499 full-time equivalent employees
- Have at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous 3 tax years
How do I know which stream is right for me?
This is a common question, and luckily the Canadian government has a handy resource to help you decide on their website. Click here to take the short quiz (and by short, we mean four questions!) to help you understand your goals and decide which CDAP stream is best for your business.