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Canadian Digital Adoption Program: The Facts About CDAP | MarketBox

Everything You Need to Know About the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)

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. As it stands, the Canadian government has committed $1.4 billion towards the 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 modernise 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: Grow Your Business Online 
  • Stream 2: Boost Your Business Technology 

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 businesses 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? 

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. In addition, participants will have access to “a network of digital experts to introduce and help them use their digital tools.”

It’s worth noting at this stage that the term eCommerce encompasses more than just the act of purchasing an item online rather than in a physical store. For service businesses, eCommerce could be implementing the ability to book appointments and pay for them online instead. With that in mind, it’s important not to disregard this stream simply because your business doesn’t sell a physical product.  

What is Stream 2 of the Canadian Digital Adoption Program? 

CDAP Stream 2 is focused on helping businesses level up with access to new digital solutions. Grants in this stream are much larger and can be used towards 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. 

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, I mean four questions!) to help you understand your goals and decide which stream is best for your business. 

When do CDAP applications open? 

Applications for the Canadian Digital Adoption Program are yet to open as the list of advisors is still being finalised, but you can sign up to be notified as soon as your stream goes live.

Click here to sign up for updates on Stream 1. 

Click here to sign up for updates on Stream 2.  

What digital technology should I implement in my business with CDAP funding?

As part of either stream, you’ll get access to a network of advisors that can help identify the digital technologies your business could benefit from. But in the mean, take a look at our article covering the business software you need to implement ASAP to get you started.

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