About the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)

Do you own a small or medium-sized business in Canada? The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) offers two grants that will help you get online and use technology to build your business:

  • The Grow Your Business Online grant gives you up to $2,400 to set up e-commerce and grow your sales online.
  • The Boost Your Business Technology grant gives you up to $15,000 to get advice on the technologies that can propel your business forward.

On this page

Is the Grow Your Business Online grant right for you?

Apply for the Grow Your Business Online grant and get up to $2,400 to help you reach your customers where they are. A local service provider will manage your application and connect you with an e-commerce advisor.

Apply now

Application process

You can apply in 3 easy steps!

  • Step 1: Read the eligibility criteria to make sure the program is right for you.
  • Step 2: Connect with your local service provider.
  • Step 3: Apply for the grant with help from your service provider.

Are you eligible?

Use the CDAP grant assessment tool to see if your business qualifies.

You can get funding through CDAP if your business:

  • is a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
  • is registered or incorporated
  • is consumer-facing (sells goods and services directly to end consumers)
  • has at least one employee (other than the owner) OR had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year 
  • commits to maintaining a digital adoption strategy for six months
  • agrees to participate in follow-up surveys, share data about the experience, and have its name published as a grant recipient

Your business is not eligible if it is:

  • a corporate chain, franchise or registered charity
  • a representative of a multi-level marketing company
  • a brokerage firm, such as real estate agents, investment advisors, insurance agents, etc.
  • 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)

What costs are covered?

How can you use your grant?

  • To develop a new e-commerce website or add functionality to your existing site (e.g. online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
    • Redesign of an existing site is not eligible
  • To install an e-commerce platform (including subscription fees/costs)
  • To hire a consultant to help with digital marketing strategies for your e-commerce store that could include activities such as website search optimization and social media advertising.
    • Your grant cannot be used solely for search engine marketing or social media advertising; such uses must be tied to an overall e-commerce implementation plan and not a standalone item
  • To track and manage inventory and sales, market to customers, offer discounts, maintain a loyalty program, or increase cyber security using e-commerce software
  • To pay up to 20% of the total cost of hardware and software

Eligible costs must be directly tied to the sale of goods and services online.

Ineligible costs:
  • Internet connectivity
  • Shipping of goods purchased through the e-commerce platform
  • Purchases made prior to grant approval
  • Renewal of digital services such as domain names or software subscriptions (including existing e-commerce subscriptions)
  • Signage and printing
  • Logo redesign and rebranding
  • Owner's salary or current employee salary for executing the project
  • Purchase of land, buildings or vehicles
  • Intangible assets such as goodwill, whether capitalized or expensed
  • Depreciation or amortization expenses
  • Interest on invested capital, bonds or debentures
  • Bond discount
  • Monthly mortgage, loan and/or rent payments
  • Refinancing of an existing debt
  • Losses on investments, bad debts and any other debts
  • Fines or penalties
  • Litigation
  • Fees for administrators, including payments to any member or officer of the business’s board of directors
  • Opportunity costs
  • Hospitality and entertainment costs
  • Franchise fees and/or franchise licence costs
  • Lobbyist fees
  • New capital expenditures
  • Consulting fees for submission of CDAP application or any costs not related to the acquisition or set-up of technology solutions

Become an e-commerce advisor

As an advisor, you will help local small businesses assess their digital needs and develop their
e-commerce strategy. You will receive training to help you:

  • understand CDAP grants
  • learn the capabilities of e-commerce solutions
  • understand the basics of cyber security

You can apply if you:

  • have graduated from high school and are planning on pursuing a post-secondary education
  • are currently pursuing post-secondary education
  • have recently graduated from a post-secondary institution


Find answers to frequently-asked questions about the Grow Your Business Online grant, eligibility criteria, costs and more.

CDAP Grant Streams

Can I apply to both the Grow Your Business Online and Boost Your Business Technology grant?

Yes, you can apply to both grants.

Can I apply more than once if the applications are in different fiscal years?

No, you can apply only once to Grow Your Business Online over the entire duration of the program. Moreover, your business can only receive the micro-grant once.

Small Business Eligibility

What counts as a consumer-facing business?

A consumer-facing business is one that sells products or services directly to end consumers. It may have a bricks-and-mortar presence as well as an online presence.

A business that sells to other businesses or engages in wholesale trade may be considered a consumer-facing business if it also sells directly to end consumers. For example, a painting supply store that sells paints to professional painters could be eligible for the program if they open an online store to sell paints directly to consumers. As another example, a farmer selling produce mainly to grocery stores could be eligible for the program if they started to sell directly to consumers through an online platform that enables consumers to order/reserve and prepay for products for pick up at a road side stand.

Businesses that are not considered consumer-facing are those that focus primarily on wholesale trade or sell only to other businesses. Businesses that engage in drop-shipping or online reselling are also not considered consumer-facing.

What documents are required to prove that my company is a registered business?

One (1) of the following:

  • Master business license
  • Article of incorporation
  • GST return from CRA

We prefer that you provide a government document that confirms your business registration. If you provide only a GST/HST number, then this number must be verified via the GST/HST Registry.

Is my business eligible if it provides goods and services online only?

Yes. Consumer facing businesses are those that provide the majority of their services directly to consumers. Most will have a bricks and mortar presence where consumers can access their goods and services. Some will also have a virtual 'front door' through their online presence which also provides services to consumers.

If my business operates at more than one location, am I considered a corporate chain or am I eligible?

A business can go up to 5 outlets for the same business. These outlets have to be for a single, regional business and the organization does not offer opportunities for other people to buy franchises.

Can the owner of multiple businesses submit an application for each business? That is, for example, the owner of three (3) businesses submitting three (3) applications, one for each business.

Yes, as long as each business is registered with its own business number.

I am the shareholder of an incorporated business, therefore I am considered an employee of the incorporation. I have no other employees, am I eligible?

A shareholder does not count as an employee. Businesses must have at least one employee on payroll. Business that don't have any employees may also be eligible if they have made at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year.

Do part time or temporary employees count as eligible employees?

Part time or fixed-term employees count as eligible employees, but freelance or contract (fee for service) employees do not.

Is there a cap on the number of employees eligible companies can have?

No, there is no cap.

If my business is in their first year of business and is on track to earn $30,000 in revenues, would I be eligible?

Your business has to attest that you had a gross revenue of at least $30,000 in the last 12 months of operations or since incorporation/registration. Therefore you would not be able to apply if you are "on track" to meet the threshold, you would have to wait until the threshold has been met.

For how long must my employee have been employed by my business prior to applying for the Grow Your Business Online grant?

Your employee must have been working at the business for at least three (3) months.


Will the micro-grant be disbursed upfront to cover the costs?

No. Your business must provide a copy of the invoices and proof of payment in order to receive a reimbursement of costs.

What proof of expense is necessary from my business to claim the micro-grant?

Your business must provide an invoice of the expense and proof of payment.

Your business must pay for the expense before claiming the micro-grant, and a copy of their invoice will be required to do so. The invoice must be dated after the signature of your grant agreement.

If the invoice is based on monthly payments, your business should make an advance payment for the full $2,400 before claiming the micro-grant. The invoice should show a credit balance.

Is the $2,400 micro-grant inclusive of taxes? If my business submits a total receipt for $2,400 that has $200 noted in taxes, would the grant funds cover the entire portion or should taxes be excluded?

The micro-grant is not inclusive of taxes. Micro-grants will be issued based on the cost of the expense(s) before taxes; refundable tax charges will not be reimbursed.

Small Business Eligible Costs

Can my business remit costs associated with digital marketing / social media / SEO if I do not have or plan to have an e-commerce store?

No, your business must have an e-commerce presence to be able to seek funds for digital marketing.

If my business chooses a monthly subscription or other recurring service, what is the process to claim the micro-grant?

Your business can prepay the monthly subscription up to $2,400 and submit the invoice and proof of payment to claim the micro-grant.

If my business already has an e-commerce website, can I use the fund to improve, update or redo my current website?

The re-design of an existing site is not eligible. However, upgrading existing website for added functionality (new plugins or features) would be eligible.

Can the grant be used to pay an employee or contractor to support digital adoption?

The micro-grant can be used to pay a contractor only if the contractor operates an independent business (registered and/or incorporated) that provides digital-adoption services. The grant cannot be used to pay an employee's salary.

Are consulting fees for assistance in applying to CDAP eligible costs?

The $2,400 micro-grant cannot go to consultants or agencies working on behalf of the ultimate SME recipients to help them apply for CDAP.

My business already has a website, can I use the grant solely for digital marketing initiatives?

Your grant cannot be used solely for website search optimization or social media advertising; such uses must be tied to an overall e-commerce implementation plan and not a standalone item.

My business would like to use the grant to purchase some hardware with accompanying software. Is this an eligible cost?

Hardware and accompanying non-ecommerce related software are eligible for up to 20% of total grant amount.

  • An example of limited coverage for software would be any software that is bought with the equipment that is required to support an e-commerce strategy. For instance, if a small business buys a new e-commerce integrated point of sale (POS) system that costs $1,300, CDAP will cover 20% or $260.

The maximum amount of the grant that can be allocated to hardware and related software is 20% of $2,400 or $480.

E-Commerce related software is eligible for 100% of grant amount and can include the following:

  • Software to track and manage product inventory, as well as fulfill and ship orders,
  • Software for product databases
  • Software to track sales, market to customers, offer discounts, maintain a loyalty programs
  • Software to simplify marketing
  • Cyber Security software or certifications

Please note all eligible costs must be directly tied to the sale of goods and services online (i.e. online reservations/ordering or chat bot function on website), and you will need to clearly outline this in your application.

Is the Boost Your Business Technology grant right for you?

The Boost Your Business Technology grant gives you up to $15,000 to get advice and up to $100,000 in interest free loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to implement the technologies that can propel your business forward.

You’ll have access to an expert digital advisor who will help you develop a plan tailored to your business needs.

Apply now

Application process

Are you eligible?

Use the CDAP grant assessment tool to see if your business qualifies.

You can apply in 4 easy steps!

  • Step 1: Create your account.
  • Step 2: Confirm your eligibility.
  • Step 3: Work with a digital advisor to develop your digital adoption plan.
  • Step 4: Submit your digital adoption plan to receive your grant payment.

Consult the program guide for terms and conditions.

Digital Needs Assessment (DNA)

How can you get started?

Complete a short questionnaire that will help you assess your current use of technology. Your DNA report will help identify your business needs.

Already have a plan?

What if you already have a digital adoption plan? Get on the fast-track!

You could still benefit from CDAP! Use our fast-track option to get a loan directly from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) or a funded work placement to help implement your plan.

You may be eligible if you have a plan, created within the last 24 months, from one of the programs below:

There are a few conditions in order to utilize multiple funding programs to offset the cost of the digital adoption plan:

  • Businesses must review and meet the eligibility criteria of both programs
  • Businesses must work with a digital advisor that is recognized by both programs
  • The total of the combined grants cannot exceed the amount invoiced by the digital advisor.

BDC 0% Interest Loan

How will you pay for new technology?

If you're ready to move forward on your digital adoption plan but you don’t have the necessary cashflow, BDC can help with a 0% interest loan of up to $100,000.


You're eligible if you have completed a digital adoption plan:

  • as part of CDAP and have received your grant OR
  • under another recognized digital adoption program and submitted it to CDAP

Loan amounts

  • Business revenues of $500,000 to $5 million: loans between $25,000 and $50,000
  • Business revenues over $5 million: loans between $25,000 and $100,000


  • The loan has a 5-year term with 12-month capital postponement (total of 6 years).
  • There are no fees.
  • You have 6 months from the completion of your approved plan to make a loan request.
  • You must meet BDC credit worthiness requirements.

Contact us today to learn more.

Funded work placement

Need help with your plan?

  • You can hire talented students or recent graduates to help your business achieve its digital adoption goals.
  • You will receive a wage subsidy of up to $7,300 to hire talent through a work placement.


You're eligible if you have completed a digital adoption plan:

  • as part of CDAP and have received your grant OR
  • under another recognized digital adoption program and submitted it to CDAP

Contact us today to learn more.

Learn how to digitally transform your business

These articles and blog posts from BDC will help you get a head start on adopting new digital tools.

Digital marketing
Improving operations efficiency (and profitability) through digital investments
Investing in digital and technology to generate business and improve productivity

Contact information

Commitment to inclusion

The Canada Digital Adoption Program upholds Innovation Canada's commitment to providing inclusive programs and cultivating a workplace that is both diverse and inclusive so that we can best support the businesses we serve.

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