Canadian Digital Adoption Program FAQs

By February 28, 2023March 15th, 2023CDAP

What is CDAP?

CDAP stands for the Canadian Digital Adoption Program, which is an initiative launched by the Government of Canada in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Canada adopt digital technologies and improve their digital capabilities. The program provides funding to eligible SMEs to help them access digital resources and services such as website development, digital marketing, e-commerce, cybersecurity, and other related technologies.

The CDAP is part of the larger Digital Adoption Program (DAP), which also includes the Rapid Adoption of Digital Technology (RADT) program and the Future Skills Centre (FSC) program. Together, these programs aim to help Canadian businesses and workers build the digital skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the digital economy.

What are the goals of CDAP?

The goal of the CDAP is to help SMEs overcome the financial and technical barriers that may prevent them from fully participating in the digital economy. By providing funding and support for digital adoption, the program aims to help SMEs become more competitive and resilient in the face of changing market conditions.

How can CDAP help small businesses?

The funding support provided by the Canadian Digital Adoption Program can be particularly helpful for small businesses in several ways:

  1. Overcoming Financial Constraints: Small businesses often face financial constraints that can limit their ability to invest in new technologies or digital tools. The funding provided by the program can help small businesses overcome these financial barriers and access the digital resources and services they need to grow and compete.
  2. Access to Expertise: The funding provided by the program can be used to hire government-vetted digital advisors to help small businesses develop and implement their digital strategies. This can be particularly valuable for small businesses that may not have the in-house expertise or resources to do so.
  3. Upgrading Technology: Many small businesses may be using outdated or inefficient technology, which can impact their productivity and competitiveness. The funding provided by the program can help small businesses upgrade their technology, which can lead to cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved customer service.
  4. Training and Education: The funding provided by the program can also be used for training and education, which can help small businesses build their digital skills and knowledge. This can be particularly valuable for small businesses that may not have the time or resources to invest in training on their own.

The funding support provided by the Canadian Digital Adoption Program can help small businesses overcome financial constraints, access external expertise, upgrade their technology, and build their digital skills and knowledge. These benefits can help small businesses improve their productivity, profitability, and competitiveness in the digital economy.

What are the differences between Grow Your Business Online Grant and Boost Your Business Technology Grant?

The Grow Your Business Online (GYBO) Grant and the Boost Your Business with Technology (BYBT) Grant are two programs offered by the Government of Canada to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Canada. Here are some key differences between the two programs:

  1. Eligibility: The GYBO Grant is available to businesses that made $30,000 in revenue in one of the last 3 years while the BYBT Grant is available to Canadian-owned and -operated SMEs with at least $500,000 in annual revenue in one of the last 3 years. There are more eligibility criteria differences between the two programs. Learn more.
  2. Purpose: The GYBO Grant is designed to help businesses establish an online presence and reach new customers through digital marketing and advertising. The BYBT Grant, on the other hand, is designed to help SMEs adopt digital technologies to improve their business operations and competitiveness.
  3. Funding Amount: The GYBO Grant provides up to $2,400 in funding to eligible businesses, while the BYBT Grant provides up to 90% of eligible project costs, up to a maximum of $15,000 per project.
  4. Eligible Costs: The eligible costs under the GYBO Grant include expenses related to the development and implementation of a digital marketing plan, such as the creation of a website, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. The eligible costs under the BYBT Grant included expenses related to hiring a CDAP advisor, like Analog / Digital, to provide services that propel your business forward and develop a plan tailored to your business needs. More details on eligible costs are found below.

Who is eligible for CDAP grant

Boost Your Business with Technology (BYBT) Eligibilty

Businesses must..

  1. Be a sole proprietor whose owner is a Canadian resident or a business incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province or territory
  2. be a for-profit business
  3. Has between 1 – 499 full-time equivalent employees
  4. Has at least $500,000 of annual revenues but not more than $100,000,000 in one of the previous three tax years from the date of submitting a grant application.
  5. Is a privately owned business

The eligibility criteria for the Boost Your Business with Technology is constantly evolving. Check with the official program website to confirm the latest criteria.

What are the eligible costs under CDAP?

The Grow Your Business Online (GYBO) Grant and the Boost Your Business with Technology (BYBT) Grant are two separate programs offered and have different eligible costs covered between the two.

Grow your Business Online (GYBO) Eligible Costs

  • Costs related to the implementation or improvement of a digital e-commerce plan (e.g. online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
  • E-commerce software including:
    • 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
  • Hardware and accompanying software up to 20% of total grant amount
    • Examples 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 (including software) as a part of their $2400 plan, CDAP will reimburse 20% of the grant (in this case $480) for hardware.
  • Costs related to website search optimization
    • Note: plan cannot be strictly so website search optimization, it needs to be tied to the overall e-commerce implementation plan, and not a standalone item.
  • Costs related to the installation of an e-commerce platform (including subscription fees/costs)
  • Costs of back-office solutions to support an e-commerce strategy
  • Costs of social media advertising
    • Note: plan cannot be strictly social media advertising, it needs to be tied to overall e-commerce implementation plan, and not a standalone item.
  • Costs related to the creation of customer databases
  • Hiring a consultant/agency to execute Digital Marketing initiatives related to your e-commerce store
  • Development of new e-commerce website
  • Upgrading existing e-commerce site for added functionality (i.e., new plugins, or features)
    • Please note redesign of an existing site is not eligible

In your application to the Grow Your Business Online grant, you’re required to list out and categorize your expected expenses for the CDAP rep to approve.

Boost Your Business with Technology (BYBT) Eligible Costs

  1. The cost associated with retaining a registered Digital Advisor, like Analog Digital, for the development of a Digital Adoption plan.
  2. Fees, commissions, and charges by approved CDAP Digital Advisors for the production of a Digital Adoption Plan.
  3. Applicable federal and/or provincial sales taxes are applied to the fees and commissions charged by approved CDAP Digital Advisors and only for the purpose of producing a Digital Adoption Plan.

What is a digital advisor that is recognized by CDAP?

A digital advisor recognized by the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is a professional with expertise in digital technologies and business transformation who has been selected by CDAP to provide advisory services to eligible small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

To become a recognized digital advisor, individuals must meet certain criteria, including relevant experience and qualifications, as well as the ability to provide advisory services that align with the program’s goals and objectives. Digital advisors recognized by CDAP are expected to provide high-quality advisory services to SMEs, including conducting needs assessments, developing digital strategies, and providing ongoing training and support.

CDAP recognizes digital advisors who have been selected through a competitive process, which typically involves an application and screening process to ensure that they meet the program’s requirements. Once selected, digital advisors are provided with training and support to help them deliver effective advisory services to eligible SMEs.

What does a digital advisor do?

The Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) provides digital advisors to eligible small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to help them adopt digital technologies and improve their business operations. Here are some examples of what CDAP digital advisors do:

  1. Conduct Needs Assessments: Digital advisors work with SMEs to understand their current business operations, identify areas where digital technologies can be used, and assess their readiness to adopt digital solutions.
  2. Develop Digital Strategies: Based on the needs assessment, digital advisors help SMEs develop a digital strategy that includes specific goals, timelines, and metrics for measuring success. They may also help businesses identify the most appropriate digital solutions for their needs.
  3. Provide Training and Support: Digital advisors offer training and support to SMEs to help them implement digital solutions and overcome any challenges they may encounter along the way. This may include training on how to use new software or hardware, as well as ongoing support to ensure that digital solutions are being used effectively.
  4. Connect SMEs with Resources: Digital advisors may also connect SMEs with other resources, such as funding opportunities, networking events, and industry associations, to help them further their digital adoption goals.

Overall, the role of a CDAP digital advisor is to help eligible SMEs navigate the complex landscape of digital technologies and adopt solutions that can improve their competitiveness and long-term success.

What makes Analog Digital different from other Digital Advisors?

At Analog Digital, we’ve helped dozens of businesses and e-commerce brands across Canada to take full advantage of the Canadian Digital Adoption Program.

Unlike other digital advisors, we work with you during the application process and provide advice and help you overcome issues you may encounter during the application process including sharing common applicant mistakes.

Analog Digital is one of the few web and marketing agencies vetted by the CDAP program and approved as a Digital Advisor. We have a unique view of your business and technological needs that we’re able to provide unique insights that other advisors don’t have.

Next Steps:

The Digital Adoption Plan is just the start of your digital transformation. Analog Digital is fully equipped to help in the implementation of digital and marketing initiatives through digital transformation, SEO, Paid Ads and more. Whether you’re a local business looking to get more leads or an established e-commerce brand selling the next big thing, you can benefit from Analog Digital’s partnership in scaling your business.

    How to apply for Canadian Digital Adoption Program

    For step-by-step instructions on how to apply for the grants (with screenshots!), check our blog post.

    Grow your Business Online (GYBO) Application

    1. Create a profile under Digital Mainstreet through this link.
    2. Go through the steps and apply for the GYBO grant.
    3. Schedule a call and chat with your assigned e-commerce advisor.
    4. Create and submit a spending plan to be approved by your e-commerce advisor.
    5. Wait for approval

    Boost Your Business with Technology (BYBT) Application

    1. Apply for the Business with Technology grant through this link.
      • Tip: Only the Owner or Director of the business can apply for the grant. An application submitted by another individual will be denied.
    2. Create your My Canada Business Account.
    3. The owner of the business verifies their personal identity
      • Tip: You have to use your personal banking information when passing through the automated ID validation system. Business accounts are not eligible for the automated ID verification process.
      • Tip: To accelerate their application journey, applicants should choose the automated ID validation option through Verify.me by selecting the recommended option to “Verify your identity online”.
    4. Fill out the Digital Needs Assessment questionnaire (approx 30 mins)
    5. Apply to the program
      • Tip: Business Name must be your legal business name as it appear in your CRA Notice of Assessment (NOA). For example, of an omission of the period at the end of “Inc.” or if Business Name spells out “incorporated” when they should write “Inc.”
        • If the Legal business name is not spelled exactly according to CRA information, it creates a mismatch error message.
    6. Click Submit
    7. Wait for program acceptance
    8. Login back into the CDAP System, you will find the option to
      accept the grant agreement (and subsequently provide banking details).
    9. Receive a custom proposal from Analog Digital to execute the Digital Adoption Program.

    What is the CDAP wage subsidy?

    The Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) Wage Subsidy is a financial assistance program offered by the Government of Canada to help eligible small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) hire and train employees to support their digital transformation.

    Under the Wage Subsidy program, CDAP provides financial assistance to eligible SMEs to cover a portion of the salary and training costs for new hires who will support the adoption of digital technologies within the business.

    Once the your CDAP plan and invoice is approved, the applicant will receive a link by email they can gain access to a portal to hire a qualified post-secondary student or recent graduate.

    The SME will be invited to create a profile in the portal in youth placement portal in order t match the business with qualified students or graduates.

    The SME will then review a list of candidates and interview the desired candidates. The SME can only receive one subsidized youth placement through the grant. Advisors cannot apply on behalf of the SME.

    What is the BDC 0% interest loan?

    Under the CDAP program, eligible SMEs can apply for the BDC $100k loan to help finance their digital transformation efforts. The loan is designed to provide financial support for SMEs looking to invest in digital technologies and processes that can help them improve operations, reach new customers, and drive growth.

    Loan amounts

    The amount of the loan is determined by the size of the business. If the business’s annual gross revenues are:

    • Between $500,000 and $5M the SMEs can request a loan of between $25,000 and $50,000
    • $5M and more, the SME can request a loan between $25,000 and $100,000


    • The loan has a 5-year term with a 12-month capital postponement (a total of 6 years).
    • You must submit your loan request within 6 months of completing your CDAP plan.
    • You must meet BDC creditworthiness requirements.

    Eligible Cost for BDC 0% loan.

    • Acquiring IT equipment
    • Installation of new technologies
    • Updating and/or expanding IT equipment
    • Training staff on onboarded technologies
    • Materials and support services directly related to onboarding the technology
    • Further advisory services on particular aspects of the digital adoption plan

    Source: bdc.ca

    What’s the budget for CDAP?

    Announced in Budget 2021, the CDAP is expected to support up to 160,000 Canadian small businesses and help create thousands of jobs, including nearly 30,000 job placements for young Canadians to help them gain valuable work experience while supporting business growth.

    Under the CDAP, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can access $1.4 billion in grants and advisory services, as well as up to $2.6 billion in loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to support the implementation of digital transformation plans.

    Grow Your Business Online funding provides micro-grants of up to $2,400 and youth e-commerce advisors’ support to help small businesses implement digital storefronts and e-commerce capabilities.

    Boost Your Business Technology funding provides grants covering 90% of costs up to $15,000 to access advisory services from government-vetted digital advisors, like Analog Digital, to develop a digital adoption plan, access to zero percent interest loans from the BDC, as well as opportunities for student placements.

    Source: pm.gc.ca