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About the Program

With Canadian consumers moving online at a rapid pace, the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) can help get your business online, grow your e-commerce presence, or help digitalize your business’ operations.

The Grow Your Business Online program is designed to help small businesses take advantage of e-commerce opportunities and reach more customers online.

$2,400
Micro-Grant

E-Commerce Advisory Support

Improved Digital Strategies

Business Eligibility

The Grow Your Business Online Grant is offered in British Columbia through Small Business BC and is currently open for applications from businesses that meet all the following criteria:

  • Is a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
  • Is a registered or incorporated business
  • Is a consumer-facing business
  • Can be accessed by consumers or provides in-person services to consumers
  • Has at least one employee (other than the business owner) or had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year (2021)
  • Must commit to maintaining a digital adoption strategy for six months after participating in the program
  • Must consent to participating in follow-up surveys, sharing information with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada) and having the name of the business published as a recipient of funding.

Ineligible Businesses:

  • Corporate chains, franchises, or registered charities
  • Representatives of multi-level marketing companies
  • Real estate brokerages
  • Non-profit organizations

 

Submit Your Application

Applications for the Grow Your Business Online Program are now open. To submit your application through the Digital Main Street website, click the link below

Grant Expense Eligibility

Businesses eligible for the Grow Your Business Online Grant will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 before taxes to help with costs relating to adopting digital technologies.

The $2,400 micro-grant is a reimbursement-style grant so funding will be issued after your spending plan is confirmed, grant agreement is received, and eligible receipts/proof of payments are submitted and approved.

Eligible costs include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Costs related to the implementation or improvement of a digital e-commerce plan (e.g. online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
  • Costs related to website search optimization (SEO)
    •  Plan cannot be used solely for website search optimization, it needs to be tied to 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 (Plan cannot be strictly social media advertising, it needs to tie into overall e-commerce implementation plan)
  • 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)
    • Redesign of an existing site is not eligible
  • 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 program
    • Software to simplify marketing
    • Cyber Security software or certifications
  • Hardware and accompanying software up to 20% of total grant amount
    • As for examples of limited coverage for software, it would be any software that is bought with 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.

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.


Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Costs of connectivity
  • Costs related to the shipping of goods purchased through the e-commerce platform
  • Purchases made prior to grant approval
  • Office Software (e.g., Microsoft Office, iWork, Google Workspace, etc.)
  • Renewal of digital services such as domain name, software subscription etc.
  • Signage and printing
  • Logo redesign and rebranding
  • Business Owner’s salary or current employee salary for executing the project
  • Costs of land, building or vehicle purchase
  • Costs of intangible assets such a 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
  • Costs related to litigation
  • Fees for administrators including payments to any member or officer of the Recipient’s Board of Directors
  • Opportunity costs
  • Hospitality and entertainment costs
  • Franchise fees and/or franchise license costs
  • Lobbyist fees
  • New capital expenditure
  • Consulting fees for submission of CDAP application or any costs not related to the acquisition or set up of technology solution
  • Non-arm’s length transactions (see eligibility FAQs for further details)

 

Working with an E-Commerce Advisor

As part of the Grow Your Business Online Grant, each business has the opportunity to work with an E-commerce Advisor. These advisors work with businesses to provide hands-on guidance by reviewing digital assessments, consulting on grant spending plans, recommending digital marketing strategies, and helping to implement new technologies.

Are you interested in becoming an E-commerce Advisor? Applications are open for students or recent graduates to develop your skills and gain practical experience while helping small businesses reach their online potential.

Learn More

Getting Ready to Apply

Applications for the Grow Your Business Online Grant are submitted through our grant partner, Digital Main Street.

To ensure your business meets the eligibility requirements, please have the following information ready for the application:

  • Business name
  • Business owner’s name and contact information
  • Business structure
  • Number of years in business
  • BC Business registration number
  • Articles of incorporation document for upload
  • Industry type and NAICS code

Application Steps

 

Should you have questions, please contact Small Business BC’s Canada Digital Adoption Program team at:
[email protected]

Payment Processing

Your proof of payment should include the following information:

Date

The dates(s) of the proof(s) of payment must not be earlier than your approved Spending Plan date.

Description of Products/Services Purchased

The proof of payment should clearly indicate the products/services purchased from the supplier. These listed items should be approved products and services under the Canada Digital Adoption Program (see Grant Expense Eligibility section of this page).

Total of the Products and Services

The total spent on approved products and services on the proof of payment may be greater than $2,400. However, reimbursement will only total up to $2,400.

Tax Charges

Tax Charges (GST/PST/HST) will NOT be reimbursed. Grant payments will be issued based on the cost of the expense before taxes.

Supplier’s Information

The proof of payment should clearly indicate the supplier’s:

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Business GST (if applicable)
  • Business PST (if applicable)

Applicant’s Information

The proof of payment should clearly indicate the applicant’s:

  1. Business Name
  2. Business Address (business must be based in BC)

Payment

Please note that receipts paid by cash are NOT an accepted payment method for this grant as verification of the payment cannot be substantiated. Also, no handwritten receipts will be accepted. The receipt must show a method of payment. Some forms of payment include:

Submit Your Application

Applications for the Grow Your Business Online Program are now open. To submit your application through the Digital Main Street website, click the link below

Frequently Asked Questions - General


In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada announced the $4 billion Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to help get your business online, give your e-commerce presence a boost or help digitalize your business’s operations. CDAP provides funding and support to businesses, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians.

Small Business BC and Digital Main Street are partnering to bring CDAP to BC small and medium sized businesses.

Visit the Canada Digital Adoption Program website today to learn more.


The program offers two grants:

The Grow your Business Online program helps small businesses take advantage of e-commerce opportunities.

  • You can access a network of e-commerce advisors for advice and support
  • You can get up to $2,400 to buy new e-commerce tools

Learn more about the Grow Your Business Online program here.

The Boost Your Business Technology grant helps small and medium-sized businesses adopt new digital technologies.

  • Use a free digital assessment tool to evaluate your own digital readiness
  • Get up $15,000 to consult a digital expert and develop a digital adoption plan for your business
  • Get up to $100,000 in interest-free loans from BDC to implement your digital adoption plan
  • Leverage a subsidized work placement to bring on a recent graduate or student to help with your digital transformation.

Learn more about the Boost Your Business Technology grant here.


Grow Your Business Online is a grant available to businesses under the Canada Digital Adoption Program. As a consumer-facing small business, you can receive help adopting new e-commerce tools or giving your existing e-commerce presence a boost.

Through the Grow Your Business Online grant, businesses can access:

  • A network of E-commerce Advisors to help assess your needs and discover new opportunities
  • Microgrants of up to $2,400 to cover the cost of adopting new digital technologies

A consumer-facing business is a business that sells directly to customers (B2C). Businesses can be a bricks and mortar business, or an online business.


Grant applications will be processed and adjudicated by the Canadian Digital Adoption Program team at Small Business BC, using the application portal available on the Digital Main Street website.


Once you’ve submitted your grant application, the CDAP team at Small Business BC will provide regular updates and communications about the status of your file. If you need to amend your application or have further questions, please contact the Canadian Digital Adoption Program team at Small Business BC at [email protected].


At this time, there is no deadline for grant applications.


Yes. Small Business BC offers a wide range of education and resources to support your business. You can review some of our upcoming opportunities here: Increase Your Presence Online.


No. Grant applications must be submitted by the business owner. Grant intake forms and applications submitted by third parties will be denied.


Frequently Asked Questions - Eligibility


Applications can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
  • Is a registered or incorporated business
  • Is a consumer-facing business
  • Can be accessed by consumers or provides in-person services to consumers
  • Has at least one employee (other than the business owner) or had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year (2021)
  • Must commit to maintaining a digital adoption strategy for six months after participating in the program
  • Must consent to participating in follow-up surveys, sharing information with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada) and having the name of the business published as a recipient of funding.

The following types of small businesses are ineligible:

  • Corporate chains, franchises or registered charities
  • Representatives of multi-level marketing companies
  • Real estate brokerages
  • Non-profit organizations

Yes. As long as your business is registered or incorporated, and you meet the other eligibility requirements, new businesses are welcome to apply.


Yes, if you don’t have at least one employee (other than the business owner), you must have made at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year (2021)


Yes. As long as your business had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year (2021)


Businesses should have a government document that confirms the payment of Payroll Source Deductions paid. The employee must have been working at the business for at least three months.


Yes. Businesses will be required to declare that funding received from other programs is not being used to pay the same expense twice.


The Grow Your Business Online grant is being offered by both Small Business BC and Alacrity Academy. B.C. based businesses can choose to apply for the grant through either organization, but you can only apply for the grant once. As part of the grant application, you’ll be asked to confirm that you’ve only applied once.


Yes, so long as the programs are not used to pay for the same expense twice.


A non-arm’s length transaction is defined as follows:

A transaction made between related parties as described in Section 251 of the Income Tax Act, which defines related persons as individuals connected by blood relationship, marriage, or adoption, and any situation involving different degrees of control by these persons or corporations.


Frequently Asked Questions - Payment


Proof of Payment should include the following information:

Date

The dates(s) of the proof(s) of payment must not be earlier than your approved Spending Plan date.

Description of Products/Services Purchased

The proof of payment should clearly indicate the products/services purchased from the supplier. These listed items should be approved products and services under the Canada Digital Adoption Program (see Grant Expense Eligibility section of this page).

Total of the Products and Services

The total spent on approved products and services on the proof of payment may be greater than $2,400. However, reimbursement will only total up to $2,400.

Tax Charges

Tax Charges (GST/PST/HST) will NOT be reimbursed. Grant payments will be issued based on the cost of the expense before taxes.

Supplier’s Information

The proof of payment should clearly indicate the supplier’s:

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Business GST (if applicable)
  • Business PST (if applicable)

Applicant’s Information

The proof of payment should clearly indicate the applicant’s:

  1. Business Name
  2. Business Address (business must be based in BC)

Payment

The receipt must show a method of payment. Some forms of payment include:

  • Credit Card – should show the last four digits of the credit card number on the processed payment transaction slip – XXXXXXXXXXXX1234
  • Cheque – applicant must include pictures of the front and back of the bank processed cheque
  • EFT – clear indication that transfer amount, date, and the sender/receiver information match the proof of payment submitted. You will need to submit your Interac e-Transfer confirmation information page from your financial institution.
  • Amazon Receipt – if any of your receipts are from Amazon, you are required to submit a particular proof of payment.
  • Cash – receipts paid by cash are NOT an accepted payment method for this grant as verification of the payment cannot be substantiated. Also, no handwritten receipts will be accepted.

Our electronic fund transfer payments are handled via SparcPay, a division of SparcBlock. Our partnership ensures you receive your payments securely and quickly. In order to initiate payments and receive funds grant applicants will be required to register an account on SparcPay.

To register, you must have a copy of a void cheque available in an image or .pdf format, or a bank form from your business financial institution. This void cheque must match the name of the applicant’s business. Personal bank accounts are not accepted.


Any expense incurred in US dollars will be exchanged based on the rate of the bank or credit card used to process the transaction on the date of processing. A copy of your credit card or bank charge will be required, in addition to the receipt or proof of payment.


The grant will be provided as a reimbursement. Grant applicants will be required to submit an expense report, coinciding with their pre-approved spending plan and copies of any associated receipts and proof of payment documents.


Your grant reimbursement claim will be submitted through the application portal. You will receive information when you create an account and grant application, and instructions will be provided.


Frequently Asked Questions - Grant Usage


The goal of the grant is to enable businesses to serve existing customers more effectively and to attract new customers in the digital marketplace. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Costs related to the implementation of a digital e-commerce plan (e.g., online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments);
  • Costs related to website search optimization;
  • 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, and,
  • Hardware/Software is eligible up to a total of 20% of the total grant value (e.g., if that grant is $2,400 hardware/software is eligible up to $480)
    • All hardware and software requests must be clearly backed up by how the request directly ties to selling products and/or services online
  • Costs related to the creation of customer databases.

If you are unsure whether your investment is eligible for the Grow Your Business Online grant, please email us at [email protected].


Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Costs of connectivity
  • Costs related to the shipping of goods purchased through the e-commerce platform
  • Purchases made prior to grant approval
  • Renewal of digital services such as domain name, software subscription etc.
    • Note: this includes existing e-commerce subscriptions.
  • Signage and printing
  • Logo redesign and rebranding
  • Business Owner’s salary or current employee salary for executing the project
  • Costs of land, building or vehicle purchase
  • Costs of intangible assets such a 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
  • Costs related to litigation
  • Fees for administrators including payments to any member or officer of the Recipient’s Board of Directors
  • Opportunity costs
  • Hospitality and entertainment costs
  • Franchise fees and/or franchise license costs
  • Lobbyist fees
  • New capital expenditure
  • Consulting fees for submission of CDAP application or any costs not related to the acquisition or set up of technology solution

As part of your grant application, you will be asked to submit a spending plan. Spending plans will be pre-approved.


No. Tax charges will not be reimbursed. Grant payments will be issued based on the cost of the expense before taxes.


Yes. You may submit more than one expense and receipt; however, you may only submit one claim package. Multiple claim packages will not be accepted. The grant will reimburse a maximum of $2,400 before taxes.


Small Business BC is committed to protecting the privacy of people whose personal information is held by the organization through responsible information management practices. Any personal information provided to Small Business BC is collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Federal Privacy Act and Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation, Bill C 28.

We respectfully acknowledge our place of work is within the ancestral, traditional and unceded territories of the Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and that we serve the Peoples of the many Nations throughout British Columbia.