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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, having this information shared with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada) and having the name of their business published as a recipient of funding

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, real estate agents, investment advisors, insurance agents, etc.
  • A non-profit organization
  • A business that is engaged in online reselling or drop-shipping reliant on third-party suppliers
  • A wholesale or distribution business or manufacturer (unless you sell directly to consumers)

 

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 are those that relate to implementation of an e-commerce solution or the net new cost for improving an existing e-commerce plan, which include:

  • 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)
    •  Keyword Research and Metadata Optimization
    • SEO to enable mobile-friendly design
    • Page Speed Optimization
    • Linking – creating a clearly defined system of internal links  that directs users and search engines through the small business’ content effectively
  • 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
  • To pay up to 20% of the total cost of hardware and software

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
  • 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:

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 - CDAP Grant Streams


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.


Yes, you can apply to both grants.


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.


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].


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.


Frequently Asked Questions - Small Business Eligibility


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


No, there is no cap.


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.


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


Frequently Asked Questions - Micro-Grant


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


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.


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.


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 - Small Business Eligible Costs


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.