Technology is critical to the success of a business, with the front runners in digital adoption leading the race. Companies that do not have a digital presence or who aren’t optimizing business technology are behind the curve.
The digital shift is impacting organizations across sectors. We believe that there’s no better time to invest in technology than today.
In March 2022, the Canadian government announced it is investing $4 billion over four years to support up to 160,000 small and medium businesses to grow their online presence and upgrade or adopt digital technologies.
In this guide, we’ll explain what the new government program is and explain how your business can access funding.
What is the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)?
The CDAP is a program by the Government of Canada to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt digital technologies and stay competitive by providing access to funding and expertise.
The program has two grants, each applicable to different sized SMEs:
$2,400 microgrant to create a new website, for businesses with > $30K revenue OR at least one employee (other than the owner)
$15,000 grant to develop a digital adoption plan, for businesses with >$500K revenue
Cue North is an approved digital advisor. We are working with business owners who have been approved for Boost your Business Technology.
We're also working with health businesses to improve their websites, utilizing the Grow Your Business Online grant. Lean more about Cue North Websites.
What will my business have access to through Boost Your Business Technology?
$15K to develop Digital Adoption Plan
- A grant covering up to 90% of the eligible cost of retaining the services of a digital advisor, up to a maximum grant value of $15,000 per SME, to develop a digital adoption plan.
- Gain advice from a digital advisor, who will work with companies to recommend digital pathways and strategies that will help you achieve your business goals and increase your competitiveness in the digital economy.
- Have access to a marketplace of pre-approved digital advisors like Cue North.
Up to $100K Interest-Free Loan
Have the opportunity to secure a 0% interest loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to facilitate the acquisition of new technology. The amount of the loan varies according to your revenue:
- Business revenues between $500,000 and below $5M: you can request a loan between $25,000 and $50,000
- Business revenues $5M and more: you can request a loan between $25,000 and $100,000.
Up to $7,300 Wage Subsidies for Youth
Access a pool of talented post-secondary students and recent graduates through subsidized work placements.
Update as of October 2023: companies can now apply for multiple wage subsidies.
Boost Your Business Technology
To be eligible, your business meet ALL of these criteria:
Be incorporated federally or provincially, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
Be a for-profit, privately owned business
Have between 1 – 499 full time equivalent employees
Have at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years
How do I apply?
Complete Grant Assessment
Boost Your Business Technology
Confirm you are eligible (see above) and apply.
As of June 2023, the director of a company can authorize a delegate to apply for the Boost Your Business Technology Grant. This delegate might be a CEO, COO, office manager - anyone who the business owner would typically rely on for handling grants like this. Learn more about how a delegate can apply for this grant.
Complete a Digital Needs Assessment (DNA)
You'll be asked to complete the DNA, which has around 40 questions covering 8 capabilities from customer experience to data security.
Select Digital Advisor
After your DNA has been reviewed, you will access a marketplace of digital advisors. Reach out to a pre-approved digital advisor, including Cue North, on the marketplace.
Work on your Digital Adoption Plan (DAP)
Your digital advisor will work with you to develop a digital adoption plan that's customized to your business.
Submit DAP & request $15K grant
Submit your plan to CDAP for review. Once your plan has been reviewed, submit the invoices from your digital advisor to receive a grant of up to $15,000 to cover their fees.
Apply for implementation support: 0% interest loan up to $100K and $7,300 wage subsidy
CDAP supports the implementation of your digital adoption plan through an interest-free loan and a wage subsidy. Once your plan is approved, you will receive links to apply for the loan and the wage subsidy.
1. Interest-free loan of $25,000 to $100,000
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
Learn more about the interest-free loan.
2. Wage subsidy for youth placement, up to $7,300
Learn more about the wage subsidy.
Cue North is part of CDAP’s network of approved digital adoption advisors.
Through a hands-on approach, our CDAP Digital Adoption Plan solution is designed to help eligible businesses determine:
- How you currently use technology
- Which digital solutions make sense for your business and how they will help you meet your business goals
- Your organization’s digital strategy
- How to implement that strategy
Your customized digital adoption plan will contain actionable and practical advice to move you forward in your digital transformation journey.
Book a complimentary 30-minute call with our team and start accessing CDAP for your business.
If you're interested in partnering with us to serve your clients, please send an email firstname.lastname@example.org more information before booking a call.
Frequently asked questions
The Government of Canada has outlined four mandatory criteria for eligible applicants:
- Incorporated at the national or provincial level; or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor.
- Privately-owned for-profit entity
- Maximum 499 full time equivalent employees.
- At least $500,000 and not more than $100 million in revenue in one (1) of the past three (3) tax years.
The Government of Canada will reimburse you for up to 90% of eligible expenses, up to $15,000. Once your Cue North advisor has completed work on your digital adoption plan, you will submit the invoices to receive your grant payment.
You must apply for the grant directly. However, our team can guide you through the process, review your application, provide feedback to maximize your likelihood of success. and answer any questions you have.
A business owner may authorize a delegate to apply on behalf of the company. Note that this delegate can NOT be a CDAP digital advisor.
The Government of Canada has a list of partners in its Digital Advisor Marketplace who you can work with. Cue North is an approved digital advisor for the Canada Digital Adoption Program.
You need to submit your digital adoption plan and invoices to the federal government for reimbursement within 9 months of being approved for funding.
In most cases, we can help you develop your digital adoption plan much sooner — typically, our work will be completed within 6 weeks of the project kick-off.
The exact timeline will depend on the availability of key individuals on your team to provide input and participate in meetings.
Cue North has assembled a team of advisors with extensive experience helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve their digital transformation goals.
Your primary point of contact will be one of our directors. This individual will recruit support from our extended team as necessary to help develop a tailored and comprehensive transformation plan that’s ready for implementation.
Your digital adoption plan is a comprehensive analysis of the opportunities to improve your business by leveraging modern technology.
Specific components you will see in the digital adoption plan from Cue North include:
- Current state analysis, including a current technology map
- Future state technology map, identifying new solutions or enhancements to existing solutions
- Prioritized list and descriptions of digital solutions (we call these digital initiatives because they can include software selection process and changes to processes and roles) and how they impact your business goals
- Implementation roadmap, including timelines, costs, and required capabilities
No. The Boost Your Business Technology grant is intended to assess your digital maturity and opportunities to increase your competitiveness through digital transformation.
Eligible costs are limited to those involved with creating your digital adoption plan, including:
- Advisor fees, commissions, and charges associated with creating your digital adoption plan.
- Applicable federal and provincial sales taxes associated with fees charged by the advisor.
However, upon approval of your digital adoption plan, you will be able to apply for an interest-free loan and use those funds for implementation of your digital strategy. That means the loan can be used to purchase new hardware, software (including subscriptions for cloud-based tools) and services to help implement the technology.
Yes, we can assist in the implementation of your plan.
Examples of how we can work with you include: redesign processes to support new technology, configuration of software, designing a new website.
After we assist you with the development of your digital adoption plan, it will be the end of our engagement from a Canada Digital Adoption Program perspective. However, it is only the beginning of your overall transformation journey. We look forward to working alongside with you and your team to implement your digital adoption plan. Having already gained a deep understanding of your needs, engaging our team will make for a seamless transition from planning to execution.
Case Studies and Innovation Projects
Why work with us
We're not just a marketing agency or experts in one particular area. Our experience is across business areas from strategy to finance to HR - and we know how important technology is to each of these areas.
As an approved Digital Advisor, we work with eligible businesses to develop digital adoption plans tailored to the needs of the business. We take the time to understand the uniqueness of your business, priorities and challenges.
We provide vendor neutral advice. That means we won't be recommending one particular company or solution because we have a relationship with the vendor.
Focus on Healthcare and Services
We've been working closely with businesses in healthcare and professional services providers. Since April 2022 when we began working with businesses going through CDAP, we've worked with a range of business owners including dentists, optometrists, engineering consultants and evaluation consultants.
Women-Owned, Managed, Powered
We're proud to be a women-owned business, and almost all our teammates are women. It certainly doesn't mean we only work with women - we are a great fit for business owners who prioritize people and community as well as business success.