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Grow Your Business Online Grant (CDAP) up to $2,400

Are you the owner of a small or medium-sized business in Canada? The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is here to assist you in taking advantage of tech solutions and getting your business established online. They offer two grants that could be extremely useful for this purpose.

  • ✔️ This Guide is About this Grant: 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 for advice on the technologies that can propel your business forward.

Grow Your Business Online Grant (CDAP) up to $2,400

2024 is yet another challenging year for businesses. There is some help for those trying to adapt to the new environment. The government of Canada can provide up to $2,400 in micro-grants to help you cover the costs of deploying digital technology solutions. This includes e-commerce capabilities that can assist with serving existing customers better and drawing in new customers.

While $2,400 is not nearly enough for most businesses to get online, you can use this money to add functionality to your website and event to test out new vendors. You can use a portion of the program to pay for Paid Advertising. The government doesn’t tell us how much, but it’s an excellent opportunity to test your new eCommerce functionality and or an offer.

What are the eligibility criteria for CDAP?

  • is a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)

  • is registered or incorporated

    • Provide one of the following

      • Master Business License

      • Article of Incorporation

      • GST Return from CRA

  • is consumer-facing (sells goods and services directly to end consumers)

    • A consumer-facing business is a business that deals directly with end-use customers. Businesses not considered consumer-facing 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.

      The business must be open to the general public for either in-person or online sales.

      Websites that require a login are not considered to be consumer-facing.

  • Has at least one employee (other than the owner) OR had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year

    • Your business must have a minimum of one employee on the payroll in addition to the owner. Independent contractors are not considered to be employees. Employees must be on payroll with income tax deducted and employee benefits like EI and CPP paid. If your business does not have an employee on payroll, you must have earned at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the previous 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

Who is not eligible for CDAP?

Your business is not eligible if it is:

  • A corporate chain, franchise or registered charity

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

  • 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 areas does CDAP Cover?

  • Get online

    • 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 and maintain loyalty programs.

      • Software to simplify marketing

      • Cyber Security software or certifications

    • Software required to implement an e-commerce solution

      • Note: all software must be directly tied to selling goods and services online, and you must clearly outline this in your submitted plan.

    • Upgrading existing e-commerce site for added functionality (i.e., new plugins or features)

      • Please note that redesigning an existing site is not eligible

    • Development of a new e-commerce website

    • Costs related to the installation of an e-commerce platform (including subscription fees/costs)

  • Increase sales

    • Costs related to the creation of customer databases

    • Expenses related to website search optimization.

      • Note: plan cannot be strictly search optimization. It must be tied to the overall e-commerce implementation plan, not a standalone item.

  • Connect with customers

    • Costs related to the creation of customer databases

  • Improve social media marketing

    • Costs of social media advertising

      • Note: plan cannot be strictly social media advertising. It must be tied to the overall e-commerce implementation plan, not a standalone item.

  • Improve user experience for online customers

    • Costs of back-office solutions to support an e-commerce strategy

  • Adopt Security Software

Will the CDAP grant be paid upfront, or will government reimburse my expenses?

The grant will be given in the form of reimbursement. To receive the grant, applicants have to submit an expense report and any accompanying receipts and proof of payments. This expenses need to match the pre-approved spending plan.

Does CDAP $2,400 Grant include reimbursement of tax paid like HST?

Unfortunately, taxes will not be refunded. However, reimbursements for the expenses you incur will be paid on the basis of their cost prior to taxation.

How to Apply for a CDAP Grant of up to $2,400 in Ontario?

You can select one of the agencies to apply for the grant. You can’t use multiple agencies at the same time. Each one has a slightly different application procedure. For example, with Digital Main Street, you have to get a call from an e-Commerce advisor before they open the application. If you use the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, you can skip the call and submit your plan immediately. These providers do not cover Business Technology Grant of up to $15,000. You will need to apply through the government website directly.

What documents should I have for CDAP Application?

  • Project Description: You need to clearly describe what your project is trying to achieve and how the grant will help you. The project needs to be related to online commerce.

  • Spending Plan: You will have multiple categories, such as eCommerce Costs or Social Media Advertising. Be prepared to itemize items. Remember, you can’t use the whole grant to pay for advertising or SEO. You also can’t use the grand for software costs that you are already incurring.

  • Certificate of Incorporation

  • GST Return

  • Recommended: Quotes from the Vendors

For all of Ontario

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

For the City of Kingston and the surrounding area (Lennox and Addington, Frontenac County, and Gananoque)

Kingston Economic Development Corporation

What proof of expense is needed for CDAP Grant reimbursement?

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

Your business must pay for the expense before claiming the micro-grant; a copy of their invoice will be required. 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 of $2,400 before claiming the micro-grant. The invoice should show a credit balance.

Let’s Talk

In 2024 running is business is tough, so we need to take advantage of everything that we can. You can find the nitty gritty of what the application entails on our website. If you need help with formulating on how best to use the grant and executing your pilot project, let’s talk.

Last Updated: February 12, 2024

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