Minister Ng announces a call for applications for stream 1 of the Canada Digital Adoption Program

News release

July 8, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy and will be crucial to Canada’s economic recovery by generating growth and creating jobs moving forward. For Canada’s businesses to thrive and reach customers in an increasingly digital world, they need the tools, resources and opportunities to go digital. Expanding digital adoption for businesses of all sizes is critical to Canada’s long-term growth and competitiveness.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced the launch of a call for applications for the Canada Digital Adoption Program’s (CDAP) first stream, Grow Your Business Online. Announced in Budget 2021, the CDAP is an investment of $4 billion and will be comprised of two streams, with stream 2, Boost Your Business Tech, also including $2.6 billion in zero-interest loans to help Canadian businesses adopt new technologies.

The first stream will award funding of up to $336.8 million to not-for-profit organizations to support small businesses as they adopt digital technologies such as digital storefronts and e-commerce platforms, and expand their digital presence.

The call for applications for the first stream targets organizations with expertise and experience in helping local and regional businesses adopt digital technologies as well as experience in working with educational systems. The latter experience includes recruiting, training and mentoring students who will support small businesses as part of the CDAP as they bring their products and services online. More details can be found on the Grow Your Business Online page.

The Grow Your Business Online stream is targeted at customer-facing businesses such as small-scale retail and service operations that have not made significant investments in digital technologies and are looking to reach more customers online by digitizing their businesses. These businesses are eligible for microgrants of up $2,400 to adopt e-commerce capabilities and increase their digital presence. This stream will also support up to 11,200 jobs for students who would act as digital advisors to small businesses.

The call for applications closes on August 6, 2021 at 5:59 p.m. PT.

More information on the CDAP’s second stream, Boost Your Business Tech, as well as more details for small businesses and students, will be available in the coming weeks.


“The success of Canada’s small businesses is critical in accelerating our nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and safeguarding our future as a competitive nation in an increasingly digital world. The Canada Digital Adoption Program will provide businesses from coast to coast to coast with the tools they need to bring their made-in-Canada products and services online, grow their businesses and hire workers. This program will be crucial in helping even more Canadian businesses make their market in a digital economy.”
- The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade 

Quick facts

  • Announced in Budget 2021, the Canada Digital Adoption Program is a $1.4-billion investment to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt digital technologies. It has two streams of funding:

    • Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online will provide funding to not-for-profit organizations with expertise in helping small businesses implement digital storefronts and e-commerce capabilities.
    • Stream 2: Boost Your Business Tech will provide grants to access advisory services to develop a digital adoption plan as well as opportunities for student placements. Budget 2021 also announced $2.6 billion to the Business Development Bank of Canada to help SMEs finance the implementation of their technology adoption plan.
  • To support Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada introduced the largest relief package in our country’s history, including the following major programs for business owners and their employees:

    • The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is helping businesses cover up to 75% of payroll. Budget 2021 proposed extending CEWS until September 25, 2021.
    • The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), available directly to business owners, covers up to 65% of rent. The lockdown support may provide an additional 25%. Budget 2021 proposed extending these relief measures until September 25, 2021.
    • The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) offers loans at a fixed interest rate of 4% across all financial institutions, for terms of up to 10 years, and the loans are 100% guaranteed by the Government of Canada. Businesses will be able to apply through to December 31, 2021.
  • Budget 2021 introduced more funding to help businesses make a strong recovery from the pandemic as the economy safely reopens. Highlights include:

Associated links


Alice Hansen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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