Minister Ng launches call for applications for digital advisors for Stream Two of the Canada Digital Adoption Program

News release

August 13, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) will be crucial to Canada’s economic recovery by generating growth and creating jobs. For Canada’s businesses to thrive in an increasingly digital world, they need the tools, resources and opportunities to adopt new technologies and digitally transform. Expanding advanced 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 a call for organizations and individuals to register as digital advisors to help businesses develop curated and comprehensive digital adoption plans.

These digital advisors will support a key component of the Canada Digital Adoption Program’s (CDAP) second stream, Boost Your Business Technology, which will provide SMEs with access to a list of experienced, vendor-neutral, digital advisory service providers across Canada to help them digitize and adopt new advanced technologies.

Individuals or organizations applying to be on the register will need to demonstrate that they are well established and have a strong track record of developing and delivering digital adoption plans. Successful applicants will be added to an online marketplace that SMEs can access to help develop their digital adoption plans.

As part of Stream Two, eligible SMEs will also receive grants to offset the cost of hiring digital advisors. These grants may also cover up to 90% of the cost of developing the plans, to a maximum value of $15,000. In addition, SMEs will be able to access a zero-interest loan (up to $100,000) through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to finance the implementation of their digital adoption plan. A wage subsidy of up to $7,300 will also be available to eligible SMEs to pay for student and recent graduate work placements to support their digital transformation efforts.

Announced in Budget 2021, CDAP is a $4-billion program composed of two streams: Stream One – Grow Your Business Online and Stream Two – Boost Your Business Technology. The first stream called on 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 closed on August 6.

There is no closing date to apply to be part of the digital advisor register.


“Small and medium-sized enterprises will be crucial drivers in accelerating Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. By adopting new digital tools and technologies, Canadian businesses will improve productivity, increase their competitiveness and create good jobs, including jobs for Canada’s best and brightest youth. The Canada Digital Adoption Program is key to making this happen and will help many businesses, students and young workers find their place in the digital economy.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Quick facts

  • The Canada Digital Adoption Program is a $4-billion investment to help SMEs adopt digital technologies. It has two funding streams:

    • 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 Technology 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 for BDC 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. This support has been extended to October 23, 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%. This subsidy has been extended to October 23.
    • 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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