Minister Ng launches call for applications for youth employment providers for stream two of the Canada Digital Adoption Program

News release

August 5, 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 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 a call for applications for youth employment providers for the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) second stream, Boost Your Business Technology.

As part of Boost Your Business Technology, up to $139.3 million in funding will be provided to not-for-profit organizations to employ up to 16,800 students and young Canadians to support businesses looking to adopt digital tools and technologies.

Prospective applicant organizations will need to demonstrate that they are well established, have a strong track record of delivering youth placement services, and can place students and recent graduates with SMEs across the country. Students and recent graduates will then support the digital transformation efforts of companies that are eligible for funding under the Boost Your Business Technology stream.

The Boost your Business Technology stream consists of several components to help businesses take the necessary steps to deepen their digital transformation journey. Under this stream, eligible SMEs will also benefit from financial support in the form of a grant to offset the costs of retaining an advisor to create a digital adoption plan. The grant may cover up to 90% of the cost associated with developing the plan to a maximum value of $15,000. SMEs will have access to a roster of experienced, vendor-neutral digital advisory service providers across Canada to develop curated and comprehensive digital adoption plans. In the coming weeks, a call for applications will be announced for interested digital advisory service providers.

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. They will also be able to apply for a wage subsidy of up to $7,300 to pay for work placements of students and recent graduates to support their digital transformation efforts.

Announced in Budget 2021, CDAP is an investment of $4 billion and is composed of two streams. The call for applications for the first stream, Grow Your Business Online, was launched on July 8. Funding under that stream will be awarded to not-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 stream 2 call for applications closes on September 8, 2021, at 2:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time).


“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

  • Announced in Budget 2021, the Canada Digital Adoption Program is a $1.4-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. 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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