Canada Digital Adoption Program

For Businesses

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The Grow Your Business Online (GYBO) Grant Program, administered by Alacrity Canada, supports small businesses looking to adopt or improve their use of digital technologies. 

This program makes funding and E-commerce Advisors available to B.C.-based businesses to help them establish or improve their digital business activities, including e-commerce and online booking services.

Alacrity educates E-commerce Advisors and then pairs them with businesses that have successfully applied.

If you want to apply to be an E-commerce Advisor, see 

Eligibility Requirements

Your business must

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Be for-profit (includes for-profit social enterprises and cooperatives)

Be a registered or incorporated business

Be consumer-facing

Have at least 1 employee (in addition to the business owner)

Primarily operate in B.C.

Ineligible businesses

Corporate chains, franchises, or registered charities

Representatives of multi-level marketing companies

Real estate brokerages and sales agents

Businesses receive:

Micro-grants up to $2,400

Access to an E-commerce Advisor

E-commerce Advisors

E-commerce Advisors will be paired with participating businesses and will work together to review existing digital strategies and make improvement plans. These Advisors will spend up to 30 hours with each business. E-commerce Advisors will provide recommendations and undertake work to make new digital systems, make changes, or make improvements. Each business and E-commerce Advisor pairing will have a dedicated Alacrity Liaison at their disposal and answer questions and resolve concerns should they arise.

Funding

 

Approval of funding to successful applicants will be conditional upon the terms and conditions set out in the grant letter received upon acceptance into the program. Following project completion, the business must submit the expense summary report along with receipts and/or invoice copies, with proof of payment, for all eligible project related expenses within 90 days, to Alacrity Canada.

01

When will money spent be reimbursed?

Money spent on e-commerce improvements will be reimbursed upon review of receipts and/or invoices copies, with proof of payment.

02

What is required of my business after the program?

Businesses are asked to participate in follow-up surveys, agree to having their business information shared with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada), and agree to their business name being published as a recipient of funding.

03

How long is the commitment?

Businesses must agree to maintain their digital adoption strategy for 6 months post-intervention.

How do I apply? 

Alacrity Canada acts as an intermediary for Grow Your Business Online Program on behalf of the Canadian Government. If you apply for CDAP funding through Alacrity, we will be the ones supporting you and your growth.

 Documents and info you need to have ready:

  • One of the following:
    • A government document proving the legal existence of the business (e.g., incorporation or registration documents, CRA business number, operating/business license),

    • Federal Business Number GST/HST number

    • Proof of business registration with a Band Council (Indigenous businesses only)

  • PD7A document (statement of account) showing Payroll Source Deductions the employee must have been working for the business for at least 3 months. Find this form in your CRA Business Account.
  • Industry type and NAICS code
  • Number of years in business (since business registration)
  • A paragraph explaining how funds will be used towards eligible expenditures

The application process

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Step 1

Complete the online application, demonstrating that you meet the eligibility criteria, provide required documents and submit your proposal for the implementation or improvement of digital technologies.

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Step 2.

Alacrity Canada will review submitted and complete applications against eligibility criteria. Applicants will be contacted within 2 weeks with an update of their application.

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Step 3

Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria will be conditionally approved for the program and will receive a grant letter along with their grant agreement. 

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Step 4

Once the applicant signs the grant agreement, they will be approved into the program.

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Step 5

Approved applicants are then matched with E-Commerce Advisors to facilitate implementing their e-Commerce proposal.

Additional Information

  • Grants will be awarded in the order received. 
  • The application form must be submitted and approved by Alacrity Canada before the project begins.
  • Meeting the program intake criteria does not guarantee that the application will be approved for funding.
  • Applicants must ensure that the application form and all required information and attachments are completed and submitted.
  • An incomplete application cannot be approved to receive a grant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for this funding if I have an at-home business?

If your business is a consumer-facing business that can be accessed by customers or provides in person services to customers, it is eligible (so long as all other eligibility criteria are met).

What is a consumer-facing business?

A consumer-facing business is a business that sells directly to customers (B2C). Businesses can be a bricks and mortar business or an online business.

I’m a sole proprietor and don’t have any employees. Can I apply?

Only businesses with a minimum of one employee (other than the business owner) are eligible. The employee can be part-time. 

What proof do you require that my business has an employee?

A government document (i.e. pdf from your CRA account) that confirms the payment of Payroll Source Deductions paid. The employee must have been working at the business for at least three (3) months. Example PD7A document.

Are non-profits eligible for this program?

Only for-profit businesses (including for-profit social enterprises and cooperatives) are eligible for this funding.

My business is part of a franchise. Am I eligible to apply for the grant?

Corporate chains, franchises, or registered charities are not eligible.

CDAP Stream 1 and Stream 2 - what's the difference?

Stream 1 – the Grow your Business Online program helps small businesses take advantage of e-commerce opportunities.

  • Eligible businesses will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with the costs related to adopting digital technologies.
  • Access to e-commerce advisors who will advise and help small businesses adopt e-commerce.

Learn more about the Grow Your Business Online program here.

 

Stream 2 – the Boost Your Business Technology grant helps small and medium-sized businesses with at least $500,000 of annual revenues,  adopt new digital technologies.

  • Use a free digital assessment tool to evaluate your own digital readiness
  • The grant covers 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
  • Businesses also have the opportunity to secure a 0% interest loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to facilitate the acquisition of new technology

Learn more about the Boost Your Business Technology grant here.

My business address is located outside of British Columbia, but I live in B.C. Can I still apply?

The program administered by Alacrity Canada is for businesses with a local B.C. address only. Please see https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/152.nsf/eng/00011.html for providers in other provinces.

Can I have a consultant apply for the Grant on behalf of my business?

No, only the business owner can apply and sign for the grant.

I have received funding from other programs, including Buy BC Partnership Program E-commerce Funding Stream or Canada United Small Business Relief Fund. Am I still eligible?

Yes. However, you will be required to declare that the programs are not used to pay the same expense twice, i.e. the funding provided through the Online Shops Program will be used toward expenses not covered by the other programs your business has participated in.

What expenses are eligible?

Please review the full list of eligible and ineligible expenses in our Program Guide 

I have an e-commerce site. Am I still eligible for funding to enhance it?

If the proposal is for improvements and/or something new it may be eligible. However, a replacement of existing features would not be.

I have an online shop but need to add product pictures. Could I apply all the eligible funding toward a professional photographer?

As the website already has a functioning online shop, expenses related to photography would not be eligible.

I’ve already started to build/enhance my business’s e-commerce site. Are those expenses eligible?

Costs can only be incurred from the date on which your application has been deemed eligible. You can claim your micro-grant within three (3) months of your application being deemed eligible or meeting with the E-Commerce Advisor, whichever date is later. You must provide both your invoice and proof of payment within these three (3) months.

Can the grant be used for marketing / social media only?

This grant can not be used solely for marketing purposes, as the purpose of this grant program is for small businesses to create new or improve existing e-commerce solutions.

Can the grant be used to pay an employee or contractor to support digital adoption?

The micro-grant can be used to pay a contractor only if the contractor operates an independent business (registered and/or incorporated) that provides digital adoption services. The grant cannot be used to pay an employee’s salary.

Can I send one of my staff to a training course related to digital marketing and submit the tuition as an eligible expense?

Training costs for digital marketing are not considered an eligible expense.

If I lose a receipt for any of my eligible expenses, can I still submit it as an eligible expense?

No. All submitted expenses will require both proof of service completed and proof of payment.

The invoices are in U.S. funds, what exchange rate will be used to reimburse these?

Micro-grant disbursements require the receipt of both an invoice and proof of payment. The exchange rate can be based on the rate stated on the credit card statement or a copy of the cancelled check.

Will the taxes on the invoices be reimbursed?

Micro-grants will be issued based on the cost of the expense(s) before taxes; tax charges will not be reimbursed.

Can I submit receipts for expenses that I incurred while setting up my online shop prior to applying for this grant?

No. Costs can only be incurred from the date on which your application has been deemed eligible. You can claim your micro-grant within three (3) months of your application being deemed eligible or meeting with the E-Commerce Advisor, whichever date is later. You must provide both your invoice and proof of payment within these three (3) months.

Are the grant funds taxable revenue?

Yes. The grant funds are taxable and should be reported on your corporate tax return.

When do I submit my receipts for reimbursement?

All receipts must be submitted within 90 days from the project start date, receipts must be submitted together for a maximum amount up to $2400 and proof of payment must be provided for each receipt.

What if I still have questions?

If you have a question, support is available from Alacrity Canada. Support can be provided in both English and French at this time. Please contact Alacrity Canada by email: cdap@alacritycanada.com