Canada Digital Adoption Program

As consumers increasingly move online to shop, it’s essential for small businesses to develop e-commerce capabilities to remain competitive.

The Canada Digital Adoption Program is a $4 billion investment to help small and medium-sized businesses get online with new digital tools. There are two streams of the Canada Digital Adoption Program: the Grow Your Business Online Grant and the Boost Your Business Online Grant. Business Link is only administering the Grow Your Business Online Grant.

Grow Your Business Online Grant

As part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, the Government of Canada has partnered with Business Link and Digital Main Street to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant to small businesses across Alberta.

Eligible businesses will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with costs related to adopting e-commerce, with support provided from a network of E-commerce Advisors. The Grow Your Business Online Grant will provide small businesses in Canada with $1.4 Billion in grants. Please note, the grant is administered by Business Link and is not administered by Digital Main Street.

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Business Link

Learn if your business is eligible for the grant

Are you a small business owner looking to adopt or grow your e-commerce operations? See if you’re eligible and apply for the Grow Your Business Online grant.

About Business Link

Business Link is a government funded non-profit that has been helping Alberta small businesses start and thrive since 1996. We provide one-on-one coaching and advice, market research, access to experts, free resources, and education, as well as specialized support for Indigenous and immigrant entrepreneurs.

What’s included in the Grow Your Business Online program?

$2,400 micro-grant

Personalized support for improved digital strategies

Business eligibility

The Grow Your Business Online Grant is offered in Alberta through Business Link and is currently open for applications from businesses that meet all the following criteria:

  • Is a for-profit business (including for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives)
  • Is a registered or incorporated business
  • Is a consumer-facing business
  • Can be accessed by consumers or provides in-person services to consumers
  • Has at least one employee (full time or part time, but for at least three months prior to application) that isn’t the owner, OR had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year (2021)
  • Must commit to maintaining digital adoption strategy for six months after participation in the program
  • Must consent to participating in follow-up surveys, sharing information with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada), and having the name of the business published as a recipient of funding

The following types of small businesses are ineligible:

  • Corporate chains, franchises or registered charities
  • Representatives of multi-level marketing companies
  • Real estate agents, real estate brokerages or real estate brokerage firms
  • Insurance agents, insurance brokerages or insurance brokerage firms
  • Financial advisors, financial brokerages or financial brokerage firms
  • Mortgage advisors, mortgage brokerages or mortgage brokerage firms
  • Any brokerage agents or brokerage firms
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Businesses that engage in online reselling or drop-shipping businesses reliant on third-party suppliers
  • Wholesale or distribution businesses or manufacturers (unless their business model includes direct sales to the end consumer)

Grant expense eligibility

The $2,400 micro-grant is a reimbursement-style grant, meaning funding will be issued after your spending plan is approved, grant agreement is received, and eligible receipts/proof of payments are submitted and approved. Please note, the approval of the spending plan is not an authorization to purchase any items, and no funds should be spent until the business receives an email from the Funding Manager authorizing purchases.

*Digital Main Street and Business Link reserves the right to determine what is eligible/ineligible on an as needed basis. These are merely an outline and represent best practices.

Working with an e-commerce advisor

As part of the Grow Your Business Online Grant, each business can work with an E-commerce Advisor. These advisors work with businesses to provide hands-on guidance by reviewing digital assessments, consulting on grant spending plans, recommending digital marketing strategies, and helping to implement new technologies.

You will also work with an E-Commerce Advisor as part of your application process.

Getting ready to apply

Applications for the Grow Your Business Online Grant are submitted through our grant partner, Digital Main Street. Though applications are submitted through Digital Main Street, the grant is administered by Business Link and is not administered by Digital Main Street.

To ensure your business meets the eligibility requirements, please have the following information ready for the application:

  • Business name
  • Business owner’s name and contact information
  • Business structure
  • Number of years in business
  • Alberta business registration number
  • Articles of incorporation (include all pages of the document for upload)
    • OR Sole Proprietorship Registration Statement (include all pages of the document)
    • OR Partnership Registration Statement (include all pages of the document)
  • Industry type and NAICS code
  • Proof Of Payroll Source Deductions Paid (PD7A and Paystub) for upload

Ready to apply for the program?

FAQs:

Your business just needs to be able to be accessed by consumers (consumer facing). A consumer-facing business is one that sells products or services directly to end consumers. It may have a bricks-and-mortar presence as well as an online presence. Businesses that are not considered consumer-facing are those that 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.

A business that sells to other businesses or engages in wholesale trade may be considered a consumer-facing business if it also sells directly to end consumers.

At least one employee, full-time or part-time, who has been employed for at least three months prior to the application. Owner excluded. If the business does not have an employee, they can attest to receiving at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year (2021).

The CDAP program ends March 31, 2025.

No, a business is only eligible for one grant of $2,400 per entity.

No, each business must submit their paid receipts for their eligible expense to be reimbursed.

After the business submits their spending plan and it is approved by a Funding Administrator, the business will be asked to sign a grant agreement and provide direct deposit information. Once these documents are received and approved, the Funding Manager will send an email to the business authorizing purchases, and only then can the business spend their funds.

To ensure your business meets the eligibility requirements, please have the following information ready for the application:

  • Business name
  • Business owner’s name and contact information
  • Business structure
  • Number of years in business
  • Alberta business registration number
  • Articles of incorporation document for upload
  • Industry type and NAICS code
  • Proof Of Payroll Source Deductions Paid (PD7A and Paystub) for upload (mandatory)

It is preferred that your business provide a government document that confirms its business registration. If you provide only a GST/HST number, the number will need to be verified via the GST/HST registry.

Indigenous businesses must provide one of the following documents:

  • A government document that confirms their business (e.g., incorporation or registration documents, CRA documents);
  • A GST/HST number (verified via the GST/HST registry)
  • Proof of business registration with a Band Council.

Business registration with a Band Council is a form of proof that only Indigenous businesses have the option of providing if they don’t have the other two forms of proof (government document or GST/HST number, which are preferred). This rule doesn’t apply to non-Indigenous businesses. A screenshot of a CRA account is acceptable as long as they capture the relevant information and can be verified. The business registration number or GST/HST number can be confirmed via a separate database or directory.