Ottawa Simplifies CDAP Application Process to Accelerate Funds to Canadian Businesses

In an effort to bolster its Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) and ensure a more efficient distribution of funds, the federal government has taken significant steps to simplify the application process. The CDAP, initially launched as a major investment in small businesses, has faced challenges in reaching its intended targets, with just 3% of its $4-billion budget spent on grants and loans in its first year. Now, with the recent update allowing businesses to delegate the application process, Ottawa aims to make accessing these funds more accessible and streamlined.

The CDAP offers two main streams of financial support to help businesses upgrade their digital technology and enhance their online presence. Stream one provides grants of up to $2,400 to cover expenses related to digital technology adoption, including e-commerce platforms, digital marketing software, and website development. On the other hand, stream two allows businesses to receive up to $15,000 to hire an approved CDAP advisor who assists in creating a Digital Adoption Plan. This plan, acting as a strategic roadmap for the business, can qualify them for a zero-interest, six-year loan of up to $100,000 for technology upgrades.

Despite the substantial funding opportunities available through the CDAP, the program has faced slow uptake. As of July, only 7700 businesses have received microgrants, a mere tenth of the 90,000 goal set by the government. Furthermore, while $47.6-million in grants have been awarded to businesses hiring consultants for digital plan-writing, the government has only authorized $65.5-million in loans, representing only 4% of the $2.6-billion allocated for loans over four years.

The primary issues hindering businesses from accessing CDAP funds have been the complexity of the application process and poor promotion. Numerous entrepreneurs and business groups have expressed frustration with the tedious and error-prone nature of the process, leading to delays and missteps.

In response to these concerns, the government has introduced crucial updates to the application process. By allowing businesses to delegate the application process, CDAP aims to reduce the burden on business owners and speed up fund disbursement. This update is expected to encourage more businesses to apply, making the program more inclusive and accessible to those who previously found the process overwhelming.

The delegate designation process requires the business owner and the delegate to create accounts and undergo identity verification. This measure ensures security and authenticity while allowing business owners to entrust the application process to someone else within their organization. It’s an essential feature to accommodate business owners who may not have the time to spare for the application but still want to benefit from the “Boost Your Business” program.

However, the recent update comes with a limitation: it only affects new applications. Businesses that have already applied or are in the midst of the application process are unable to delegate the process to another member of their organization.

Despite this limitation, the government’s efforts to simplify the CDAP application process are commendable. By addressing the challenges faced by businesses and their owners, Ottawa aims to unlock the program’s full potential and expedite the distribution of funds to Canadian businesses.

However, Scott Newman, CEO of NewRidge Refinishing Group inc., found the program to be so important to his business that he has taken matters into his own hands by started his own CDAP consultancy firm to offer free consultation services that help streamline the process even further.

“I understand the intricacies of this process, having navigated it myself,” says Newman, “to support others, I’ve made it my mission to help businesses connect with the right digital advisor – one that perfectly matches your unique needs and industry. If you feel you could benefit from this, I invite you to reach out. Together, we can make your journey towards digital transformation smoother and more efficient.”

The Canadian government’s move to streamline the CDAP application process demonstrates its commitment to supporting small businesses in their digital transformation efforts. With the simplification measures in place, more businesses are expected to take advantage of the available funds, propelling the growth of the secondary wood manufacturing industry and positioning Canadian businesses competitively in the digital age. As the CDAP gains momentum and addresses initial setbacks, the prospects for small businesses in Canada appear brighter than ever.

Scott Newman can be contacted by email: or



Tyler Holt is the Editor of Wood Industry / Le monde du bois magazine. He has a master’s degree in literature and publication, and years of experience in the publishing and digital media industry. His main area of study is the effect of digital technologies on industrial and networked production.

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