The growth of small and medium businesses plays a huge part in the well-being of the Canadian economy, whether it be by creating jobs, generating revenues, or developing ground-breaking innovations. After having survived the many challenges that came with the pandemic, SMEs can now look toward the future. One thing is certain: adopting digital technologies is the key to fast and efficient growth. For many, this comes at a cost that they simply cannot afford. This is where government grants and loans come in handy.
Why SMEs Need Digital Transformation
Digital transformation – meaning the usage of cloud software such as an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning), PSA (Professional Services Automation), and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – is the force of the future and what will eventually lead your business from surviving to thriving. However, it requires big investments and can be scary to businesses that have limited means. This is why our team of expert consultants is here to help you make the best decision tailored to fit your business’ needs, whether it be for consulting, implementation, rescue mission, and many more. In the long run, your digital transformation will benefit your company in many ways by:
- Improving employee collaboration and reducing repetitive job functions;
- Streamlining your processes;
- Increasing your efficiency;
- Propelling your annual revenues;
- Improving your customer experience;
- And more
According to a Hinge Research Institute study conducted in 2021, firms that invest in a good digital transformation strategy and implementation see an undeniable and substantial improvement across these KPIs. If you think your business is ready to take this next step, we can even provide you with a free assessment here.
Canadian Digital Adoption Plan (CDAP)
If you’re a small or medium business looking to make the jump toward digital transformation, the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is most definitely worth delving into. In partnership with the BDC (The Business Development Bank of Canada), the Canadian government is investing $4 billion to help small businesses achieve their technological transition and boost the digital economy. If you’re eligible, this means the government can carry a big part of the financial burden. This will leave you with minor costs to cover and a brand new digital business strategy.
The Grants include:
- Boost Your Business Technology Grant
- Grow Your Business Online Grant
Boost Your Business Technology Grant
This particular grant is for SMEs looking to adopt new digital technologies to improve their efficiency and competitive edge. Here’s a detailed recap of the key information you want to know about this grant:
- It will give you the opportunity to leverage the help of a digital advisor to conduct a Business Systems Analysis (BSA) and build a custom digital strategy;
- It will cover up to 90%, to a maximum of 15 000$, of the cost of your digital adoption plan;
- You can get a 0% interest loan from the BDC, in addition to the grant, to fund your digital transformation;
- Lastly, recent graduates and post-secondary students will be at your disposal through subsidized work placements.
Are You Eligible?
Here is a list of criteria your business must meet in order to be eligible for the Boost Your Business grant:
- Be incorporated in Canada or a province, or be a Canadian resident proprietor
- Be a privately owned business that makes a profit
- Have between 1 – 499 full-time employees
- Have a minimum of $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the last three tax years
Also, keep in mind that only an owner or a director is allowed to complete the application.
Grow Your Business Online Grant
If you feel like the Boost Your Business Technology program is maybe a little bit too advanced for your business situation, take a look at this one. The Grow Your Business Online grant is for smaller companies and start-ups. It allows businesses to grow their online presence with e-commerce opportunities, by giving them micro-grants of up to 2400$.
Interested? Visit the webpage to learn more.
More Insightful Information
To provide you with the best knowledge possible regarding the CDAP, we met with Jason Berke, an expert consultant on government grants and loans for businesses, to get his insight and learn more about government aid to small businesses.
Jason suggests keeping this in mind when applying: the federal government will push its own approved digital advisors to conduct your BSA and support your digital transformation processes. If you already have a great partnership with a digital consultant firm – like Big Bang – which the government hasn’t approved of yet, this may come as an inconvenience.
Other Programs for Digital Transformation
With that being said, if you are a Quebec small business owner in need of a Business Systems Advisory (BSA) or a new software selection of ERP system, there exist provincial grant programs that are way more accessible and more generous in terms of funding and support. This includes the ESSOR program, among others. Jason tells us he always encourages his clients to go with provincial support programs if they can. These programs are usually better adapted to the region’s legislation, economy, and industries.
At the end of the day, applying for a government grant program might still be out of your comfort zone. In that case, we recommend working with someone like Jason, who Big Bang can connect you with. These consultants can guide you through the application process. This will make it easier and faster for you to get the best results possible. In that regard, he says:
“Oftentimes when you search on Google for ‘Government grants for my ERP system’, you’re not going to find who’s the right person to call, and what documents to present and how to present them. Applying for a government grant is not the hardest thing, but it’s easy to get it wrong when you don’t have all the information you need.”
The benefits, with the help of a consultant that knows all the processes well, can appear in four aspects:
- Reduces the amount of work you have to put in;
- Increases the chances of approval by the government ;
- Reduces the timeline between application and approval;
- And increases the amount of money you are going to receive in grants.
To learn more about the help Jason and his company offer, visit their website.