Digital Business Transformation
Grow your business with free digital services in Durham Region.
How Canadians do business has changed. To stay competitive and grow, small and medium-sized businesses need to adopt new digital tools.
In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada announced the $4 billion Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to help get your business online, give your e-commerce presence a boost or help digitalize your business's operations.
CDAP provides funding and support to businesses, as well as training and work opportunities for young Canadians.
In the digital age, it's crucial for consumer-facing businesses to develop and implement e-commerce capabilities to remain competitive. The adoption of digital technologies enables businesses to serve existing customers more effectively and to attract new customers in the digital marketplace.
The Grow Your Business Online grant will help up to 90,000 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. Grants will be available through local and regional service providers across Canada. The service providers will also support a network of e-commerce advisors who will advise and help small businesses adopt e-commerce.
Sponsoring department: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)
The Boost Your Business Technology grant offers support to Canadian-owned small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) who want to adopt new digital technologies.
Eligible businesses will have access to a marketplace of digital adoption experts to help them develop a digital adoption plan tailored to their needs.
Eligible businesses can leverage the grant to pay for the services of a digital advisor. These advisors will work with companies to recommend digital pathways and strategies that will help them achieve their business goals and increase their competitiveness in the digital economy.
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. In addition, applicants can leverage the help of talented post-secondary students and recent graduates through subsidized work placements.
Before applying, your business must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:
- Be incorporated federally or provincially, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
- Be a for-profit, privately owned business
- Have between 1 – 499 full time equivalent employees
- Have at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years
This innovative new online marketplace—with listings from Durham-based retailers and vendors only—offers a single, streamlined shopping experience, where residents can go to buy products from multiple stores in a single transaction. There is no commissions or costs to businesses to join the platform.
Funded by the Region of Durham and led by the Downtown Whitby BIA, Durham businesses—including businesses with or without an existing e-store—are encouraged to join the Shop Durham Region online marketplace for free, and contact the Shop Durham Region team at the Downtown Whitby BIA for support.
Spark Centre, in partnership with Digital Main Street and with the support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT), NORCAT, Communitech and Invest Ottawa, is proud to support the Shop Durham Region online marketplace, through the Community Collaboration Program (CCP). The CCP, part of the Future Proof Program, will actively support Shop Durham Region and create lasting change for small businesses in the region.
To start shopping or to join the marketplace, visit ShopDurhamRegion.ca.
The Shop Durham Region Online Marketplace—with more than one thousand listings from Durham-based retailers and vendors—offers a single, streamlined shopping experience where consumers can safely explore and purchase products from multiple vendors in a single transaction.
As part of a partnership between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario, Digital Main Street has announced programs to support businesses across Ontario. These programs are available to Durham Region businesses that meet program requirements. Apply now!
Digital Main Street assists main street businesses with their adoption of technology with easy to use tools and resources.
In Ontario there are currently two program streams available to businesses:
ShopHERE: a program that provides independent small businesses and artists with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away. Learn more and sign up.
Ontario Grants Program: providing brick-and-mortar small businesses with $2,500 Digital Transformation Grants, and municipalities / local communities with grants to implement a Digital Service Squad. Learn more and sign up.
The Recovery Activation Program (RAP) offers support to evolve your business, digitally transform, and adapt to the new normal.
RAP can help leverage technology to:
- Attract new customers
- Improve supply-chain efficiencies
- Manage workforce virtually
- Streamline costs
To get started., take a Digital Needs Assessment (DNA) at rap.bot.com
To qualify for the RAP program businesses should have:
- Verified revenue streams and a scalable business model
- Key needs around digital connectivity
- Ambition to undergo a digital transformation
- Not-for-profit businesses are welcome
- $1M revenue target for Digital Blueprint Program which is a intensive 3 week program. Program partners include CIBC, KPMG, BLG LLP, Cisco etc.
- Digital Certificate Program & Webcast streams have no revenue requirements so companies of any size can apply.
- Companies can apply for this and Digital Main Street programs, if appropriate
- Located within Ontario
- Case study companies: Multiple location pharmacy chain and manufacturing company
Visit rap.bot.com for full details and to take a Digital Needs Assessment
CANATRACE™ is a free, fast, secure and bilingual solution for businesses to collect patron information per city guidelines across Canada.
The digital tool simplifies data collection by allowing visitors to provide their contact information
directly on their own smartphone using a QR code uniquely branded for that business. By
digitizing data collection, small businesses are able to minimize touchpoints for guests, ensure
confidentiality and accuracy of the information given, and lessen the extra responsibilities their
staff are taking on during these unprecedented times.
Learn more and sign up at the Canatrace website.
Digital Main Street has compiled a list of tools, how-to guides and tutorials available to assist all main street business in embracing digital technology. You can find information on: how to build your online presence, using social media effectively, paid advertising, and much more. Visit: https://digitalmainstreet.ca/tools/
Explore resources available for your business and webinars available on demand. Visit the resources page.