What can the micro-grant be used for?
Eligible costs include, but are not limited to:
- Costs related to the implementation of a digital e-commerce plan (e.g. new plug-in or features such as online reservation/booking tools, online ordering systems, electronic payments)
- Costs related to website search optimization
- Costs related to the installation of an e-commerce platform (including new subscription fees/costs)
- Costs of back-office software solutions to support an e-commerce strategy (all software must be directly tied to the selling of goods and services online)
- Costs of social media advertising (only as part of ecommerce implementation or improvements, not as a stand-alone item)
- Costs related to the creation of customer databases
- Costs related to cybersecurity including activities to secure network and privacy of customer data
- Costs related to hiring a consultant/agency to execute digital marketing initiatives related to your e-commerce store
- 20% of the costs of hardware and related software purchases which directly support ecommerce implementation, up to a maximum of $480
All expenses must be tied to the selling of goods and services online. This must be clearly outlined in your application.
I am the owner of an incorporated business, therefore I am considered an employee of the incorporation. I have no other employees. Am I eligible for grant funding?
No, owners do not count as employees. The Business must currently have at least one employee on the payroll (other than the owner) for whom tax deductions were remitted and who has been working at least three months prior to the application OR or had at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the previous fiscal year. For Businesses in operation less than 80 weeks who have not yet filed their first year’s taxes or received their CRA Notice of Assessment, the Business must have a gross revenue of at least $30,000 in the last 12 months of operations or since incorporation/registration.
My business is a partnership, are the partners considered employees?
Do part-time or temporary employees count as eligible employees?
A business with part-time or fixed term employees is eligible but a business with freelance contract (fee for service) employees is not.
Can a family member be counted as an employee?
Yes, but they must be an employee on payroll.
I have an existing digital service subscription, is this eligible for funding?
No, only new subscriptions are eligible.
Can I submit claims for expenses incurred prior to my CDAP application approval?
No, all expense claims must be dated at least one day after the date of your approval notification.
I would like to buy new electronic equipment such as a computer or point of sale device. Is this an eligible CDAP expense?
Only hardware purchases directly related to an e-commerce strategy are eligible, these purchases are subsidized at a rate 20% up to a maximum of $480.
Do third party technology providers have to be in located in Canada?
Can this grant be used to pay an employee on my staff?
No, wages are not an eligible expense.
Do I need to consult with a Digital Advisor prior to submitting my application?
While it is not a requirement of the program to consult with an E-commerce Advisor, it is recommended. If you wish to discuss your project with a Digital Advisor, one will be made available to you by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce at no cost.
What documents are needed to apply for this program?
Applicants will be asked to supply following documents:
- Proof of business registration (i.e.. incorporation or registration documents, business/operating license, etc.)
- Confirmation provided by CRA of sales tax (GST/HST) registration OR confirmation provided by CRA of recent sales tax (GST/HST) filing (within the last 12 months).
- A signed Attestation confirming the business meetings the One-Employee Requirement OR meets the Revenue Threshold Requirement.
- The Business currently has at least one employee on the payroll (other than the owner) for whom tax deductions were remitted and who has been working at least three months prior to the application.
Revenue Threshold Requirement
- For businesses that have been in operation for less than 80 weeks who have not yet filed their first year’s taxes or received their CRA Notice of Assessment:
- The Business has had a gross revenue of at least $30,000 in the last 12 months of operations or since incorporation/registration for businesses who have been in operation for under a year.
- For businesses who have received a CRA Notice of Assessment:
- The Business had a gross annual revenue of at least $30,000 in the previous fiscal year.
Can the micro-grant be used to pay for internet service or delivery costs?
No. The cost of internet service, or any costs related to shipping goods purchased through a small businesses e-commerce portal, are not eligible for grant funding.
Can the micro-grant be used to cover costs associated with inventory or payroll?
No, inventory and payroll are not eligible expenses.
Can the micro-grant be used to pay for existing e-commerce subscriptions and services?
No, only new subscriptions are eligible, and subscriptions must be for six months or more.
What can the e-commerce advisors help with?
E-commerce advisors will be available free of charge through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to work with grant recipients to help identify their digital needs, provide links to digital resources, help with completing applications, and answer questions on the Grow Your Business Online program.
Do contractors, freelancers, or business partners count as employees?
Freelance contractors (ie. fee for service workers) are not eligible.
Is there a maximum number of employees eligible applicants can have?
No, there is no maximum number of employees.
Does my business need to have a brick and mortar location?
No, online businesses are eligible.
My business is not in Ontario. Can I still apply?
Not through this website. Please visit Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to find a provider in your province or territory.
Can I apply more than once, or make a second application in the next fiscal year?
Each business may only receive one grant through this program.
What supporting documentation of costs is required?
An invoice and proof of payment, such as a credit card statement, e-transfer, bank statement, wire transfer, or cancelled cheque from a financial institution, must be submitted before micro-grant funding is paid to the business. Invoices marked PAID or showing a zero balance are not acceptable.
How are grant funds paid out?
Successful applicants will be provided with a one-time payment, upon submission of a final report satisfactory to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC). Payments will be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT). The OCC will assess the submitted expenses against the approved eligibility criteria and determine the final grant amount. All decisions made by the OCC will be final. The Government of Canada retains the right to audit.
Are there any follow-up requirements after receiving micro-grant funding?
Grant recipients must commit to maintaining their digital adoption strategy for at least six months. Businesses must also consent to participating in a final survey, having their information shared with the Government of Canada (ISED and Statistics Canada), and having the name of their business published as a recipient of funding.
My brother has a digital marketing consulting agency, can I use his services to provide my Social Media digital adoption?
No, family members and corporations under common control are considered non-arms length companies. Non eligible expenses include non-arms length transaction between a CDAP applicant and their chosen service provider (ie a transaction between related parties as described in Section 251 of the Income Tax Act, which defines related persons as individuals connected by blood relationship, marriage, or adoption, and any situation involving different degrees of control by these person or corporations)
Can I hire someone who does website builds on the side, even if they don’t own their own company?
Third party service providers must provide an invoice for services rendered and be a registered business who does not violate the arms length clause.
Can I hire a service provider that is located outside of Canada?
Yes! Service providers can be located anywhere in the world. However, they must be a verifiable registered business. Invoices must be in either English or French. Proof of payment documents must show the conversion rate and the Canadian dollar amount paid for any foreign currency invoices.
How does the grant work? How will I get paid?
All applications are reviewed to ensure both the business and the proposed expenses meet the eligibility criteria for the grant. Once both have been determined to be eligible, applicants will then be issued a Conditional Approval containing their Recipient Agreement and outlining the eligible expenses that they can proceed to purchase. Any purchases made prior to the receipt of the Conditional Approval and Recipient Agreement will not be eligible for reimbursement. After the applicant has purchased and implemented their conditionally approved expenses, they will then need to submit an expense report (invoices and corresponding proof of payment documentation). Successful applicants will then be issued a Final Award letter for their final approved amount and once they have signed that letter and provided the Ontario Chamber of Commerce with an invoice and bank transfer information, a one-time EFT payment will be made to the applicant.
Still have more questions?
If you have any questions about the Grow Your Business Online program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the Grow Your Business Online grant and the Canada Digital Adoption Program.