Access Up to $5,000 in Funding for Marketing With Digital Transformation Grant.

Thank you for your interest in the Shyft Digitally Digital Transformation Grant program.

The Digital Transformation Grant application portal is now open for eligible brick-and-mortar small business to apply. Start the application process now by creating an account and completing the digital assessment.

The application portal will remain open until October 31, 2023, or until the grant funds are exhausted.

Apply For Transformation Grant

What is a Digital Transformation Grant?

The Digital Transformation Grant (DTG) program is designed to assist small businesses with adoption of technologies. The program will provide training, advisory support and grants to brick-and-mortar small businesses looking to increase their capacity through digital transformation.

The grant is administered by the Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA), and is not administered by Shyft Digitally. The portal in now open and applications will be accepted until October 31st, 2023.

The objectives of the Shyft Digitally – Digital Transformation Grant program are to:


Provide small business owners a comprehensive plan to guide their digital transformation.


Provide small businesses with the digital literacy skills they need to execute their digital transformation either through a do-it-yourself approach and/or being a smart consumer when purchasing these services.


Participant Requirements

A Digital Transformation Grant is open to any business that meets the following requirements:

Must be a business that:

  • Has a permanent ‘brick-and-mortar’ establishment in Ontario
  • Is employing 1-50 employees
  • Is NOT a home-based business
  • Is paying commercial property tax (commercially assessed), either directly or through commercial rent
  • Is a registered business in Ontario and/or is incorporated
  • Is open for business/operating at the time of application (not a start up)
  • Is open to the general public for walk-in and onsite purchases of goods and services – NOT A WHOLESALER OR MANUFACTURER
  • Is NOT a business supplying digital services to other businesses (e.g. website design/development, SEO, programming)
  • Is NOT a franchise, including those individually owned and operated
  • Is NOT a not-for-profit/ charitable organization
  • Is NOT renting office space on a temporary basis (month-to-month)
  • Is NOT in a shared workspace such as a hot desk or dedicated desk
  • Is NOT a purely online business

Owned by:

  • An Ontario resident operating a business in Ontario.
  • An individual of 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Has completed the Digital Transformation for Main Street program, which includes:

  • The Shyft Digitally Assessment
  • Has passed the eligibility quiz
  • The online training
  • Developing a Digital Transformation Plan

*OBIAA reserves the right to determine who is eligible/ineligible on a case-by-case basis.


  • Previous Shyft Digitally Ontario Grant Program recipients who received a DTG after June 21, 2022 may NOT apply at this time
  • Previous Shyft Digitally Ontario Grant Program recipients who received a DTG before June 21, 2022 may apply provided all DTG final reports have been received and verified by OBIAA
  • Large corporations are not eligible to apply for a DTG (more than 50 staff)
  • Businesses with multiple locations are only eligible to apply for one Digital Transformation Grant
  • Owners with multiple businesses may only apply for one grant


  • Shyft Digitally reserves the right to determine what is eligible/ineligible on an as needed basis. These are merely an outline and represent best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions?

About the Program

The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) can help get your business online, give your e-commerce presence a boost or help digitalize your business’s operations.

The program offers two grants:

Stream 1: The Grow your Business Online program helps small businesses take advantage of e-commerce opportunities. This program is being delivered by Shyft Digitally.

  • You can access a network of e-commerce advisors for advice and support
  • You can get up to $5,000 to help cover the cost of new e-commerce tools

Stream 2: The Boost Your Business Technology grant helps small and medium-sized businesses adopt new digital technologies.

  • Use a free digital assessment tool to evaluate your own digital readiness
  • Get up to $5,000 to consult a digital expert and develop a digital adoption plan for your business
  • Get up to $100,000 in interest-free loans from BDC to implement your digital adoption plan
  • Leverage a subsidized work placement to bring on a recent graduate or student to help with your digital transformation.

Eligible participants of Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online is a grant available to businesses to help cover the costs associated with adopting new e-commerce tools. The Grant comes in the form of a reimbursement of eligible expenses based on a pre-approved spending plan. 

Program Eligibility Questions

A consumer-facing business is a business that deals directly with end use customers. 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.

The business must be open to the general public for either in person or online sales.

Websites that require a login are not considered to be consumer facing.

Yes! If your business is registered or incorporated, and you meet the other eligibility requirements, such as having an employee on the payroll for a minimum of three months, or having earned $30,000 in annual revenue the last tax year, newly established businesses are welcome to apply.

If the business has one employee on the payroll for at least three months, there is no minimum revenue requirement. Businesses with no employees on payroll must have earned at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the previous tax year.

No. To be eligible for the grant, your business must have a minimum of one employee on payroll, in addition to the owner. Independent contractors are not considered to be employees. Employees must be on payroll with income tax deducted and employee benefits like EI and CPP paid. If your business does not have an employee on payroll, you must have earned at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the previous tax year.

Yes, if you have already applied for and/or are receiving funding through another grant stream, you may still apply for the Grow Your Business Online grant. Your spending plan and receipts must include items that have not already been covered by another funding program.

No. Businesses can choose to apply for the grant through any organization but may only apply for the Grow Your Business Online grant once, and through one organization. As part of the grant application, you’ll be asked to attest that you’ve only applied once.

A business can have up to 5 outlets for the same business. These outlets have to be for a single, regional business and the organization does not offer opportunities for other people to buy franchises. Even if the locations are independently owned, any business with more than 5 locations or fewer than 5 locations but offering franchise opportunities will not be eligible for the program.

Questions about Eligible Micro-Grant Expenses

The goal of the grant is to enable businesses to serve existing customers more effectively and to attract new customers in the digital marketplace. It’s important to note that all eligible costs must show a direct tie to implementing a new e-commerce strategy in your proposed spending plan. Anything that is not tied to directly selling products or services online, will not be an eligible expense. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Costs related to the implementation of a digital e-commerce plan (e.g 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 subscription fees/costs);
  • Costs of back-office solutions to support e-commerce strategy;
  • Costs of social media advertising; and;
  • Costs related to the creation of customer databases.

Please note that SEO and social media advertising costs must be a part of an overall e-commerce implementation plan and not stand-alone items. Redesign of an existing website is ineligible.

If you are unsure whether your investment is eligible for the Grow Your Business Online grant, please email us at

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Costs of connectivity
  • Office Software
  • Cost of existing e-commerce solutions or subscriptions
  • Costs incurred before acceptance into the program
  • Costs related to the shipping of goods purchased through the e-commerce platform.
  • Costs incurred by a vendor who is not at arm’s length to your business.

No. Employee or business owner wages are not eligible expenses.

All hardware and software must show a direct tie to selling products or services online. Hardware and software that is related to e-commerce but not explicitly used for e-commerce is capped at 20% of the grant amount claimed or $480 of $2400. 

Yes, service-based businesses can still add e-commerce functionality to their site by integrating an online booking platform, introducing online payments for services, introducing a chatbot to interact with clients or sell gift cards online. Ask your E-Commerce Advisor about other e-commerce tools available to service-based businesses.

While digital marketing is an eligible expense, marketing efforts must be in support of an overall e-commerce plan and not a standalone item. The same is true for search engine optimization. Your spending plan needs to include some form of e-commerce adoption or upgrade.

Anything that your business was already using when you were admitted to the program is considered an existing E-commerce solution. The goal of this program is to introduce businesses to a new E-commerce implementation plan and renewal or continuation of existing tools is not eligible for reimbursement under this program.

This includes platform fees for you existing E-commerce website. All expenses must be a net new E-commerce adoption

No, Grant funds are not transferable. If a business is approved, the grant must be used for the business that applied to the program; not another, or ineligible business. If you wish to receive the grant for a different business than the one you applied for, you will need to apply to the program for that business separately. If eligible, the new business will then go through the full process for that business.

We encourage businesses to use Canadian vendors, but we do permit businesses to work with someone outside of Canada. The vendor must be able to produce a legitimate invoice containing all information required by the CRA and be able to accept a traceable payment in order to show proof of payment. The vendor should have some web presence to validate that they provide the services rendered and can not be related to the business owner by birth, marriage or adoption.

E-commerce Advisory for Business Participants

An E-Commerce Advisor is trained to help your business better understand its e-commerce capabilities and to identify solutions to assist your business’s digitalization. Every business participant will be paired with a dedicated E-Commerce Advisor.

As one of the first steps in the grant application process, small businesses will be paired with an E-Commerce Advisor to assess their digital needs and help develop their e-commerce strategies and deploy new digital technologies.

After an initial meeting, businesses may opt out from working with an E-Commerce Advisor as part of the Grow Your Business Online program and proceed solely with the grant application. It is highly recommended however that businesses take advantage of the expertise of an E-Commerce Advisor to support digitization.

All E-Commerce Advisors receive training, developed, and delivered by Shyft Digitally. They have the support and knowledge from industry-leading tech partners such as Mastercard, Google, Square, QuickBooks, and more, to name a few. Their expertise will help you develop an e-commerce strategy.

Career Opportunities for E-Commerce Advisor Position

The opportunity for training and work placements will be available to current post-secondary students and recent graduates. Those selected for the role will participate in training through Shyft Digitally.

Eligible E-Commerce Advisors,  meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or person on whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  • Be legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations; and
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment.
  • Be one of the following:
    • Have graduated from high school and are planning on pursuing post-secondary education;
    • Currently pursuing post-secondary education; or,
    • Have recently graduated from a post-secondary institution.

For more information on becoming an E-commerce advisor and to apply, please visit:

E-commerce advisors will receive training through Shyft Digitally on several topics:

  • Understanding the Grow Your Business Online Program
  • Learning the capabilities of several e-commerce solutions and related tools
  • Understanding the basics of cyber security
  • Developing communication skills
  • Determining an individual business’s needs and values

Work Placements will be either 4 or 6 months.

Grant Application Guidelines

Grant applications will be processed and adjudicated by the Canadian Digital Adoption Program team at Shyft Digitally. The steps can be found below:

  1. 1. Create an account on Shyft Digitally and complete a digital assessment.
  2. 2. Submit an eligibility intake form to determine your business’s eligibility for the program.
  3. 3. Meet with an e-commerce advisor to explore support options and outline the next steps.
  4. 4. Submit a spending plan to ensure the e-commerce project is eligible.
  5. 5. Once approved, execute on an e-commerce project.
  6. 6. Submit invoices and proof of payment for reimbursement.

Once you’ve submitted your grant application, the CDAP team at Shyft Digitally will provide regular updates and communications about the status of your file. If you need to amend your application or have further questions, please contact the Canadian Digital Adoption Program team at

At this time there is no deadline for grant applications as the program is scheduled to be offered through March 2025. Check back here for updates.

The grant will be provided as a reimbursement. Grant applicants will be required to submit an expense report, coinciding with their pre-approved spending plan and copies of any associated receipts and proof of payment documents.

As part of your grant application, you will be asked to submit a spending plan. Spending plans will be pre-approved. As long as your expenses align with your approved plan, the expenses will be approved for reimbursement.

No. Expenses cannot be incurred prior to the date of admittance to the program. Your business is considered to be admitted to the program once you meet with an E-commerce advisor. 

Your grant reimbursement claim will be submitted through the application portal under “Grant Expenditure Submission.”

Here is some information on what an acceptable invoice needs to include. The invoice must give a detailed description of the services rendered. Please note that an invoice marked as “Paid” is insufficient for reimbursement. Businesses must provide additional proof of payment like an e-transfer record, bank statement (with all unrelated line items censored) or a receipt. The receipt must reference the specific invoice number and payment method.

No. We will not accept invoices paid in cash. All payments must have a valid backup.

The exchange will be calculated based on the rate of the bank or credit card used to process the transaction. The rate will be calculated based on the day of the charge.

No. Tax charges will not be reimbursed. Grant payments will be issued based on the cost of the expense(s) before taxes.

Yes. You may submit more than one expense and receipt. The grant will reimburse a maximum of $2,400 before taxes. However, we do ask that you submit all expenses in one claim, rather than separate claims.

Yes, Shyft Digitally offers a wide range of education and resources to support your business.

  • Free Courses
  • Tools
  • Ontario Programs
  • Vendor Directory

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