The Government of Canada is committed to advancing trade diversification and enabling businesses to adopt digital technologies so they can continue to modernize, create good jobs and thrive as they underpin a resilient and inclusive economic recovery for Canadians.
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, was in Vancouver on July 5 and 6 to meet with organizations, trade groups, Canadian businesses and small business organizations to discuss ongoing efforts to advance trade, accelerate economic recovery and enable small businesses to adopt e-commerce tools.
Minister Ng held a roundtable with the BC India Business Network and 30 of its members, discussing her recent trip to India, closer trade ties between the two nations, and the status of negotiations on the Canada-India Early Progress Trade Agreement.
The Minister met with Vancouver Fraser Port Authority officials and First Nations leaders to discuss the port’s capacity and supply chain challengers; investments in major infrastructure; and ways government, Indigenous and industry leaders can work together to promote economic recovery and trade diversification.
At an event hosted by Small Business BC, Minister Ng highlighted the benefits of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) for small and medium-sized enterprises across the country. She noted that small businesses in British Columbia have access to the $2,400 Grow Your Business Online grant to help them adopt e-commerce or expand existing e-commerce operations. As part of the grant, small businesses will also receive advice from e-commerce advisors. Businesses can also get access to funding and expert digital advisory services to boost their existing business technology through CDAP’s Boost Your Business Technology option.
Minister Ng met with Parkizio Technologies Ltd., a locally based cleantech startup that created Plugzio, an intelligent access-controlled outlet for charging electric vehicles in shared public spaces such as apartments, condos, university campuses, airports and hospitals. With the funding and support received through Canada’s CanExport SMEs program for its export promotion business objectives, Parkizio Technologies is now looking for opportunities to improve and increase its access to international markets.
Improving trade and trade diversification, boosting economic recovery and accelerating the digital transformation of Canadian businesses will help them stay competitive while creating jobs and growing the economy.
On July 7 and 8 in Vancouver, Minister Ng will host the trilateral ministerial meeting of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) Free Trade Commission. Marking the two-year anniversary of the trilateral agreement, Minister Ng will be joined by Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative, and Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo, Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, to discuss the ongoing implementation of CUSMA in support of the North American region’s global competitiveness.
“The success of Canadian small businesses is critical to a resilient and inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to Canada remaining globally competitive in an increasingly digital world. Our government is committed to helping Canadian business leverage new digital technologies so they can grow and succeed in domestic and international markets.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
- Announced in Budget 2021, the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is an investment in helping businesses succeed. It is expected to support as many as 160,000 small businesses and help create thousands of jobs, including up to 28,000 job placements for students and recent graduates to gain valuable work experience.
- CDAP consists of $1.4 billion in grants and advisory services to help SMEs adopt e-commerce and up to $2.6 billion in loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to help SMEs cover the cost of implementing digital transformation plans.
- The Grow Your Business Online option provides microgrants of up to $2,400 and support from e-commerce advisors to help small businesses implement digital storefronts and e-commerce capabilities.
- The Boost Your Business Technology option provides grants covering 90% of costs, up to $15,000, for advisory services to develop a digital adoption plan; access to interest-free loans from the BDC; and opportunities for student placements.
- SMEs interested in applying for a grant or loan under CDAP can answer a few quick questions online to help determine the funding that is best suited to meet their needs.
- Retail e-commerce rapidly increased during the pandemic. According to Statistics Canada data, year-over-year retail e-commerce increased by more than 110% in May 2020 compared to May 2019.