How to Get Funding to Upgrade Your Business

How to Get Funding to Upgrade Your Business
By Nick Corneil

By Nick Corneil

Corneil Consulting

‘I have debt and I know I should spend money improving technology, but…’ 


‘I really need to switch or start using software to do [insert business function here], but…’


‘My website and social media need an update to help attract new members, but…’


‘I wish I had more revenue streams from X, but…’


‘…I don’t have time’. 

This is what I frequently hear from fitness business owners. They are always busy, having to juggle the pressing demands of running their day-to-day operations with the need to create new revenue streams and improve the business to stay ahead of the competition. This has never been more true than right now, when fitness businesses are facing the challenges of post-pandemic recovery, including trying to get back to or above membership rates from pre-2020 and staffing in an industry that lost a lot of good and experienced professionals. Adding more stress, paying off the debt incurred to survive through closures, which includes the CEBA program set to convert to loans at the end of the year. 


Somewhere lower down on the list of priorities is the need to develop new digital strategies and implement online and technological solutions to help improve their business. While gym owners know this is a key part of running a business in 2023, as the fitness and wellness space gets even more competitive most operators recognize they are not experts in online strategy or technology implementation, nor do they have the resources on staff to help. While many could benefit from a digital analysis and strategy from a credible consulting firm, this is often outside the budget priorities.


That’s where the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) comes in. This program was developed by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, as part of the federal government’s post-pandemic response to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) realize their full potential by adopting digital technologies. It includes:


  • A grant of up to $15,000 to help cover the cost of hiring a registered expert digital advisor to develop a personalized and comprehensive Digital Adoption Plan
  • Access to a 0% interest $50,000/$100,00 loan (dependent on revenues) from the BDC with one year of no payments and a 6-year total repayment term
  • Access to a $7300 wage subsidy to cover the cost of hiring a skilled youth to help with the implementation of the plan


The program was launched a year and a half ago with a $1.4b commitment for grants and $2.6b commitment for the loan portion, available to all industries, and will run until the funds are all dispersed. That is one of the reasons why business owners have started to notice an increase in advertising for this program, from different sources. Qualified digital advisors are realizing the opportunity and pushing in many ways to try to attract new clients to take advantage of the program while funds are still available. They are offering a range of incentives, like cash back, which is making some business owners wary of the program as a whole. Adding to the noise, a wide range of lenders are now providing options to pay back CEBA. It is a bit overwhelming to sort out what is right for the business and who to trust for funding.


The reality is that this is a good program that should not need any extra incentive. The right digital advisors will:


  • help expedite the process and reduce the time owners need to complete it
  • prepare a thorough and informative plan for the business with industry specific insight and several digital strategies to prioritize
  • ensure successfully receiving all of the associated funding
  • follow up to review the options and provide ongoing support with implementation


Everyone could use funds for these activities and especially on the terms the program provides. If done soon, businesses can not only take advantage of the available funds from the government, but also have them before the end of the year to start 2024 with a fresh outlook. Most importantly, business owners can finally solve some of those pressing online and technology challenges without having to spend a lot of time or their own money to get the type of expert help they need.

To learn more , join us live this Thursday, September 14th at 2:00 pm for an exclusive webinar with Funding Expert Ronen Benin from 021 Strategic, where we will walk through the details of the program and application process, and answer any questions that gym owners have.

Nick is a former athlete turned fitness executive and tech entrepreneur who operates at the intersection of fitness, health and technology. Corneil Consulting specializes in helping businesses drive growth through adopting digital solutions and implementing innovative methods. His mission is to make exercise a cornerstone of a preventative approach to healthcare. To set up a discovery call with Nick, click here.

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