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Manitoba Chambers of Commerce will continue to advocate for digital adaptation incentives for local businesses. Please follow us on social channels for news and updates.

TechUP and PowerUP grant programs are fully subscribed and closed.

Digital Manitoba Initiative will continue to work with applicants on open files only.

For those with pending applications, we appreciate your patience. Each file gets careful consideration and that takes time. DMI will contact you at each phase of the process.

FAQ

Digital Manitoba Initiative

What is the Digital Manitoba Initiative?

The Digital Manitoba Initiative was created to ensure local businesses get technical supports they need to take advantage of the opportunities provided by today’s digital-first world. 

Initially created through a partnership between the Province of Manitoba and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, DMI will distribute a total of $15 million to registered Manitoba businesses through TechUP and PowerUP as part of the government of Manitoba’s $50-million Long-Term Recovery Fund.

The Digital Manitoba Initiative’s goal is to support the technological advancement and digital literacy of local businesses for business owners to better understand, meet, and exceed the changing needs of their customers in our modern economy.

Eligibility

Who can apply?

DMI grants are open to all businesses registered in Manitoba before March 1, 2020 with a specific technology need or strategic plan to optimize your business and maximize growth. You do not need to be a member of the Chambers, nor have a brick-and-mortar storefront.

To be eligible for DMI, businesses must:

  • Be a registered business owned and operated in Manitoba
  • Be in good standing with the Manitoba Companies Office
  • Have a business banking account

Who can't apply?

Applications are assessed individually and priority will be given to small and medium sized businesses where these funds can make the greatest impact towards digital transition. Priority is also given to projects that create new digital capacity for the business. If the business is a holding company with multiple subsidiaries, only one organization may apply, even if each has its own registry number.

The following businesses are ineligible for a DMI grant:

  • Businesses that have previously applied for a DMI grant*
  • Businesses that provide digital services, including, but not limited to, website design/development, SEO, video creation, programming, etc. — DMI is intended to help non-digital businesses with their digital adaptation
  • Franchises

*You can only apply for each DMI grant once. If you previously applied for either TechUP or PowerUP and did not receive it, you cannot apply for the same grant a second time. You may still be eligible for the other grant, provided you have not already applied for it.

What purchases are eligible?

DMI grants are intended to reimburse you for the cost of your business’s digital adaptation and development. Eligible expenses must be net new investments.

Here are some examples of expenses eligible for reimbursement with a DMI grant:

  • Touchless payment systems
  • Cloud storage
  • New software licenses (online/cloud)
  • Software for Graphic design, productivity, social media, or security
  • Cyber security consulting or tools
  • IT consulting services
  • Digital training or upskilling
  • Consultant or agency fees for digital marketing
  • Development of new website
  • Redesign or improvements to existing website
  • Data migration
  • Data analysis
  • Process automation
  • Virtual tools

What purchases are not eligible?

Funding is not meant to subsidize your existing expenses.

Some expenses that are not eligible include:

  • Cell phone bills
  • Internet bills
  • Digital advertising bills
  • Existing software or subscriptions, including
  • Microsoft 365
  • Multi-year subscriptions
  • Existing hosting or domain fees
  • Software subscription renewal
  • Digital accessories, including Apple Watches or AirPods
  • Non-digital purchases, including signage and printing, logo redesign and rebranding
  • Standard business/office equipment, including printers, keyboards, mouse, or cables
  • Consumables, including ink cartridges
  • Staff salaries
  • Insurance or warranties
  • Interest costs, fines, or penalties

Hardware purchases will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Expenses must enable new digital capacity, and not be routine upgrades.

TechUP

What types of projects will the TechUP program fund?

These funds can be used to create new digital assets or develop your understanding of how to make the most of technology. Digital assets can include digital or data-based platforms, upgraded technological products, and services that effectively and efficiently add value to the lives of your customers by meeting their needs, solving their problems or filling market gaps. Funds can also be used to invest in tools that boost your team’s productivity, collect and analyze data, or optimize current operations and processes.

For example, funds may be put towards:

  • Developing or optimizing your core digital assets
  • Investing in advanced software and licensing fees
  • Professional equipment that aid content creation and product promotion
  • Courses on digital marketing, branding, and social advertising
  • Essential technological upgrades

I have been approved for TechUP. What documents will I need to provide?

TechUP is a reimbursement fund for digital purchases made for up to $5,000 to update your business. You will require two types of documents, 1) paid receipts from eligible purchases that are dated and paid in full, 2) the completed expense sheet, which can be accessed through the applicant portal following application approval.

Approved applicants are allowed one total submission for reimbursement, and all required documents must be included. You may upload the required documents at any time within your 30-day window, but you must submit all documents at once.

Please note any receipts submitted for ineligible expenses will be denied.

TechUP is intended to enable digital changes to your capacity, and was not designed to subsidize your existing business expenses, including phone bill, internet bill, regularly occurring license or hosting fees, franchise fees, multi-year subscriptions, etc.

Mobile phones are not necessarily considered digital adaptation and are generally viewed as regular business expenses. Receipts for new mobile phones will be reviewed on a case by case basis to assess need.

How do I login to my applicant portal?

Follow this link Applicant Portal and login using the same email address and password that you used when you created your account. You may use the forgot password path if you do not remember your password.

PowerUP

What types of projects will the PowerUP program fund?

The PowerUP program provides grants of up to $25,000 for digital adaptation projects that can be completed before June 15, 2022. Projects that are eligible for the PowerUP program should serve to maximize your business’s potential by optimizing operations, processes or strategies with the latest digital technology, tools, and systems.

Successful applications to the PowerUP program may include, but are not limited to, projects that involve one or more of the following examples of digital adaptation:

  • Developing branded digital platforms, products and services that meet the needs or adds value to the lives of your customers
  • Expanding your customer base by investing in the creation of an e-commerce compatible website or mobile application
  • Rebuilding services to be digital-first, such as touchless POS systems
  • Investing in licenses for advanced data collection and analytical tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, or search engine optimization (SEO) software

I have been approved for PowerUP. What documents will I need to provide?

There are 2 stages for PowerUP:

  • Pre-approval
  • Final submission – approval for reimbursement

Pre-approval

To apply for pre-approval to PowerUP, you must provide a business case brief detailing:

  1. Description of the technology challenge you wish to address
  2. Proposed project duration (must be completed before June 15, 2022)
  3. Proposed objectives
  4. Scope of proposed work
  5. Budget
  6. Expected impact of investment in the project

Think of your business case brief as your opportunity to let us know why and what resources you need to evolve your business models, processes and operations. Provide quotations, statements of work or proposed scope of work documentation from vendors outlining proposed costs and work to be done that support your brief.

Following assessment of your submitted business case brief, DMI will advise you of pre-approval status. If successful, you will be notified of your pre-approved amount. This is your assurance that the funds have been allocated for your project* and confirmation to proceed with your project.

*Final payment to follow proof of project execution aligned with your pre-approved business case brief and upon submission of proof of payment.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The pre-approved plan defines and locks in the scope of your work for the grant. You cannot change the plan, target technologies or budget.

Projects must be completed, paid for, and receipts submitted through the applicant portal for reimbursement by June 15, 2022.

Final submission — approval for reimbursement

PowerUP will reimburse you for digital purchases made up to your approved grant amount. You will need to upload paid receipts and supplier documentation on or before June 15, 2022.

When submitting receipts for reimbursement you must:

  • Submit all receipts and supporting documentation together at one time do not submit interim or partial payments
  • Demonstrate all expenses are consistent with your approved business case brief
  • Upload documentation to your applicant portal

STEPS TO FINAL APPROVAL AND PAYMENT:

These will be executed through the applicant portal, additional instructions are provided there.

  1. Type in the amount of grant funds requested*, hit Set
    *Cannot exceed amount of pre-approval
  2. Upload receipts, vendor notes, screen shots, etc. to validate proof of project alignment with pre-approved business case brief.
    Receipts MUST be provided confirming payment in full
  3. Press Submit when complete
  4. The pre-approved amount is the absolute maximum for your final claim, you cannot claim additional expenses

Note: All submissions must be consistent with scope of work defined in your pre-approved business case brief — you cannot make revisions to the approved plan.

How do I login to my applicant portal?

Follow this link Applicant Portal and login using the same email address and password that you used when you created your account. You may use the forgot password path if you do not remember your password.

How long do I have to use my grant funds once I’ve been approved?

The PowerUP portion of projects must be completed, paid for, and receipts submitted through the applicant portal for reimbursement by June 15, 2022.

Funds can also be used to reimburse you for digital-centric investments made since April 1, 2021, with the submission of dated receipts.

Once my application has been approved, how will I receive the funds?

Once your bank deposit details are validated, funds are deposited weekly to registered bank accounts. This is generally within approximately 10–14 business days of your approval, and you will be notified via email.