With Australia’s infrastructure coming to a point where it is modernising and advancing at the same time, the Federal Government has announced an increase in funding business grants and financial awards to stimulate the economy.
Businesses that meet specific criteria can apply for grants to help with the cost of new equipment or to help with research and development. These are not loans but grants that don’t require repayment. Below are some examples:
Government Grants for Small Business
Small Business Digital Grants Program
The Small Business Digital Grants Program is a new initiative from the Australian Government to improve small businesses’ online presence and help them sell online. The program provides up to $1,200 in funding for eligible small businesses, who can use this money to build their digital presence, design a website, develop an online marketing strategy, or undertake other activities.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for this grant, you must:
- An Australian resident
- Have no more than 20 employees (including yourself)
- A registered as an Australian business with the Australian Taxation Office or the Department of Jobs and Small Business
What can you do?
You can use your grant money to do any one of these things:
- Build your company’s digital presence (e.g., create a website)
- Develop an online marketing strategy
- Undertake research into how small businesses are using technology (e.g., online tools) to sell products or services
- Develop new products/services through technology
- Hire staff, including consultants and contractors
- Buy equipment or software.
- Pay for training/education for yourself or your staff.
- Pay professional fees for implementing your project plans, such as legal or accountancy fees.
Innovation Vouchers Program
The Innovation Vouchers program is administered by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science. The program aims to support small businesses in innovation by providing access to funding and technical assistance services.
The program provides grants of up to $3,000 for eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations that will improve the competitiveness of their industry or help them take advantage of emerging opportunities.
Furthermore, the Innovation Vouchers program has been designed to support businesses with little or no experience in research and development (R&D) activities. Grants are available for projects that involve an element of innovation as well as commercialisation potential.
Also, grants are provided on a reimbursement basis only, with applicants required to contribute at least 20% of project costs from their resources. Approved projects must be completed within two years of receiving funding approval.
Export Market Development Grants Scheme (EMDG)
The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) is a government grant program that provides funding to enable Australian businesses to enter or expand their export activities. The EMDG is open to all Australian businesses, regardless of size or sector. The EMDG can cover the costs associated with entering new markets and/or establishing a foothold in existing markets.
The EMDG also provides Australian companies financial assistance to participate in overseas trade fairs, exhibitions, conferences, and seminars. In addition, the grant can be used for the cost of exhibiting at overseas events, airfares and accommodation costs associated with attending the event, and other expenses related to preparing for the event, such as printing catalogs or brochures.
Other eligible activities include:
- Market research
- Developing business relationships
- Product development
- Market access training
- Advertising and promotional activities
Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF)
The Building Better Regions Fund is a $1.38 billion fund that provides grants for infrastructure projects in regional and rural Australia. The BBRF is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC).
The BBRF is designed to support funding to improve the economic, social, and environmental outcomes in regional Australia like:
- Better access to transport routes
- Improving access to education and health
- Creating employment opportunities
Moreover, the BBRF is intended to be used with other government funding options, such as the Building Better Regions Fund — Community Infrastructure Program (CIP), which focuses on smaller projects.
BBRF grants can also be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Economic development activities include tourism and investment promotion, business incubation and development, agricultural support, and manufacturing promotion.
- Projects that increase employment opportunities or provide training for regional residents.
- Community infrastructure projects such as sporting facilities, libraries, and community centers
- Environmental projects include water conservation measures, waste management facilities, and environmental education programs.
Eligibility Requirements for Building Better Regions Fund Grants
Applicants must demonstrate how their project will contribute to one or more of these areas. For example, applicants may provide evidence that their project will increase housing affordability or job opportunities in a particular region.
They must also demonstrate how their project will impact the local community by creating jobs or improving local infrastructure. In addition, applicants should be able to show how their project fits within the broader objectives set out by DIRD in its Strategic Plan 2012-2017 – Strategic Priorities: Infrastructure Delivery through Regional Partnerships.
Advanced Manufacturing Market Expansion Program TAS
Another grant opportunity in Tasmania is the Advanced Manufacturing Market Expansion Program. This small business program aims to help small companies in Tasmania expand into international markets. This includes helping to transform ideas into products and assisting with marketing, sales, and distribution.
In addition, the program supports Tasmanian businesses as they seek opportunities overseas by helping them plan their export strategies, develop marketing materials, and attend trade fairs or events relevant to their industry sector.
This grant is open to companies in all industries, including:
- Building and Construction
- Engineering Services
- IT and Communications
- Clean Technology
The program provides up to $10,000 per business. It covers up to 50% of eligible costs for companies operating for at least two years and has a turnover of less than $2 million annually.
Government Grants – Small Business Enterprises
There are just a sample few programs that are on offer, for more information about individual eligibility criteria or the application process, call us today and speak to our representatives who will be able to assist you.