Small Business Grants QLD
The past several years has changed all of us, initiating hardships and encouraging the human traits of resilience and adaptability to flourish. Small businesses, which pre-pandemic represented an overwhelming 97% of all enterprise in the state of Queensland, are arguably amongst the entities most impacted. Many of these operations have folded, and yet many more have found ways to survive, and some even to thrive. Of those small business that have endured, or are in the throes of resurrection and restructuring, it’s often been a recalibration and a creative pivot of their ways, as well as government sponsored funding relief, that has seen them through.
Queensland government grants and assistance programs persist as a crucial element in this recovery and response to Covid-19 and other disruptive events such as natural disasters. With circumstances constantly evolving, the nature and structure of government assistance programs is also under constant review. This month’s Australian Bureau of Statistics Conditions and Sentiments Report identifies the current major areas of stress on small business operations as increased operating expenses, staffing shortages, and supply chain disruptions. Let’s look at how small business owners can access and prepare for government assistance.
Readiness to act
The government has provided a range of small business grants QLD over the past few years, with new funding assistance programs regularly emerging. These programs may be initiated at any time, are often subject to a short application period, and can be highly competitive. As such, it’s advisable for small businesses to develop skills in presenting an impressive application and to be poised to apply at short notice.
You can find online guides on the preparation and writing of grant applications that can assist small business operators to capitalise on their grant application competency.
Developing proficient grant submission skills relies on your ability to communicate your company’s forward vision, identify any limiting factors such as funding deficits, and ultimately plan your way to success, thus it serves further function as a self-inventory of where your business is at.
Read the fine print
It’s also essential to examine the eligibility criteria for each grant or program carefully, as specifics will alter and not every opportunity will be suitable for every business. The recently closed Business Boost Grants Program, for example. provided financial assistance of up to $15,000, but was targeted towards small businesses with already approved projects for which they were able to co-contribute at least 30% of costs.
Other qualifying considerations included that the business must be headquartered in Queensland, employ fewer than 20 staff, have an annual turnover of between $300,000 and $600,000, and not be insolvent or owned/operated by undischarged bankruptees. Failure to investigate and abide by the terms of conditions of specific grant opportunities may lead to frustrating denials and wasted effort.
Search and deploy
With short application windows and narrow deadlines, it is imperative to keep upto date with the grants on offer, or else you can easily miss out on opportunities that could have immensely benefited your project.
One example of a grant offered by the QLD state government is to assist burgeoning small businesses that can demonstrate scalability. The Business Growth Fund Program, which is nearing its closing date for expressions of interest, is open to businesses that can demonstrate a high-growth capacity. They can receive upfront payments of between $25,000 and $50,000, and must co-contribute at least 25% of their own capital towards projects. Growth payments are intended for purposes such as the purchase of specialised equipment in order to increase a company’s productivity, turnover, and profitability. It’s also expected that recipients of the growth fund will employ more staff, thus contributing to increased employment growth.
Staff shortages, currently endemic across all sectors of industry, are especially tough for small businesses who may only function with a few employees. If one or more roles are unfilled in a small business, there’s often no other staff who can step in and assume temporary responsibility.
Queensland’s Back To Work scheme aims to connect employers searching for staff with unemployed persons suitable for the role. Support payments of up to $15,000 are provided to small business operators who employ unemployed job seekers from identified target groups. These payments may be increased up to $20,000 for businesses who hire eligible jobseekers between 15-24 years.
The program works in conjunction with the Small Business Support Pool which offers an incentive payment of $2,000 to assist businesses to support and retain their employees accessed via the Back To Work scheme. Furthermore Back To Work in partnership with TAFE Queensland is offering participating businesses access to short micro-credential courses in study areas such as workplace leadership, resilience and wellbeing, recruitment, and cultural and disability capability training and inclusivity.
Supply buddies and tax relief
The government’s Supplier Matching Program is an initiative that aims to connect small businesses experiencing supply chain issues, with alternative sources of fulfilling their stock needs. Businesses submit an online form that identifies the exact nature of the services and goods they are experiencing supply difficulties with, and the Queensland government attempts to find a resolution.
Taxation is another means by which the state government of Queensland is providing assistance to small business operators. Adjustments to the existing payroll deduction framework for small business will come into effect in January of 2023. These support measures are intended to reduce cost pressures on proprietors.
May was Small Business Month in Queensland, and featured an event schedule that articulated the ways in which smaller enterprises form the backbone of the state’s economy. It also provided small business owners an opportunity to connect and network. In fact, every month of the year is effectively small business month, and a celebration of the integral role of small business to Queensland’s economic growth and recovery.
This is recognised by several key measures revealed in the 2022-2023 state budget which pledge a funding commitment of $39.1 million over 4 years, and $12.6 million ongoing, to permanently fund Small Business Grants and the Mentoring for Growth Program. If you’re one of the countless small businesses operating in Queensland, explore your options for accessing grant assistance today.