Guide to Business Grants
It’s been a tough few years for many businesses, with the pandemic and natural disasters, especially small business owners.
Finding funds and expertise for business development can be challenging for smaller organisations. Even larger firms can find it difficult to put together the cash and know-how to keep a business expanding.
That’s where a grant of funds or professional support can help.
What can I get a grant for?
You will find grants supporting all aspects of business operations offered by state, territory and federal government agencies and departments that cover many different business needs.
Some grants are available for several years while others are just a short-term funding opportunity so be sure to check the closing dates.
Some examples include:
An effective online presence can make or break a small business but knowing where to start might be holding you back.
There’s a Federal Government program that helps small businesses access digital tools to create websites and sell online, use social media and business software and ensure online security and data privacy.
The Australian Small Business Advisory Services program provides seven hours of support with a digital solutions advisor to businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees.
Recovering from natural disasters
Businesses affected by the floods or Black Summer bushfires can apply for support from the AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Program.
Under the program, a facilitator identifies ways to improve your business systems, operations and strategies.
Each state affected by a recent disaster also provides grants and loans to small businesses such as the Queensland governments low interest Disaster Assistance Loans of up to $250,000.
If you have a business idea but you just need a little help to get it across the line, the AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Program is an option.
The Program’s Accelerating Commercialisation service provides advice and funding to get novel products, processes or services to market.
Exporters or those interested in starting to sell overseas can find useful information, advice and financial support from government agencies.
Export Australia provides small to medium businesses with loans to secure specific export contracts when traditional lenders can’t help. Export Finance Australia will give approved export businesses a guarantee to help access finance from their bank or there’s a Small Business Export Loan that covers up to 80 per cent of the costs to secure an export contract.
State and territory governments also offer exporters support such as the Going Global Export Program in New South Wales for businesses in the health and medtech, technology, and food and beverage sectors or the Export Fundamentals Program for South Australian businesses looking to expand or to start exporting.
Regional and rural support
Various levels of government offer funds and professional support to small businesses operating in country areas. For example, there is a three-year payroll tax exemption to interstate businesses relocating to regional Tasmania.
In NSW, the state government will match funding for projects in regional areas that are time-sensitive and strategically significant. While in Victoria, a government program provides incentives to regional hospitality and tourism businesses to take on trainees and to develop and retain jobs in other sectors.
Wage subsidies are available when you employ certain eligible individuals such as long-term unemployed, apprentices and trainees or people with a disability.
Where to find information
To find information about government grants, visit the business.gov.au website. It outlines the business grants and programs offered by agencies from every level of government across Australia.
Each state and territory government has a database of their grants and programs. And, check your local council’s website for opportunities.
How to apply
Firstly, read the requirements to make sure you are eligible, you will then be steered through a series of questions.
Remember to provide as much relevant information as possible to help your chances.