Grants available for small business in Australia

04/05/2018 12:00AM

Establishing and maintaining a small business is hard work, but there is support available from the Federal and Victorian Governments to help SMEs succeed.

These include grants, funding opportunities, learning ventures and chances to improve your skills for free to take your big business idea to the next level.

Here are some of the major grants available through the national and state governments and how you can apply for them.

National grants for SMEs

Entrepreneurs’ Programme: There are numerous grants available through this program, including the Accelerating Commercialisation fund and Business Growth Grants. Free expert advice is also available.

Research and Development Tax Incentive: Startups with an annual turnover under $20 million are eligible for 43.5 percent refundable tax offset against R&D expenditure of $100 million or less.

Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP): This is a scheme designed to attract foreign investment in startups that have been registered under the Venture Capital Act 2002 and have made high risk investments that have held for at least 12 months.

Austrade Landing Pad: A golden learning opportunity for startups, this is the chance to be placed in one of five world-class innovation hubs in Singapore, Berlin, Shanghai, Tel Aviv or San Francisco.

Export Market Development Grant (EMDG): This is for aspiring exporters, with new businesses that have spent over $15,000 on export promotion eligible for reimbursement of costs up to $5000.

Certain Inputs to Manufacture (CIM) Programme: Designed for manufacturers, this import duty concessions to businesses that purchase raw materials from overseas. Eligible goods include chemicals, plastics, papers, metals and goods used in food packaging.

Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Programme: One off payments of between $750 and $4000 are available for SMEs that take on apprentices, depending on their certification.

Business Development and Assistance Program: This provides support, funding, concessional loans and asset leasing to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people looking to start a small business or grow their existing business.

Victorian grants for SMEs

There are a wide range of grants, vouchers and assistance programs available to SMEs through the Business Victoria network.

This is not limited to just funding, either, with assistance like the Small Business Mentoring Program able to provide your with a free business mentor to help your venture succeed.

There are industry specific assistance programs available like Advancing Victorian Manufacturing and the Latrobe Valley Supply Chain Transition Program, as well as scholarship and learning opportunities for personal and professional development.

Programs like the New enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) are also available to provide job seekers with accredited small business training, business mentoring, and income support to help them realise their dream of creating their own small business.

For a full list of grants and support programs available, check out the full list at Business Victoria.

Tips on how to secure grants for your business

Now that you have the knowledge on grants and where to access them, it is time to put together your application.

For the best chance at success, there are a range of factors you should consider as the application process can be lengthy and you don't want to waste time on a bid that could ultimately fail.

Reading the fine print is vital, as the selection criteria spells out which businesses are eligible. If you are not eligible, there is no sense in applying. Your application should include strong support material to all questions to give your venture credibility.

And ensure you outline clearly why your enterprise needs this grant and detail your expectations of growth that this funding will enable.

It is also important to note that grant writing consultants are available to help you put your application together.

If you’re in the market to take your business to the next level, find out how the Morris Finance team can help you get started.

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