5 Small Business government grants you need to know aboutStarting a small business can be one of the most challenging and demanding things you could do - with endless drains on your time and resources, things can quickly become unmanageable. Luckily the Australian Government recognises that sometimes great ideas need a helping hand to get off the ground and have a range of funding and financial aid programs available. Designed to assist small businesses with things ranging from research and development to improving business growth and productivity, there are programs and grants just waiting to be utilised.
As part of efforts to boost the national economy, each year, the Australian Government allocates around $20 billion to assisting businesses. This financial assistance can come in a wide range of shapes and forms – some of which include one off lump sum grants (non-repayable), expert advice or assistance programs or tax and duty subsidies.
The Australian Government has also recently launched innovation.gov.au – a program aimed at supporting innovation – helping businesses get funding for their ideas, assisting in training young people for the jobs of tomorrow and encouraging existing businesses to embrace innovation through financial incentives such as tax breaks.
No matter what stage of business development you are at, it’s worth checking out what assistance you could potentially apply for – depending on the type and size of your business you could qualify for a loan or grant from between $500 and $2 million. To kick start your imagination, we have put together a list of 5 Australian Government grants that you need to know about.
1. JobActive Restart: The Restart programme is an Australian Government wage subsidy that encourages businesses to employ mature workers. Restart can help you to expand your business and employ workers who are aged 50 or older. The Restart wage subsidy is a payment of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) when you employ an eligible mature age job seeker.
2. Growth Services: If your business has high growth potential, Growth Services can help you to develop the skills, knowledge, strategies and connections you need to accelerate growth. If you're eligible, you'll be given access to specialist services, expertise and networks to help your business grow.
3. Business Growth Grants: These grants offer financial assistance to business who wish to improve their operations – the government undertakes Business Evaluations which can then springboard you into a range of financial assistance programs.
4. Industry Skills Fund: This Fund offers training grants and advice on skills development for your industry of choice.
5. Research & Development Tax Incentive: Provides a targeted tax offset designed to encourage more companies to engage in research and development in Australia.
Of course there are hundreds of other grants available from local, state and federal levels of government - so where can you find information on the grants available?
There are a number of organisations dedicated solely to assisting businesses find and apply for grants they are eligible for – for example www.australiangovernmentgrants.org these sites can be a great place to start your search. The government has also created an online tool aimed at assisting businesses to locate the grants and assistance programmes most relevant to them. The Grant Finder can be found at www.business.gov.au/grants-and-assistance/grant-finder.
Once you find the grant you wish to apply for, make sure you follow all the directives and recommendations for applying for that particular grant – and good luck!