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By Virginia Gordon

Grants to help you Innovate & transform your business

6 months into COVID crisis - updated grants to help Australian businesses connect with their customer

A lot has changed since April, when I first posted a comprehensive list of links to government business support grants. We have been through challenging times, with Victorians facing the hardest challenges of all. Small and medium businesses and sole traders have been stretched, some to breaking point. Rapid change has been afoot and it has taken smart pivoting to weather the constantly changing business landscape.

As the year draws to a close, we have seen many businesses transform to sell and service customers online. Most surprisingly this includes many traditionally off-line professional services companies moving their services online.

Establishing an online presence helps small businesses open up markets in new locations. Professional services companies are finding they can better educate their clients with an online store, increasing transparency with clients knowing exactly what they will get upfront. Even traditionally off-line businesses like Pilates or yoga classes have been transformed on-line and brought into your home, providing a much broader choice.

We have had an upswing in small and medium businesses contacting us for advice on digitalising their processes and launching customer focused eCommerce (https://storeconnect.app) for the first time. While many scrambled to get any system launched in order to trade online, it isn’t always the best long-term solution for scaling and profitability. It is worth revisiting your technology solution to ensure it can grow with you and not cause headaches down the track, with escalating costs.

Transitioning correctly costs money, and this is where a grant can help ease the burden.

At reinteractive we develop custom web and mobile solutions for clients. We understand that transitioning to a digital model involves investment - sometimes significant investment. It can be done well, somewhat mediocre or badly. When done well, with the proper scoping and planning done before any development, it pays off in short order.

We are offering(https://reinteractive.net/enquiries/new) a free half-day scoping session to businesses looking to build an application for their business to help determine the feasibility and costs involved before they spend a cent on development.

It takes financial investment to transition a business online

In addition to COVID-19 stimulus packages, there are existing government grants for businesses that help with the financial costs of transitioning to a digital business model.

I have compiled these links to save our clients the effort of digging around themselves. These are filtered based on those more relevant to a digital transition but there are many more available for other industries.

New grants will be issued next year, so be sure to check back and see what is new. Visit the main Federal Grants page listed below to access the full list. I will update it as I find more and would love to hear of any others if you find them. Best of luck!

Federal:

Main Federal grants page https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs

Research and Development Tax Incentive (deadline extended) - https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Research-and-Development-Tax-Incentive

Support for Priority Industry sectors (covering 6 main industries verticals) https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Industry-Growth-Centres-Initiative

Find available support for:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)
  • Cyber Security Growth Centre (AustCyber)
  • Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre (FIAL)
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre (MTP Connect)
  • Mining Equipment, Technology and Services Growth Centre (METS Ignited)
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre (NERA)

And here is a great summary of available grants by industry from Smart Company published Sept 2020.

New South Wales:

Funding for pre-revenue technology start-ups - Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grants support promising pre-revenue startups to progress from proof of concept to a minimum viable product stage. The grants can help startups to engage with a potential business customer or channel to market and create innovative solutions that address industry needs or market gaps. https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Minimum-Viable-Product-NSW

Apply for an export assistance grant - If you are an exporting business, or if you were exporting goods or services before the impacts of COVID-19, bushfires or drought, you may be eligible for an export assistance grant of up to $10,000.

This grant helps eligible export businesses in NSW access global markets. Funds can be used for:

  • marketing materials
  • website internationalisation
  • pivoting to online delivery (for example, converting face-to-face training content to online content for international audiences)
  • e-commerce development
  • market research
  • international tradeshow and trade missions
  • inbound business support
  • costs to support compliance/localisation of products for export
  • costs to protect business in international markets.

https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-export-assistance-grant

Community Service Grants (Covid-19 recovery grants) - This grant supports programs or projects that respond to ongoing community need including food security, digital inclusion, social isolation, tenancy support and homelessness services https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community-support-funding/community-services-grants-covid-19-recovery-grants

Victoria:

Main Victorian grants page - https://www.vic.gov.au/grants

Business Support Package - Support to help businesses and workers through to the other side of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-package

Business Resilience Package - The Victorian Government is investing $3 billion to help businesses impacted by ongoing restrictions and prepare for COVID Normal business.

$3 billion in cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support will be delivered to Victorian businesses that have been most affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. The package will help businesses survive and keep Victorians in jobs. https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-resilience-package

Includes:

A third round of the Business Support Fund provides direct financial support to eligible businesses that must stay closed or operate under restrictions until COVID Normal.

Queensland:

Main QLD government small business grants page - https://desbt.qld.gov.au/small-business/programs/grants

Plus a schedule of what grants there are and when they end: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/schedule

Business Development Fund QLD - The Business Development Fund provides early stage co-investment funding to innovative Queensland businesses. The Fund invests in businesses that are looking to commercialise new research or innovative ideas, products or services. https://www.business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/business-development-fund-qld

Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program - (still open for Regional Queensland) https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/adaption

South Australia:

South Australian Venture Capital Fund - Co-investment funding to help build dynamic and innovative early stage companies to accelerate their growth to a national and global scale. https://business.sa.gov.au/Grants-and-support-services/Grants/South-Australian-Venture-Capital-Fund

Western Australia:

Funding to help WA businesses enter Asian markets - Access Asia Business Grants provide WA small to medium enterprises with funding to help them build or maintain competitiveness in Asian markets. https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/Access-Asia-Business-Grants-WA

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