Financing growth for smaller businesses can be a massive challenge and doing so organically definitely won’t help you get that great idea to market without the risk of missing the ever narrowing and elusive window of opportunity.
Unless you have the next Facebook or Google this means that will you more than likely need a little bit of help. Both the State and Federal governments offer a variety of grants, assistance and advice for small businesses that desire to be successful and make a difference.
The process of finding a suitable grant let alone the application itself can be quite time intensive, so we have collated a few here – a short list to get you started.
These are a few of the most relevant grants that small businesses can apply for:
1. Export Market Development Grant
The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is a key Australian Government financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters.
The scheme reimburses up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above $10,000 provided that the total expenses are at least $20,000 and provides up to seven grants to each eligible applicant.
To access the scheme for the first time, businesses need to have spent $20,000 over two years on eligible export marketing expenses. Applications for the 2012-13 grant year open 1 July, 2013 and close 30 November, 2013.
2. R&D Tax incentive
The Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is a targeted, generous and easy to access entitlement program that helps businesses offset some of the costs of doing R&D. The Program is open to firms of all sizes in all sectors who are conducting eligible R&D.
In particular it provides generous support for small and medium-sized firms through a 45 per cent refundable tax offset (equivalent to a 150 per cent deduction) to eligible entities with an aggregated turnover of less than $20 million per annum.
3. Commercialisation Australia
Commercialisation Australia provides four grants of increasing value and which logically assist with the early phases of growth and commercialisation of new and innovative products or services:
- Skills and Knowledge – which provides up to $50,000 to access specialist advice and services. Funding is 80/20 (80% CA; 20% the small business)
- Proof of Concept – grants of up to $250,000 (50/50 funding) to assist in testing the commercial viability of the business model or idea for a product, process or service.
- Experienced Executive – funding of up to $350,000 (50/50) over two years to engage an experienced CEO or other senior executives.
- Early Stage Commercialisation – grants of up to $2 million (50/50) to develop a new product or service to the stage where it can be taken to market.
4. Enterprise Connect
The Enterprise Connect government program offers a free comprehensive business review that includes up to 3-4 days of on-site information gathering, followed by the opportunity to access up to $20,000 in dollar-for dollar funding to implement the recommendations of the review which will include:
- Strengths and weaknesses of your business
- Strategic issues
- Potential areas for business improvement and
- Potential areas for growth
The projects cannot be part of the normal course of the business. Instead they must add new expertise to the business or build its internal capability.
5. TCF Small Business Program
The Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Small Business Program (SBP) provides grants of up to $50,000 for projects to improve the business enterprise culture of established TCF small businesses that have not received grants or qualify for assistance from other TCF programs. TCF small businesses must manufacture an eligible TCF product in Australia, or design an eligible TCF product for manufacture in Australia. They must have fewer than 20 employees; have a minimum turnover of $100,000; and provide a minimum cash contribution to the project of 25% of eligible expenditure.
T-QUAL (or tourism quality) grants aim to increase Australia’s supply of quality tourism products by providing matched funding of up to $100,000 to large and small-scale tourism projects.
While EmpireOne is not a business grants expert, we have the experience and knowledge to help you with your grant or assistance application. We can provide you with a no nonsense introduction to each grant and help with the application process should you wish to.