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In Australia, there are several grants available for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The purposes of these grants can range from pure financial assistance to help with hiring new employees as your business expands. Generally, State or Local Governments give these grants. Hence, it is essential to check with the relevant bodies in your business’ location to determine the different grants available to you. 

This article outlines some of the most common business grants available to small and medium businesses in each State and Territory. 

Australian Government Grants & Programs Website

Before checking with your State or Local Council, a good place to start is the Australian Government Grants & Programs Website. The website provides an easy-to-use tool where you can put in your postcode, the industry your business operates in and the type of assistance you require. From there, the site will generate a list of grants your small business may be eligible for. 

COVID-19 Support

To support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, each Australian State and Territory Government offered financial assistance through monetary grants. These allowed many small businesses to stay afloat and keep vital staff on board.

If you require this kind of assistance, see below for a list of State and Territory COVID-19 relief:

SME Grants by State or Territory

New South Wales

The New South Wales Government provides specific support for startups and small businesses to stimulate the economy and harness innovation. The Minimum Viable Product grant is amongst these. It focuses specifically on pre-revenue technology startups who are developing scalable technology solutions. The grant is for a maximum of $25,000. 

To be eligible, a startup must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in NSW;
  • be based in NSW; 
  • be at the pre-revenue stage;
  • have a completed proof of concept, for example, customer interviews, surveys, or focus groups; 
  • have a potential business customer (B2B) or business channel to market (B2C);
  • hold IP or the rights to commercialise;
  • have a scalable solution that you can deploy to multiple customers;
  • demonstrate that 80% of development costs will occur in NSW; and 
  • demonstrate you have secured adequate matched funding for the project.

Read more about the New South Wales Government’s support for startups here.

Victoria

The Victorian Government also has a range of grants and programs which aim to support small businesses. One of these is the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program. This grant allows eligible businesses to trial products and tools intended to build digital capacity and improve day-to-day operations. For example, point-of-sale payment software. 

Further, if a business purchases a product after completing a trial, they can apply for a rebate of $1,200 to access the product for 12 months. 

To be eligible for the program, you must:

  • operate a business located in Victoria;
  • have held an ABN since at least 13 September 2019; and
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 13 September 2020 (unless you are a not-for-profit registered with the ACNC).

Read more about the Victorian Government’s business support grants and programs here.

Queensland

The Queensland Government has a tool called the Queensland Government Grants finder. The grants finder allows you to input your businesses’ information to be shown grants you may be eligible for. Additionally, the Government provides support and assistance for preparing and writing the grant application itself. This may be can be useful for businesses who have limited experience in applying for Government funding.

Read more about Queensland Government grants here.

South Australia

The South Australian Government also offers various avenues for seeking funding if you are a small business. The Economic and Business Growth Fund provides direct injections into a range of different industries in South Australia. How this funding looks depends on the type of project your business is undertaking.

The South Australian Government also accepts Unsolicited Proposals. Likewise, a business can approach the Government with new and innovative ideas that benefit the State (for example, creating jobs or meeting an unmet community need). If successful, a small business can receive funding to execute it.

Read more about South Australian Government grants here.

Western Australia

The Western Australian Government offers grants in limited circumstances and advises businesses to check the Australian Government Grants & Programs Website to find grants applicable to them. The Western Australian Government also advertises tenders which some small businesses may be eligible to apply for.

Read more about Western Australian Government grants and tenders here.

Tasmania 

The Tasmanian Government provides general financial support for startups in limited circumstances. Their website contains information about these grants, including availability and eligibility.

Read more about Tasmanian Government grants here.

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory has limited grants and support available for businesses based in the Territory. Their page is updated regularly, so check it periodically to see any grants you may be eligible for.

Read more about the Australian Capital Territory Government grants here.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory also offers a range of improvement grants and funding to Northern Territory-based businesses, including small businesses and startups. For example, the Small Business Champion program connects small businesses and startups with a “champion”. The champion will assist the business to identify grants and support available to them and help them apply.

Read more about Northern Territory Government grants here.

Key Takeaways

There are a range of grants available to small businesses. Obtaining one is just a matter of going to the right place and finding one your small business is eligible for. Make sure to read the eligibility criteria carefully when preparing your application. Consequently, not meeting a single requirement could be the difference between getting and not getting a grant. Further, there is usually assistance available for preparing grant applications on Government websites. For more information about capital raising for your startup or SME, contact LegalVision’s startup lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an SME?

SME stands for small and medium-sized enterprises. The Australian Government recognises that small and medium-sized businesses may find it challenging to raise money to achieve their business goals. Hence, there are several grants available to SMEs.

Where should I start looking if I am after a grant for my startup?

A good place to start is the Australian Government Grants & Programs Website. Simply input your postcode, the industry your business operates in and the type of assistance you require, and you will receive a list of grants your small business may be eligible for.

What eligibility requirements does my small business need to meet?

Different grants will have different eligibility requirements. The requirements will also differ across each Australian state and territory. Commonly, your business will need a registered Australian Business Number (ABN).

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