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Grants for Small Business

by Angus Jones
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Unfortunately, there is no magic pool of money to help start-ups or existing small businesses. However, some grants for small business are available with a lot of hard work and most likely a long waiting period. This guide will look at what you need to know about Grants and how you might go about getting one.

A grant is an amount of money given especially by the government to a person or organisation for a special purpose.

WHY might I apply for a grant?

A grant:
  • can take your business to the next level which could benefit not only you but society as a whole.
  • may encourage research or development of a solution that without the grant would unlikely have been funded.
  • might come in the form of training rather than money to build your business skills and knowledge.
  • may keep your business afloat during times of hardship.

WHAT do I need to understand about grants for small business?

A grant is normally associated with a specific goal.  That goal may be as varied as helping find a cure for cancer, supporting a minority group such as Torres Strait Islanders or developing groundbreaking technology.

Examples of grants include CSIRO Kick-Start, Biomedical Translation Fund, Research & development Tax Incentive, and Export Market Development Grant.

It is unlikely you will get a grant to open a café!

Obtaining a grant is a competitive process and many other businesses are also likely to apply.

If you are successful in obtaining a grant it is likely there will also be some sort of assessment panel which will review your progress and decide how the grant will be administered. Thus, your funds must be spent as you outlined in your application.

If you accept a grant, you will need to sign a contract and submit a range of reports.  It is also likely that you must acknowledge the grant agency in any advertising or PR activity you undertake on the project.

Any business-related expense in applying for a grant can be claimed as a tax deduction.

HOW do I apply for grants?

The method in which you submit your grant application will depend on the instructions provided on the grant and in documentation by the granting agency. You must consider carefully the prescribed submission process.

If you wish to discuss aspects of a particular Grant, you will need to contact the granting agency using the contact details as provided by the agency.

When applying for a grant you should:

  1. ensure you meet the eligibility criteria

  2. know exactly what you’re applying for and why

  3. know what the funds will be used for and how they’ll be used

  4. complete the grant application. This process will vary in time and detail depending on what you’re applying for

HINTS

The following site allows you to search for available grants based on your location, industry, and the type of assistance you are looking for. https://www.business.gov.au/grants-and-programs

Grant opportunities can also be found at www.grants.gov.au and they provide a help desk on 1300 484 145

 State Specific Grants:

SW https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/find-grants-and-financial-help
VIC https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance
QLD https://www.grants.services.qld.gov.au/#/
SA https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/care-and-support/concessions-and-grants/grants
WA https://https://www.wa.gov.au/service/business-support/industry-assistance-schemes
NT https://nt.gov.au/industry/start-run-and-grow-a-business/grow-your-business/business-grants-and-funding
ACT https://www.grants.act.gov.au/
TAS https://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/grants_and_funding_opportunities

SUMMARY – What grants are available for small business? 

Applying for a grant could enable your business to grow or achieve what might not have been possible.  However, note they are hard to get and take time to complete so consider the effort versus the likely success.  Ensure you follow grant instructions both when applying and if successful after receiving one. Key is to understand what grants are available at both a local and national perspective for your industry and need.

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