Finding the right kind of funding or grant program that can help grow, support or even get your venture off the ground can be a challenge at the best of times for a busy business owner.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there were 2,569,900 actively trading businesses in Australia as of June 20, 2022. Some of these small business owners may not realise that they are eligible to apply for particular government grants, or don’t know where to start.
Currently, there are 555 government grants, funding and support programs across Australia for businesses on the Business.gov.au grants and programs finder page.
There are small business grants available all year round and as of last week, there’s more to add to the list, with the federal government including $62.6 million worth of grants in its 2022 budget to support SMEs in improving their energy efficiency and reducing energy use over the next three years.
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Here’s a quick round-up of some of what’s on offer in each state and territory. Small business owners can also check in with their local councils to find out if they are offering any grant programs for businesses in the community.
Business Victoria has a number of grant programs currently available for small businesses, from flood relief to support programs.
Small Business Immediate Flood Relief Program
This program is for businesses directly affected by the Victorian flood events that commenced in October 2022. Two streams of support are available under this program: the Immediate Flood Relief grant and the Business Relief Service. Applications close at 4pm on January 13, 2023.
Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Victorian Small Businesses
This is an ongoing program where Victorians dealing with the challenges of running a small business can get the mental health support they need to navigate through the impacts of COVID‑19.
Small Business Bus
This is another ongoing program where the Victorian Government’s Small Business Bus can help you to develop your business ideas and capabilities.
Low Carbon Manufacturing Grant Program — Business Readiness Stream
This program assists small to medium-sized Victorian manufacturers to access business services, advice, or expertise in order to participate in low-carbon and renewable energy supply chains. Applications close on January 20, 2023.
More information about the business grants on offer in Victoria is available here.
Queensland business owners can find out about grants and programs through the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, Queensland Government or Business Queensland websites.
Since 2020, nearly 60,000 Queensland businesses have been supported by grants totalling almost $530 million, which is part of the $2.5 billion in small business support the Queensland Government has invested to fuel the state’s economic recovery.
Extraordinary Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants — South East QLD Flooding (Small Business)
This program provides up to $50,000 in funding to small businesses affected by southeast Queensland rainfall and flooding, between February 22 and March 7, 2022. Applications close on December 5, 2022.
More information is available here.
New South Wales
Service NSW offers a range of business grants, voucher programs and financial assistance.
SafeWork Small Business Rebate
An ongoing program for small business owners in NSW to help them purchase safety items to improve work health and safety for themselves and their workers. Rebates of up to $1000 are available.
There are also storm and flood disaster recovery small business grants available for business owners in NSW.
The South Australian government offers a range of programs to help SA business owners start, run and grow their businesses.
Expressions of interest are open for the Seed-Start program, which equips innovative, early-stage South Australian startups with grant funding to support the commercialisation of an innovative product or service.
Eligible businesses can apply for between $50,000 and $500,000 in matched funding. More information is available here.
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory government offers a range of grants for businesses via its Business Hub. Small businesses in ACT should regularly check for any upcoming or open grants.
The Western Australian Government lists a range of business grants on its Small Business Development Corporation website.
In February 2022, the Premier announced a $77 million support package to provide financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses in the international education, tourism, aviation and event suppliers industries.
Small Business Professional Services Grant
The Regional Small Business Support Program provides free financial counselling to regional small businesses affected by COVID-19. In Western Australia, this program is administered by Rural West. Funding of up to $5000 is available until December 31, 2022.
Open and available grants can be found on the Business Tasmania website. Small business owners can also contact their local council for other grants.
Small Business Advice and Financial Guidance Program Round 2
This program aims to provide eligible small businesses with access to specialist financial services and/or business support to assist in business recovery, transition, growth, or application of other management strategies. Closes May 30, 2023.
This ongoing program uses quality facilitators and advisers, drawn from industry, to ensure businesses get the advice and support they need to improve their competitiveness and productivity.
Small Business Emergency Response Grant Program
The objective of this assistance measure, jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, is to assist with the costs of clean-up and reinstatement of small businesses that have suffered direct damage as a direct result of the severe weather event on October 13 and 14, 2022. Tier one closes on December 8, 2022, and tier two closes on April 17, 2023.
The Northern Territory Government lists grants and financial incentives for business owners on its website.
Business Growth Program
This program helps NT businesses access professional services to improve their performance, sustainability and profitability. It also provides mentoring and coaching support.
Business Innovation Program
If you’re an NT startup or entrepreneur with an innovative idea, this program helps develop and commercialise innovative concepts.