Finding grants, a funding and support program from the government to assist your business to grow and succeed is necessary. When searching for small business funding, keep in mind that you will usually need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for it. The good news is that there is a wide range of government and non-government programs that would help your business grow. However, the application process for the same is a bit lengthy or difficult to navigate. While there are many different programs and options to choose from, it is advised to identify specific parts of your business that require the most support. For example, some grants are specific to a business project or activity, such as trade, training and development, research and development, importing and exporting, marketing, purchasing equipment or commercialisation. You should keep in mind your short and long-term business goals before planning out everything and then choose the best option for you. Let’s take a look at some of the best new business grants in Australia:
Small Business Grants
Once you’ve planned out everything, you can now start looking for the right assistance for your business. Some grants are precise to particular types of business, with key grant categories including grants for businesses owned by, or hiring, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, grants for artistic and heritage projects like business involved in preserving locations and activities of cultural significance and conservation projects, grants for product research and development industry, grants for employment and training, grants for businesses with an environmental focus.
The Small Business Grants are for those small businesses in NSW who don’t pay payroll tax to hire new employees and expand their business. A payment of up to $2,000 is available for each new full-time position in your business. If you apply online for this grant once the new employee commences, you can claim it once the position has been put for 12 months. For part-time or non-permanent employees, the grant amount will be based on the full-time equivalent hours of employment, and grants for start-ups or new businesses, including NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme). Don’t worry if your business doesn’t fit in any of the above categories. There are many other grants which might be suitable for your business. The Federal Government’s grant finding tool allows you to search for grants and assistance based on categories or keywords as well as look for advisers, support and training in your local area. The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) also provides a search tool to find industry-specific grants and funding programs.
|S. No||Sources of Debts Finance||Sources of Equity Finance|
|1||Financial institutions like banks & credit unions.||Personal Finances|
|4||Family and friends||Crowd Funding|
The Application Process and Eligibility Criteria
The first step in applying for a grant is checking your eligibility for the same. You should look for the submission criteria, documentation requirements, deadline and restrictions on funding. It is smart to play safe and conduct prior research about grant details, so, you don’t have to waste time and effort applying for something which is not related to your business or the eligibility criteria doesn’t fit for your business.
- You must register for the small business grant when you employ someone in a newly created position within 60 days of the commencement of a new job.
- You must provide the number of NSW FTE employees immediately before the position was filled
- You must have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
- You must not pay payroll tax in a financial year if any part of that financial year comes under the grant period.
Not to forget that applying for grants can be a hassle and you must keep your calm. To make it a bit easy for you, we have mentioned some key factors which you may wish to consider obtaining a grant:
- Customise your grant application to answer each criterion
You should customise and compare Your grant application. It helps to address every question or requirement with an appropriate response.
- Double-check the requirements
Before you submit your application you may wish to double-check you haven’t missed any column or documents.
- Give yourself sufficient time to prepare the submission
Rushing to get your submission at the last minute may affect the quality of your application and the overall result. Plan and keep some time ahead for any changes or amendments.
- Consider hiring a professional grant writer
Why do it yourself when you can get it done better by a professional? There are many writers or writing services available those specialise in grants and understand the process, and how to craft a persuasive and effective submission.
If you’re not successful in your application, you may wish to contact the organisation handling the grant. Ask for feedback and any information on future grant opportunities.
Based on the type of venture you are funding, there are several government programs available:
- The Entrepreneurs’ Programme– This program aims to help with efficiency, business growth, and competing in the marketplace, with funding of up to $1 million.
- The Research and Development Tax Incentive– This program includes a 43.5% tax offset to inspire innovation in companies of turnover under $20 million.
- Venture Capital Limited Partnerships– This program offers tax benefits such as exemption from capital gain tax.
- Austrade Landing Pad– This program aims to help Australian startups in innovative markets like Singapore, Germany and China.
- Export Market Development Grant– This grant program is for exporters, providing reimbursement for export promotions.
You can check out more about government grants on its official website.
Apart from business grants, you can also look for other options when it comes to finding finance to fund your business. When sourcing funds for your business, there are generally two types of finance options- (i) Debt Finance and (ii) Equity Finance. Debt finance is the money borrowed from a lender, e.g. getting a start up loans from the bank. Equity finance is where the money is provided in exchange for owning a part of the business, e.g. having shareholders. Another option can be Crowdfunding. It is a way of getting finances for your business through donations from the general public. This is usually done by displaying your idea on a crowdfunding website. If they’re interested in supporting your idea, the public donates for your business to help you develop your product. Keep in mind that money you obtain through crowdfunding may be subject to tax.
How to tackle business loan refusal
If your application for the business loan is refused and you couldn’t get the loan at a desirable interest rate, it is important to seek feedback for the refusal. This can help you to evaluate:
- what you can improve on during the process
- whether you need any changes in your business proposal to make it more feasible and attractive to lenders and potential investors
- whether it’s possible to apply again for a loan or find other ways of sourcing finance
A final tip
You may benefit from connecting with other businesses, accountants or small business, which may have had previous experience with grant applications, or know what support may be available. It is highly advisable to research in-depth before selecting a funding option or choosing the right grant program for your business.