Small Business Grants – Is Your Business Eligible for Funding?
Starting a business can be exciting, scary and challenging. While you can have a great idea, a great support system and plenty of drive, the one component that will always take priority is money.
Funding an idea or a project is never easy, especially in its early days. From paying for an office space to work in, hiring someone to help manage the business and simply investing in the necessary assets to get your product or service off the ground, a steady income isn’t always guaranteed.
Thankfully, there are several start-up grants to assist with that initial growth and incentivize your success.
Where to start
In Queensland, the State Government has a rolling schedule of various business grants to help support small-business owners.
We suggest visiting the Business Queensland website and monitoring the schedule regularly.
Business Basics Grants, COVID-19 Business Support Grants and Business Growth Funds are just some examples of grants that offer multiple rounds of funding – meaning you can apply more than once if you miss out the first time.
View the Queensland schedule here or subscribe to the Small Business Connect newsletter to stay up to date with upcoming grants.
On a national level, the Australian Government provides an easy to navigate grant finder tool, called the Grants and Programs Finder.
This website asks a series of questions including your postcode, business type, goals and industry to narrow down the hundreds of grants available and find one that suits your needs.
What type of grants are available
There are numerous grants available for all types of industries and business situations. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a tech start-up, looking for disaster recovery assistance or simply seeking business advice, there is support on offer. The following grants are popular among small business owners:
The Research and Development Tax Incentive can provide a guaranteed source of funding if your business is eligible. While this is excellent for those seeking assistance, the complex eligibility criteria and lengthy application process can often be difficult for small-business owners to navigate.
We suggest contacting your trusted Whitson Dawson advisor to assist in preparing the application. You will need to supply a submission outlining how your business activities meet the eligibility criteria and provide a form to the ATO detailing your expenses and income tax return.
The value of the funding you receive will depend on your company’s aggregated turnover.
Your business can receive up to $10,000 in wage subsidies if you meet all eligibility requirements and engage an employment service provider. Eligible job seekers include:
- People aged over 50 years
- Indigenous Australians
- People aged between 15-29 years of age
- People registered with an employment services provider for more than 12 months
This grant program is competitively assessed but could result in a single up-front fixed grant payment of $5000.
If you are new to business or your staff need training, this grant can fund activities including training and coaching, website build or upgrades, professional business advice, strategic marketing services or business continuity and succession.
This program is administered by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.
How to write a successful grant application
Writing a grant application can often be a lengthy process, so having all the necessary paperwork at hand can save valuable time. The most common pieces of information you will require when applying for a grant can include your list of expenses, your income tax return, your business activities, your financial statements, a project budget, key personnel and a description of your business plan and objectives. You may need to provide evidence of invoices, receipts, quotes and budgets so make sure to keep copies of these in a safe place.
Guidelines and Eligibility Criteria
Understanding the grant guidelines and eligibility criteria can be crucial to your success when applying for funding. Thoroughly read the grant objectives and eligibility requirements before starting your application as not all grants will suit your needs. You need to have a clear idea of how you can use the grant money to be successful in your application.
Keep it Simple
While you do need to address each of the grant criteria in detail, it is best to keep your language concise and straight to the point. Include keywords from the assessment criteria and write factually. Don’t be afraid to include dot point lists where necessary and be confident in what your project/business is trying to achieve.
Final Checks and Submission
Triple check final documents before you hit submit. Leave enough time to complete your application and thoroughly check everything to make sure you’ve addressed the grant criteria. Pay attention to the closing date of the grant and aim to have your application prepared well in advance to allow for final adjustments.
Small business and start-up grants can be a blessing for a new business; however, the application process is not always easy.
Most grant submissions require a thorough assessment of your business’s finances including financial risks, budgets and even a forecast of your potential earnings.
We recommend visiting the Whitson Dawson team for a confidential conversation about your business to ensure you are checking all the boxes with your next grant application.
The highly qualified team specialise in providing business advice and can assist with start-up guidance, growth strategies and cashflow planning.
Remember, managing your finances doesn’t have to be stressful!
Until next time,