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By Virginia Gordon

Business Grants to help You Innovate and Transform

With the COVID-19 crisis, Australian businesses have to be able to connect & service their customers remotely

We are facing a new world, which has been rapidly and almost daily. One thing is certain to me — we are going to come out the other end of this crisis with some new business models firmly in place.

Most businesses have a website or at least a Facebook page, but some are woefully lacking when it comes to having adequate digital technology in place to sell and service their customers online. Working from home, online exercise classes, online medical appointments, etc. This is going to be our new norm for some unknown time into the future. I paid for a live streaming concert with Kate Ceberano last Sunday for the first time. Supporting our artists at a distance!

We want people to keep buying, spending and supporting Australian small businesses and companies to keep our economy moving. I made the decision with my husband to go ahead with purchasing the new car we had planned into our pre-COVID-19 budget, despite the crisis and am still paying my weekly yoga membership and watching the live classes on Facebook. Not the greatest user experience, but they are making it happen, so I am going to support them for as long as possible.

We can keep a vast majority of businesses going with digital technology.

One thing is certain - if a business sells something and doesn't have an eCommerce store, or an online app allowing their customers to easily connect with them, customers are going to go elsewhere to get what they need.

Businesses that can adapt and trade online, even if the doors are shut, can reach their customers. Transitioning can cost money and this is where a grant can help ease the burden.

Working for reinteractive, where we develop custom web and mobile apps for clients, we know transitioning to a digital model takes investment. And it can be done really well, somewhat mediocre or really badly. When done well, with the proper scoping and planning done before any development, it pays off in short order. And it can be pretty fast from the idea stage to launching a minimal viable product making money for your business.

It takes financial investment to put a business online

Quite apart from the Australian government COVID-19 stimulus packages, there are also existing government grants for businesses that can help with the financial costs of transitioning to a digital business model.

I put together these links into one document for some clients to save them digging around on various websites and am sharing it below. I filtered the grants based on those more relevant to digital transition but there are a ton more available for specific industries. Visit the main Federal Grants page listed below to access the full list. I will update it as I find more and would love to hear of any others if you find them. Best of luck!

Federal:

Main Federal grants page: https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs

Boosting Female Founders Initiative - Round 1 - Funding for female founded startups to launch and scale their businesses into domestic and global markets - https://business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Boosting-Female-Founders

Research and Development Tax Incentive (deadline extended) - https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Research-and-Development-Tax-Incentive

Industry Growth Centres Initiative (covering 6 main industries verticals) https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Industry-Growth-Centres-Initiative Find available support for: Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) Cyber Security Growth Centre (AustCyber) Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre (FIAL) Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre (MTP Connect) Mining Equipment, Technology and Services Growth Centre (METS Ignited) Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre (NERA)

New South Wales:

Funding for pre-revenue technology start-ups - Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grants support promising pre-revenue startups to progress from proof of concept to a minimum viable product stage. The grants can help startups to engage with a potential business customer or channel to market and create innovative solutions that address industry needs or market gaps. https://www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Minimum-Viable-Product-NSW

City of Sydney Covid-19 relief grants - City of Sydney have released an additional $7.25 million in funding for the 2019-2020 financial yearhttps://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/grants-and-sponsorships

Victoria:

Main Victorian grants page - https://www.vic.gov.au/grants

COVID-19 business grants. City of Melbourne is offering up to $5,000 for investing in online and ecommerce activities, up to $2,000 for training and professional development. https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/business/grants-tenders/Pages/covid-19-quick-response-business-grants.aspx

Economic Survival and Jobs Package - https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/economic-survival-and-jobs-package

Regional Manufacturing Clusters - Supporting manufacturers to innovate, develop capability and grow - https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/regional-manufacturing-clusters

Queensland:

Main QLD government small business grants page - https://desbt.qld.gov.au/small-business/programs/grants

Small Business Digital Grants Program - QLD is offering small businesses digital grants of up to $10,000. https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/digital-grants

South Australia:

South Australian Venture Capital Fund - Co-investment funding to help build dynamic and innovative early stage companies to accelerate their growth to a national and global scale. https://business.sa.gov.au/Grants-and-support-services/Grants/South-Australian-Venture-Capital-Fund

And finally, there is this one from Facebook:

Facebook:

Facebook is offering up to 100 million in small business cash grants and credits https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants

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