When it comes to running a small business in Australia, it seems as though help is always on hand. Along with a long list of financing options, SMEs can also apply for small business grants, either from the Australian Government or independent organisations.
Today, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about small business grants, including the many types available, how you can apply for one, and more. Let’s get started!
Types of Australian Small Business Grants Available
At any given time, there are hundreds of small business grants available to Australian SMEs. Most commonly, a small business will seek a grant from a trusted body, such as the Australian Government. Government-endorsed grants are the best place to start, so we’ve listed the most popular grant categories below.
If you want to turn your small startup into a much larger startup, then this may be the support you need. A grant related to business expansion can give you access to low interest government loans, networking and training, as well as other business-related support.
Marketing and sales:
Promotion is vital for businesses, especially in their beginning stages. Therefore, there are plenty of government grants relating to this field, all of which have a specific set of criteria an SME must first meet.
Research and development:
If you’re developing a new service or product that has some serious potential, then you may be eligible for a government grant relating to research and development. This also relates to industries which require more support, such as renewables and agriculture.
Improving health and safety:
The government can also provide grants which offer training, advice, and funding to create a healthy and safe workplace for you and your employees.
Importing or exporting:
If you’re an importer or exporter of various products or services, then you may also be eligible for a government grant, along with related advice, loans, networks, and more.
If your business has been affected by disaster, then government grants are available to help you get back on your feet. This also includes drought relief and income assistance schemes for farmers.
Employment and training:
There are plenty of government grants that a small business can take advantage of when hiring or training new staff. Just some of these include the AAIP (which pays you to offer apprenticeships), JobAccess (which supports you when hiring someone with a disability) and the Restart Program (which is available if you’re hiring someone over the age of 50).
As the world focuses more of its attention on sustainability, so too have government grants. If your business is within the renewable energy sector, then you may be eligible for multiple grants and benefits. There are also financial incentives to help SMEs reduce emissions and run a green business.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander:
The Business Development and Assistance Program is a very popular type of grant that provides support, funding and loans to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people looking to start or grow their own business. There are also grants available for businesses hiring and training Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Art and artists, or heritage projects:
If you partake in artistic or heritage related projects, then you may also be eligible for a grant within this category. This might include anything from documentary making and educational media, to cultural significance and conservation projects.
For more information about these categories, or the wide variety of government grants which your small business may be eligible for, please visit the Australian Government Business website.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Applying for Small Business Grants
If you’re about to take the plunge and apply for a small business grant, hold up. First, here’s some important things to keep in mind before you make your first move.
- Small business grants are given for specific purposes (like those listed above), rather than general business ideas.
- Government grants are given at a local, state, and federal level
- Not all grants involve money. Some are offering workshops, mentoring, tax benefits, training, and more
- All government grants are available for free, so don’t fall prey to scam websites requesting money in exchange for information
Tips for Getting Approved for Small Business Grants
Ready to make the most of your small business grant application? Here’s our top 5 tips for grant success:
1. Plan ahead
Whether you’re applying for one grant or multiple grants, you’ll still want to devise a strategy ahead of time. Map out when your grant application is due, along with when you want to complete each section of the application.
2. Write your application specifically for the grant you’re applying for
If you just write a general or vague application to use for multiple grants, it’s unlikely you’ll have much success. Each grant is specifically tailored to different needs, so you’ll want your application to address all of the eligibility criteria, whilst effectively answering every question.
3. Don’t waste time applying for grants you’re not eligible for
If you don’t meet any of the grant’s eligibility criteria, then it’s best that you don’t apply. It’s unlikely you’ll be approved for the grant if you don’t meet their requirements, so why waste valuable time in doing so?
4. Follow up on your grant applications, even if you’re unsuccessful
There’s something to learn from every grant application, even if you’re not successful. Get in touch with the grant administrator to ask for advice regarding how you could have improved your application, as this will help you to do better next time.
5. Extra help is available
If filling in grant applications is something you’re not very good at, you can seek assistance. Professional grant writing services can help you with your application, allowing you to save time and potentially increase your chances of success.
How to Apply for Small Business Grants
Now that you know the variety of small business grants available to you, along with some tips for success, it’s time to apply for your desired grant.
Each grant’s application process may differ, but you can start by locating the grant on the Australian Government website. From here, you can then follow the steps to complete your application. Be sure you pay special attention to these instructions, along with the grant’s requirements.
What if You Can’t Get a Small Business Grant?
With hundreds of thousands of small businesses in Australia, it comes as no surprise that many will miss out on receiving a grant. Although it can be heartbreaking, not all is lost, as there are also plenty of other funding options for small businesses.
Just one of these is a small business loan, as this can provide a business with the quick injection of cash they need to grow. There’s a wide variety of business loans on offer, including secured and unsecured business loans.
Do You Qualify for a Small Business Loan?
Each lender is different, but here at Lumi, we only ask that a business has the following to qualify for a small business loan:
- An ABN or ACN
- A minimum of 6 months in business
- A gross annual turnover of at least $50,000
How to Apply for a Lumi Business Loan
If you think a small business loan is right for you, then there’s good news. You can apply for an unsecured business loan through Lumi and receive an application decision within just 24 hours. Once approved, you can have your desired funds deposited into your nominated business account in as little as one business day.
You’ll just need the following on-hand:
- ABN / ACN
- Driver’s License
- Business bank account details (for online banking)
Sound good? Simply fill in our quick and easy online application form or call 1300 00 LUMI to get started.