Grants for Small Business Startup: Here Are 12 Options You Can Apply for in 2020

One of the main challenges small businesses face is cash flow. Despite your best efforts to apply proper cash flow management practices, sometimes the numbers just don’t add up.

It can get in the way of efficient service delivery to your clients if you don’t have enough inventory to honour orders, particularly if all your money is tied up in unpaid invoices. It could also stand in the way of meeting your financial obligations to your employees, suppliers, and lenders.

Plus, if you were thinking of expanding your business operations, that would be nothing more than a pipe dream at this point.

Thankfully, the government has several different grants for small business startup projects to give you a much-needed helping hand and push you through cash-strapped periods. Without further ado, here are 12 options you can apply for in 2020.

1. Accelerating Commercialization Grant

This program is designed to connect entrepreneurs, researchers, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises with experts and funding sources, to help launch a new product, service, or process to the market.

If you qualify you could get up to $500,000 worth of matched project funding for entities involved in research commercialization or eligible partner entities. All other qualifying applicants could get up to $1 million in matched project funding.

Find out more about it here.

2. Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program (AAIP)

This grant provides a wage subsidy to employers, to allow them to retain their existing trainees and apprentices. Small businesses can apply for a wage subsidy of up to 50% for their trainees or apprentices’ wages for nine months.

To qualify for this grant, these individuals need to have been in-training in your business as of March 1, 2020.

The program was scheduled to be replaced with a “newer and simplified” incentives program referred to as the Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships (IAA). However, due to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, its implementation was pushed to January 1, 2021.

Find out more about it here.

3. Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF)

If your business is involved in the development and commercialization of biomedical discoveries, you’re eligible for the BTF. Keep in mind that your company’s average annual revenue over the last two financial years should be at least $25 million and have the majority of your company assets and employees based in Australia.

Find out more about it here.

4. Business Development and Assistance Program

This is a federal government grant aimed at providing support through asset lending and concessional loans to indigenous people.

So, if you’re an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged 18 years and over and want to start a small business or grow your existing one, then you’re eligible to apply for this grant.

You also need to own at least 50 per cent of the business or have 50 per cent of it owned by individuals of indigenous descent.

Find out more about it here.

5. Certain Inputs to Manufacture

While this may not be a grants scheme in a strict sense, it does have all the makings of one. It provides massive savings to businesses that import raw materials or intermediate merchandise.

It essentially eliminates all import duty on goods and materials that Australian companies require. To qualify for this program, you need to ensure that the imported goods are of superior quality compared to those that are already available in the county.

You also need to show that the importation of said goods enhances Australian competitiveness.

Find out more about it here.

6. CSIRO Kick-Start Grant

If you have a startup or small/medium-sized enterprise and are keen to partner with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), you could get matched funding amounting to anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000 to support your research activities and grow your business.

To qualify, your business needs to be registered in Australia for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and have an annual turnover of not more than $1.5 million.

Find out more about it here.

7.  Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)

If you are a small business owner, looking to export your goods and services, the EMDG was designed with you in mind. This program, which is administered by Austrade, incentivizes businesses to export their commodities and get reimbursed up to 50 per cent of their overall export promotion expenses above $5,000.

The total expenses, however, need to be more than $15,000. You can receive up to eight grants, but the maximum amount you can receive in the initial payment is capped at $60,000.

Find out more about it here.

8. Incubator Support Grants for Small Business Startup Projects

The purpose of this grant is to provide new and existing incubators with the funding required to help startups compete and succeed in regional and international markets. Eligible businesses can get between $13,000 and $250,000 worth of funding for up to 2 years.

Find out more about it here.

9. Investment Support Grants – Packaging

This program offers matched funding of up to $50,000 for small/medium-sized enterprises involved in projects that reduce the volume of packaging materials disposed of in landfills.

To qualify, you need to show that you are reducing, recovering, or reusing packaging materials like glass, plastics, rubber, paper, and/or cardboard.

Find out more about it here.

10. National Product Stewardship Investment Fund

This grant opportunity is designed for Australian entities that want to speed up the development of new product schemes or improve the recycling rates across the existing ones.

Eligible businesses can access grant funding amounting to anywhere between $300,000 and $1 million.

Find out more about it here.

11. Research and Development Tax Incentive

The Commonwealth’s R&D Tax Incentive is available to businesses of all sizes. To claim a refundable tax offset, your business’ R&D expenditure needs to be at least $20,000.

Your business also needs to be liable for income tax in Australia and engage in at least one activity that meets the definition of a “core R&D” activity as detailed in the Income Tax Assessment Act of 1997.

Find out more about it here.

12. Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP)

The VCLP scheme is aimed at fund managers investing in Australian businesses, more specifically, high-risk startups. The program exempts investors from capital gains tax on whatever their share of profits will be in the partnership.

For funds to register as a VCLP, they need to meet the eligibility requirements. Some of these stipulate that the “high-risk” investments need to be held for a minimum of 12 months and that at least 50 per cent of the employees of the startup need to be based in Australia.

Find out more about it here.

Secure a Grant to Get Your Startup off the Ground

Keep in mind that when searching for grants for small business startup projects, you need to meet certain criteria to qualify for funding. Take advantage of the grants available in your state and territory, or those from the federal government, and use them to propel your business to the next level.

If you urgently need an unsecured business loan, use our online tool to connect you with 70+ non-bank lenders, and get the funds you need in as little as 2 minutes!

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