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Government grants – your questions answered

Are you wondering if there are grants available to start a business? Or to provide support during COVID-19?

We’ve been receiving a lot of questions about government grants lately, so we have put together this overview to explain the eligibility and availability of funding.

Are there any incentives or grants to help start-up businesses?

There are no government grants available for the specific purpose of starting a business

Government support for start-up businesses comes in the form of free and low-cost business advisory services and information (such as the services we provide here at the SBDC) and federally funded programs such as the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS).

Attending our free Starting a Business workshop (currently available online) is a great first step if you are thinking of venturing into self-employment.

Are there any funding or grants available for start-up businesses to make capital purchases?

As a start-up, you would generally have to seek funding from other sources, rather than relying on grants. There are programs such as the instant asset write-off or the COVID-19 accelerated depreciation for investments available that could help you make these capital purchases.

I had to close my doors during COVID-19, are there any grants available to help my business?

While there are some grants available for specific industries, such as the state’s tourism sector and for indigenous businesses, there are no COVID-19 specific grants that apply to all businesses.

To find out more about the stimulus/relief measures for small business read our recaps of the Australian Government and State Government support packages.

Are there any grants for start-ups that have begun operation as a result of COVID-19?

There are no specific grants available for businesses that have started during, or as a result of, COVID-19.

If there are any government grants which businesses would be eligible?

When government grants are available they are usually focused on specific areas, such as business expansion, research and development, innovation or exporting, and may be offered on a matched funding basis. Each grant will have eligibility criteria you need to meet in order to apply.

Where can I find details of government grants?

You can search through a full database of federal, state and local government grants using the Business.gov.au online grant finder. For federal government grants only, visit the GrantConnect website.

Please note: At times, you may be approached by organisations claiming to offer exclusive access to government grant information in exchange for a fee. Information about government grants is free of charge and available to all businesses. The fee you would be paying a third party is simply for their time to go online and look for you.

I heard there are government grants available to help small businesses with their digital marketing. Is this true?

While some social media and digital advertising platforms may offer account credits or incentives to advertisers, there are no government grants available to fund your digital marketing. Here at the SBDC, we are currently offering free online workshops on many topics including digital marketing, to help you learn more about this area. You can also access low cost digital marketing training via the federal government’s Australian Small Business Advisory Services Digital Solutions program.

Are there grants available to hire staff?

At times, there may be financial incentives offered by the government to businesses who hire apprentices or older Australians. For those in the construction industry a $24.5m employment support package was announced in April. However, overall there is no government grant available for hiring new staff.

More information

To find out more about the government grants available, visit:

To help with your business finances, read our financial management information, make use of our free financial management tools or attend one of our business finance workshops.

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