Are you wondering if there are grants available to start a business? Or to provide support if your business is disrupted by 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 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 Self-Employment Assistance, which replaced the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) in July 2022.

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

Is there 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 temporary full expensing that could help you make these capital purchases.

I had to close because I contracted COVID-19, are there grants available to help my business?

There are no COVID-19 specific grants that apply to all businesses to cover situations where a business owner or staff have contracted COVID-19.

Are there any grants for start-ups that have begun 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.

What types of businesses activities are there government grants available for?

When State or Federal government grants are available they are usually focused on specific areas, such as research and development, capability building for specific events, 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.

Local government authorities may offer grants to encourage economic development, community development, arts or activation activities.

Where can I find details of government grants?

You can search through a full database of federal, state and local government grants using the 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 offer low cost business skills 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 program.

Tax related measures to support businesses include the Skills and Training Boost and Technology Investment Boost programs announced as part of the 2022/23 Federal Budget. Visit the ATO website to find out more about these programs and seek advice from your accountant prior to purchasing to ensure the cost can be claimed back as part of these programs

Are grants available to hire staff?

There is no overall government grant available for hiring new staff but, at times, there may be financial incentives offered by the government to businesses who hire apprentices or older Australians. Current incentives include:

More information

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

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

Our free business advisory service can also provide you with practical and confidential advice to help your business start well, survive and thrive.

Starting and growing
26 April 2023