Under normal circumstances, grant funding for small businesses is pretty rare. Most government funds are diverted into services like the Small Business Development Corporation, firstly because the government knows the best ‘bang for buck’ is in support services for small business. Secondly, a business concept should stand up to the test of ‘is there enough demand in the market place to make it viable?’ If there is, a business owner and/or investors should feel confident to put money into the business in the anticipation of a financial reward (and if not, then it’s not a viable business proposition).
Don’t get us wrong – there normally are some opportunities for grants for businesses but they are mostly centred around major export markets or significant commercialisation projects – beyond the aspirations of many small businesses.
But these are not normal circumstances. And although that means things are tough for many businesses, it also means that the government is looking to invest in ventures with business propositions that can demonstrate they will deliver on jobs and economic growth. That means that a business who previously might not have been able to access grant funding have a chance at some real financial support.
Take for example a client of ours in the regions – an engineering company for whom we prepared an application to the WA State Government’s Local Capability Fund to purchase a $70k drone to allow them to more effectively undertake site surveys (and grow their team by employing more staff to undertake this new aspect of their work). There are a wide range of grants available to businesses that can demonstrate the economic and jobs growth impact of their business. You can read about some of them here if you’re a Western Australian business.
So what are the options?
If you’re a business in regional Western Australia, we think it’s likely that the Regional Economic Development Grants are likely to open again in the next few months (no official word on this yet). If you’re curious and don’t know where to find your region’s information, let us know and we’ll send you the link so you can read up on the program.
Should you or someone you know in business be looking at grants but not sure where to start? We can provide an initial complimentary consultation to understand what you’re looking for and where you might find some options.
Applying is something you should take seriously – although there are more opportunities, expectations around the quality of applications are still high. The government needs to be comfortable with the level of risk presented by your proposal and feel confident your project will deliver on the promised outcomes (generally related to jobs and growth).
Remember that even if you’re a not-for-profit, there might be a suitable grant if you have a business proposition that could help your sustainability. It’s worth a look!
If you’re a regional local government or not-for-profit, it’s likely the Building Better Regions Fund will be opening soon. If you haven’t started shaping up supporting documents and speaking with your local RDA office, now is the time to get on it.
Need help sourcing grant funds, preparing supporting documentation like feasibility studies, needs analysis and business cases? Are you ready to start grant writing but have gotten stuck? Whether you’re in business or the community sector, we can help.