In this digital age, businesses continually need to adapt, evolve and innovate in order to work smarter, access new digital technologies and engage with a global economy.
Ongoing digital disruption means that businesses that don’t adapt will find they fall behind, with less opportunities for growth and development available to them.
Thankfully the Queensland Government has recognised this and has established the Small Business Digital Grants Program to help business evolve and innovate.
The program enables businesses to make the most of online opportunities by providing funding to small businesses to enhance their digital capabilities.
How does it work?
The program offers matched funding of up to $10,000 (excluding GST) to eligible businesses for the purchase of hardware, software and services (such as digital coaching).
To be eligible you must be a small business and meet the criteria below:
- – Have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant
- – Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST
- – Be based in Queensland
- – Have a turnover of $2 million or less in the last 12 calendar months
- – Declare if any owners or directors of the business are an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent.
Successful applicants must provide a report after the project is completed and also complete a survey 12 months after the grant has been received.
The next round for applications opened on the 8 March 2017 and submissions close on 10 April 2017. Further rounds will open in June and November 2017 if you do not make an application this time round, or if you are not successful in your application.
How will my application be assessed?
Listed below are the eligibility criteria on which applications will be assessed:
- – The extent to which the digital technology or service will enhance the digital capabilities of the business to make the business more competitive
- – The potential and likelihood the activity will deliver jobs growth
- – Value for money.
Decisions are normally made within two months of the application being submitted. You must not begin or pay for the product or service, in part or full, until you receive an application approval letter and then you must complete the expenditure within a three-month period.
The review board will carry out random audits of a sample of applications to ensure that the information provided is true and correct. Where it is found that false or misleading information has been provided penalties may apply, including refunding the grant funding.
Please note that certain expenses are not funded under this grant. These are listed below for your information:
- – Fees for services provided by related parties (such as companies with common shareholdings or directorship with the applicant, and employees or immediate family of the applicant)
- – Franchise fees or related costs
- – Maintenance of existing digital technologies, including website hosting or maintenance
- – Purchase of non-project related assets such as stock
- – Salaries
- – General business operating costs (including bookkeeping/accounting and tax returns)
- – Search engine optimisation (SEO), Google Ad Words, Facebook advertising or similar expenses
- – Retrospective payments for expenses already incurred or work already undertaken
- – Subscriptions, including cloud (software) services.
The application itself can be lodged online here and should include the following:
- – A detailed quote for the digital technology or service for which you are seeking funding
- – A clear outline of how the digital technology or service will enhance the digital capabilities of the business and make the business more competitive
- – Detail of the impact the digital technology or service will have on the business (e.g. revenue growth, cost savings, time savings, employment outcomes)
- – A declaration of employee headcount
- – Confirmation and breakdown of your matched financial contribution
- – If using a consultant additional information must also be supplied.
If you have any questions on the Small Business Digital Grants Program, contact Maria Morgan at our office on 07 5596 9070.