A very common statement that we hear from small/medium enterprises is: “The thing that really upsets me is when a competitor receives a grant that I know nothing about.” This is the statement that many small/medium enterprises have made.
When asked who should have told them about grants that they might be eligible for, more reply – “Our accountants – our trusted adviser”.
Identifying grants is a proactive way that accountants can introduce a whole new way of solving business problems to small/medium enterprises, with the government paying 50% (in some cases 75%) of the costs. This is a great way to introduce business advisory services to your clients.
When you analyse those businesses, over 650 different types of businesses, including most of the “trades”, can be eligible under those classification, subject to the applicant being a company having a minimum turnover of $1.5M. If the company is located in Northern Australia, which covers the areas in Queensland, Western Australia, North of the Tropic of Capricorn and the whole of the Northern Territory, the minimum turnover is $750,000. The companies must have been operating for 3 years. They can receive grants of up to $20,000 on a 50% contribution basis, to assist the company to literally do anything within their business that will improve business performance.
This is another popular grant, for the commercialisation of a product, process or service. This is after the research and development phase has been finished.
Anyone can apply for this grant, however if a grant is offered, the applicant must incorporate as a company. The turnover requirement is from $NIL up to $20M. Preference is given to applicants from one of the priority industries mentioned earlier, however any other type of business is eligible to apply.
The Accelerating Commercialisation Grant is large, with grants of up to $1M on a 50% subsidy basis. There’s quite a number of companies around Australia who are receiving this grant every month.
This is another grant that many people overlook. This grant is to assist small/medium enterprises to collaborate with research sectors, such as a university, CSIRO and Australian Institute of Marine Science, to develop new ideas with commercial potential. Grants of up to $50,000 on a 50% basis are available.
This grant is targeted at companies in the “priority industries” or a company that has been admitted to the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant program. The company must have a minimum turnover of $1.5M. For companies located within Northern Australia, the minimum turnover is $750,000. If the company has been in the Accelerating Commercialisation Program, the minimum turnover could be as low as $0.
This grant only applies to Northern Australia. Businesses need a minimum turnover of $750,000. The business must have been operating for 3 years. Grants of up to $20,000 on a 50% basis is available, to literally undertake any type of business improvement activity.
The applicants don’t have to be companies, they can be any type of business.
These are just samples of some of the grants. There are hundreds of grants targeted at small/medium enterprises offered by the Federal, State and Territory governments.
If you wish to create a great business advisory service environment in your accounting/advisory business, be proactive in identifying grants and then contracting for some of the work in areas such as business plans, budgets & cashflow forecasts, HR strategies, debtors’ review, systems review, lean management etc, is a great way to get started in offering a new income stream.
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