Guide To Business Grants


It’s been a tough few years for many businesses, with the pandemic and natural disasters, especially small business owners.

Finding funds and expertise for business development can be challenging for smaller organisations. Even larger and successful firms can find it difficult to put together the cash and know-how to keep a business expanding.

That’s where a grant of funds or professional support can come to the rescue.

What can I get a grant for?

You will find grants supporting all aspects of business operations offered by state, territory and federal government agencies and departments that cover many different business needs.

Some grants are available for several years while others are just a short-term funding opportunity so be sure to check the closing dates.

Some examples include:

Digital solutions

An effective online presence can make or break a small business but knowing where to start might be holding you back.

In which case, there’s a Federal Government program that helps small businesses make the most of digital tools to create websites and sell online, use social media and business software and ensure online security and data privacy.

The Australian Small Business Advisory Services program provides seven hours of support with a digital solutions advisor to businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees.

Recovering from natural disasters

Businesses that have been affected by the floods or Black Summer bushfires can apply for support from the AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Program to help them get back on their feet.

Under the program, a facilitator identifies ways to improve your business systems, operations and strategies.

Each state affected by a recent disaster also provides grants and loans to small businesses such as the Queensland governments low interest Disaster Assistance Loans of up to $250,000.

New ideas

If you have an idea that you’re sure will be a hit but you just need a little help to get it across the line, the AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Program is an option.

The Program’s Accelerating Commercialisation service provides advice and funding to get novel products, processes or services to market.

Selling overseas

Exporters or those interested in starting to sell overseas can find useful information, advice and financial support from government agencies.

For example, Export Australia provides small to medium businesses with loans to secure specific export contracts when traditional lenders can’t help. Export Finance Australia will give approved export businesses a guarantee to help access finance from their bank or there’s a Small Business Export Loan that covers up to 80 per cent of the costs to secure an export contract.

All state and territory governments also offer support for exporters based in their jurisdictions such as the Going Global Export Program in New South Wales for businesses in the health and medtech, technology, and food and beverage sectors or the Export Fundamentals Program for South Australian businesses looking to expand or to start exporting.

Mental health

Coping with the past few years of pandemic and natural disasters can take a toll. Mental health support organisation Beyond Blue provides a free service designed specifically for small business owners.

NewAccess is a guided self-help mental health coaching program to help you manage stress. Its mental health coaches are specially trained and have a small business background.

Sustainability and energy efficiency

Each state has a number of programs and grants to support sustainability such as the ACT government’s program to help businesses with the costs of upgrading to more energy efficient and water efficient technologies.

Regional and rural support

Various levels of government offer funds and professional support to small businesses operating in country areas. For example, there is a three-year payroll tax exemption to interstate businesses relocating to regional Tasmania.

In NSW, the state government will match funding for projects in regional areas that are time-sensitive and strategically significant. While in Victoria, a government program provides incentives to regional hospitality and tourism businesses to take on trainees and to develop and retain jobs in other sectors.


Wage subsidies are available when you employ certain eligible individuals such as some long-term unemployed, apprentices and trainees or people with a disability.

Where to find information

The best one-stop shop for information about government grants is the federal government’s website. It is an easily searchable database of business grants and programs offered by agencies from every level of government across Australia.

Each state and territory government also hosts website databases of their grants and programs. It might also be worth checking your local council’s website for opportunities.

How to apply

Firstly, read the requirements carefully to make sure you are eligible. Then, each grant or program website will steer you through a series of questions.

Taking the time to provide as much relevant information as possible will obviously help your chances. At this point, some small businesses decide to hire someone to help complete the application.

If you would like to discuss how to make the most of a business grant in your business, give us a call.

Don’t be scammed

Be warned that private operators offer to find grants for a fee but the information is freely available through the government websites such as

Check carefully that the website you are using is a genuine government website. Scammers often try to copy government websites using official images and logos.

While small businesses may pay a consultant to help them write their grant applications, note that grants are awarded on merit - you can’t pay money for special access or consideration.

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