Government Grants For SMEs

Export Market Development Grant
To be able to claim an Export Market Development Grant, the business must have spent the funds to seek out, create demand for or develop an export market for the business’ products.  The business must be the intended principal in the export transactions.  The expenses that relate to export activities to New Zealand, North Korea or Iran are not eligible for the Export Market Development Grant.

Virtually any type of Australian-based business entity can apply for the Export Market Development Grant, as long as the business has an Australian Business Number (ABN) and a turnover of under $50million.  First time applicants can combine the current year with the previous year to have two years’ expenditure in the first year of claim, if this is needed to aggregate more than $20,000.

Eligible expenditure includes expenditure of the following:

  • Overseas representation (subject to a maximum of $200,000 per application).
  • Marketing consultancy – reimbursement of short-term ‘arms-length’ consultants for
    market research and marketing (maximum of $50,000).
  • Overseas market visits – including economy airfares (only 65% of first class airfares may be claimed).
  • Accommodation – living and entertainment allowance to a maximum of $300 per day.
  • Communication costs – relative to overseas markets.
  • Free product samples.
  • Trade fair registration fees.
  • Display booth rentals, etc.
  • Promotional material – including advertising, brochures, videos and CDs.
  • Overseas buyers – cost of bringing an overseas buyer to Australia (maximum of $7,500 per buyer per visit, maximum of $45,000 per application).
  • Registration and insurance of eligible intellectual property.

The Export Market Development Grant applications have to be lodged by Monday 1 December 2014.

Research Connections Grant
The Department of Industry, via AusIndustry, has announced the commencement of Research Connections.  This grant is available to assist in the development of new ideas with commercial potential, as well as helping eligible businesses to identify any knowledge gaps that are preventing business growth.

Eligible businesses are companies or corporate trustees on behalf of a trust, which operate in one of the following sectors:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
  • Mining Equipment Technology and Services
  • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources

Supply enabling technologies and services to these businesses, if the business is involved in:

  • Freight and Logistics
  • Infrastructure Related Construction
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Professional Services

The business must have lodged three consecutive annual business activity statements and have a turnover of at least $1.5million and a maximum of $100million, except for businesses operating in remote Australia, where the minimum turnover is $750,000 and maximum turnover of $100million.

Eligible applicants must undergo an application process and be able to fund the total value of the cost of the research connections project before claiming payment of the grant fund.  Applicants must also demonstrate a need for Australian government funding and demonstrate that the research will support a project of commercial relevance to the business.

Grants of up to $50,000 (excluding GST) are available.  The grant may be expended on the following:

  • Salary of the researcher.
  • Salary on-costs.
  • Student allowance (if a university student has been hired).
  • Travel and accommodation where the research activity requires a researcher to undertake significant domestic travel.
  • Research organisation administration costs (up to 30% of total project costs).
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