New grants program to give small businesses some much-needed support

Grants Money Financial Support Endowment Word 3d Illustration

New research revealing that more than 1.1 million small business owners admit to having had to make significant sacrifices in the 12 months to keep their doors open has inspired anew grants program that will give much-needed support to six Australian small businesses.

The study, carried out by Vistaprint in partnership with YouGov recently, also shows that cashflow issues and a shortage of skills is hampering small-business owners in their recovery. Almost a third (32 per cent) of the study’s participants have struggled with marketing this year, a third (33 per cent) highlighted the lack of financial support as their biggest hurdle, and 10 nominated design as their biggest challenge.

In order to address these issues, 99designs by Vistaprint launched 99 Days of Design, a scheme that will offer provide financial support, refreshed design identities and marketing materials to 99 small businesses from 12 countries: the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, and Australia.

Almost 2000 Australian small businesses were nominated for the scheme and a panel of business experts and entrepreneurs – including Vistaprint Australia CEO Marcus Marchant, 99designs by Vistaprint CEO Patrick Llewellyn, entrepreneurs Twice Blessed and artist Rachael Sarra – chose six SMEs to partake in the initiative. Those businesses will get a refreshed brand identity developed with 99designs by Vistaprint, marketing materials and a $15,000 AUD grant to help them through this extremely challenging period.

“It has been an incredibly tough time for small-business owners around the world and here in Australia,” Vistaprint Australia CEO, Marcus Marchant, said. “From bushfires and floods to COVID-19, many are still feeling the impact with snap border closures and lockdowns across the country impacting many industries.

“Through 99 Days of Design, we’re excited to support businesses and help them on their road to recovery, by offering much needed support to help them further promote their business and make their lives easier.”

The businesses chosen for the scheme are:

  • OWAD Environment, who worked through the bushfires to support finding and rehabilitating koalas.
  • Holistic Avenue, a charity who provide services for the victims of domestic and family violence and sexual assault.
  • Pride Fitness, a LGBTQ community fitness company.
  • Messin with Jim, a coffee van enterprise.
  • Clive’s Gardening and Fencing, which is being rebranded as Dave’s Fencing while original owner Clive pursues his passion to launch a hot dog stall.
  • House of Mud and Straw, an Airbnb.