Grants have been the kick start of many successful Australian businesses. For instance, Cochlear Ltd would not exist today without the initial financial support from a range of grants. For others, grants are vital to keep them going until they are self-sufficient or ready for acceleration.
Even before COVID the government paid over $50 billion in grants annually through over 1000 programs. Now there are nearly 2000 grants available worth $80 billion.
Grants encourage specific industries or targeted business activities. If your business is not in an industry deemed significant, it may be conducting a supported activity.
Industries include manufacturing, medical, energy, mining, food and agribusiness, etc.
Activities include innovation, export, manufacturing, start-up, employment, sustainability, marketing, training and more.
This is where you expect to read the top five or 10 grants or maybe a list of the current 2000 grants. Sorry not in this article.
Imagine you are driving from Sydney to Brisbane and you hear petrol is being given away for free in Adelaide – it is not worth going there to get it. Grants are similar. It is important that the grant supports the current or planned activities and direction of the business to be of value.
How do you lodge a successful grant claim?
1. Identify grants
There are a range of sites that provide grant search capabilities. The predominant free sites include www.business.gov.au, www.grants.gov.au and www.grants.com.au. While relevant grants can be identified, the downside is considerable time could be spent in preparing an unsuccessful application.
2. Read the guidelines
The best application will be unsuccessful if it doesn’t meet the grant criteria. It is critical to fully understand the eligibility and the grant objectives before commencing an application. A NSW Minimum Viable Product application described their software as a service rather than a product which was ineligible. The change of that one word resulted in a $25,000 grant.
Does the grant objective match the business operations, market and skills? Manufacturing sanitiser could be diversification for a business making spirits but not for medical equipment producer. Utilise your existing expertise rather than just chase grant funding.
4. The application
Ensure the application provides the specific information requested. After completing your response, re-read the questions and highlight the text that addresses the information response. Any sentence not containing highlighting should then be evaluated for relevance or deleted.
5. Grants specialist
Still unsure? Engage a grants specialist that works exclusively in grants like Pattens Group. As experienced experts with over 35 years’ experience they secure grants for businesses from the full range of grants. Backing their skills and expertise they work for a success fee based on the grant paid. They provide a free report on the relevant grants for your business and can improve any existing claims.
6. Grant Reporting
Some grants are subject to review, audit or reporting. It is critical that this is done correctly or all the hard work can be wasted. A grants specialist can be invaluable to ensure you claim and keep the grant. The ATO has clawed back over $200m from previously approved R&D claims that were not prepared by grants specialists. Much was repaid unnecessarily.
Contact Pattens today for experienced, professional grants management by email at [email protected] or call 1800 GRANTS.