Export and Tourism Grants

Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program

The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Program commenced on 1 July 2014 predominantly replacing Enterprise Connect, Researchers in Business and Commercialisation Australia.. This program will be delivered through AusIndustry with a new Single Business Service www.business.gov.au to streamline the way businesses access government information and services.
The three proposed streams of the program are:

  • Business Management
  • Research Connections
  • Commercialising Ideas

New Single Business Service

You may have noticed the AusIndustry website is no longer active. As part of the government’s consolidation of services the single access point for most government activities, including grants, is now www.business.gov.au
The new Single Business Service has necessitated that the previous Case Managers for Commercialisation Australia and Enterprise Connect are now part of AusIndustry and able to be contacted there.

EMDG gets $50m Boost

The government has allocated an additional $50m towards the successful Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) boost to help SME’s expand their export markets.

Other changes to the EMDG scheme announced will see the expense threshold reduced from $10,000 to $5,000 which reduces the minimum expenditure for an eligible claim from $20,000 to $15,000. The number of grants available to eligible businesses will be increased from seven to eight.

The EMDG scheme provides small businesses with a refund of 50 per cent of eligible export market expenditure.  Austrade have acknowledged Pattens expertise in the EMDG by awarding 3 staff with best practice export grant consultant status.

Grant Cancellations

The new Liberal government is beginning to make announcements to the changes of the various grant schemes. Many of the different grants have been marked for cancellation as a means of “ending Labor’s waste and reckless spending”. Full details can be found at media release Our Plan to get the Budget under Control.

Schemes to be discontinued are

  • Jobs and Competitiveness Program;
  • Steel Transformation Plan;
  • Clean Technology Program;
  • Coal Sector Jobs Package;
  • Energy Efficiency Information Grants;
  • Clean Energy Skills package; and
  • Clean Technology Focus for Supply Chain programs.

Whether the schemes get discontinued immediately or if they will wait until the government has abolished the carbon tax first is yet to be released. More details expected to come over the next few days.

Keep in mind that other schemes such as Commercialisation Australia, R&D Tax Incentive and Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) seem to be unaffected at this stage and it is business as usual for us.

Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund (TIRF) Grants

The 2013 TIRF Grants Round 2 have been launched. The Minister Assisting on Tourism, Senator the Hon Don Farrell launched the competitive merit-based TIRF Grants Program on Monday 23 June 2013. The grants range from $50,000–$250,000 (GST exclusive) and are  matched dollar-for-dollar funding basis for the purpose of aiding tourism operators to improve the quality and range of visitor experiences in regional Australia.

The is approximately $9.6 million of funding available for eligible projects, with approximately 50 projects expected to be funded in this round.

Key dates

  • Online applications close at 11.59pm AEST on Wednesday 7 August 2013.
  • Outcomes are expected to be advised in October 2013.
  • Projects will be able to start from December 2013 and must be completed by 31 March 2016

More information can be found on the Australian Government’s website for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism or by contacting our office.

Green Light For Clean Technology Investment Program

The Government today announced details of the long awaited Clean Technology Investment Program.  The CITP will provide $1 billion in funding for manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution and also help manufacturers buy new plant and equipment which cuts their energy costs or reduces carbon pollution.

The CITP comprises the $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program and the $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program which will support jobs and provide incentives for manufacturers to become more efficient, more competitive and more sustainable. Eligible manufacturers can apply for funding under the programs from today.

The Government also announced they would change co-contribution requirements to make the grant programs more attractive for small and medium-sized firms.  Manufacturers with turnovers of less than $100 million requesting funding under $500,000 will now only have to match the government grants on a dollar for dollar basis.For all other grants under $10 million, applicants will be required to contribute $2 for every $1 from the Government. For grants of $10 million or more, applicants will be expected to make a co-contribution of at least $3 for each $1 of Government support.

Projects that can be supported include switching to less carbon intensive energy sources or installing new manufacturing equipment, processes and facilities to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Commercialisation Australia Scheme Changes

From today Australian entrepreneurs will not have to repay Early Stage Commercialisation grants for businesses developing a new product, process, or service. Additionally, the annual turnover limit for applicants will rise from $20 million to $50 million and access to skilled managers now have the option to apply for an Experienced Executives grant of up to $350,000 – previously $200,000.

The government has foreshadowed further improvements to the scheme from early 2012 to support innovation in the manufacturing sector. The eligible expenditure guidelines for Early Stage Commercialisation grants will be amended to provide broader support for the development of pilot manufacturing plants and innovative manufacturing facilities.

Almost 180 innovators have already benefited from grants of $71.7 million from Commercialisation Australia, as well as expert advice from experienced case managers, to help turn their inventions into marketable products and services.

Supplier Access To Major Projects Program

Australian suppliers will be helped to compete for contract opportunities in five major projects in the lucrative resources and health sectors with $1.2 million from the Industry Capability Network (ICN) through the Supplier Access to Major Projects (SAMP) program announced today.

The Government is trying to ensure competitive and capable Australian companies are given a fair go when tendering for contracts in an internationally competitive environment by promoting the capability of Australian firms in areas where they may be overlooked.  Our comparative isolation means Australia has had to develop its own technologies, products and processes in many different industry sectors and that expertise is now highly marketable globally.

The Government announced the Buy Australian at Home and Abroad initiative in its 2011-12 Budget, which included additional funding for SAMP, to boost Australian industry participation in major resource sector projects. This will allow the ICN to work with a greater number of resources projects and further increase opportunities for Australian industry.

The five projects will help Australian suppliers access opportunities in China’s coal mining sector, INPEX’s proposed Ichthys LNG development project, Eni’s Kitan oil field development project and related infrastructure development projects in East Timor, oil and gas module contractors and global procurement hubs in Asia, as well as the engineering and fit-out of new hospitals in the ASEAN region.

2011 EMDG Initial Payment Increased

The Trade Minister, Craig Emerson announced the initial payment ceiling for the EMDG scheme will be increased to $50,000 for the 2011 grant year which just ended, compared with the pathetic $27,500 which was paid in 2010. In making the announcement the Minister suggested the reduced demand for EMDG grants over the previous grant year, coupled with changes to the scheme in 2010, have permitted a higher initial payment this grant year.

The initial payment ceiling is the maximum amount that will be paid as a first installment to reimburse eligible EMDG applicants. “An initial payment amount of $50,000 is the most equitable distribution of grant funding within the available budget,” Dr Emerson said.  “It will provide grant recipients with a substantial level of immediate cash flow, which is always welcome at smaller companies.”

Recipients for the 2010–11 grant year with an entitlement up to and including $50,000 will be paid in full.  Those with entitlements above this amount will receive a second tranche at the end of June 2012, with the size of the payment to be determined then.  In the 2010–11 Budget, the Government committed to funding the EMDG scheme at $150.4 million a year, and also extended it for a further five years, to 2015–16.

The EMDG scheme is one of the ways in which the Australian Government provides assistance to small and medium-sized exporters. The grants reimburse exporters -up to a limit – for eligible expenses on the promotion and marketing of their international businesses.  For more information on this, and the other ways you can receive support for exporting activities contact Pattens, the grant experts on 1800 PATTENS.

TCF Scheme Handouts $2.5M

The Government announced today payments of $2.5m for 67 companies under the Government’s Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Small Business Program to enable them to “refashion” their business enterprise culture with better business and management processes.  In announcing the successful recipients, Senator Carr said “By updating business processes, the 67 businesses stand a better chance of succeeding in a tough environment. The job prospects of 45,000 people – many in regional Australia – will be a lot more secure.”

The TCF sectors has been selected for support as they are faced challenging times and projects such as putting in place digital systems and improved management practices would help ensure the industry’s competitiveness and its long-term viability.   Other industry sectors and exporters are obviously not challenged by the tough economic times and don’t need support.

More than 45,000 people employed in the TCF industries.  By updating business processes, the 67 businesses stand a better chance of succeeding in a tough environment. The job prospects of 45,000 people – many in regional Australia – will be a lot more secure.  All states and the Northern Territory have received grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000.  The successful recipients included:

  • The Australian Coat Company Pty Ltd in Slacks Creek, Queensland, is using its $27,600 grant to install a design/patternmaking system. It will streamline production, giving it the flexibility to move into new markets for protective oilskin coats, work and motorcycle gear.
  • The bridal wear business of Luci Di Bella (Belena Pty Ltd) in Armadale, Victoria, will fund a digital management system with its $50,000 grant. It will centralise business data and reporting for better analysis and decision making.
  • Betty Sugar Clothing in Beckenham, WA, will use its $17,550 to develop e-commerce business and marketing plans to improve financial management and enable the design and manufacturing business to be more profitable and sustainable.

For further details on this and the other 600 grants currently available, contact Pattens Group, the grants experts, on 1800 PATTENS