Thinking about how to improve and grow your media business in 2021? Make sure you’re across the government grants currently available to give you the boost you need. Here’s TM.SN’s list of key grants available to media brands, with a few worth acting on before 2020 ends.
There are currently a range of government grants for magazine publishers, media brands and small businesses – some specific to COVID-19 relief, while others are ongoing funding programs to help grow your business.
Here’s TM.SN’s list of grants worth considering right now, and a few links to find more funding opportunities relevant to your specific needs.
Grants available nationally
ACT NOW: take advantage of a higher Instant Asset Write Off threshold
The Australian Tax Office is offering a $150,000 threshold instant asset write-off until 31 December 2020.
Assets must cost less than the threshold and be purchased and used (or installed for use) in the year that the write-off is claimed.
The write-off is available to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million, and can be used for new or second-hand assets, and multiple assets as long as the cost of each is less than the relevant asset threshold.
More information is available on the Australian Tax Office website.
Wage subsidies available when staffing new roles
Wage subsidies of up to $10,000 are available to businesses that offer ongoing work for a new role (not displacing a previous employee) for an average of 20 hours per week over the course of the wage subsidy agreement.
The subsidies are available for new employees in casual, part-time, or full-time roles who are:
- 15 to 29 years of age
- Indigenous Australians
- 50 years of age and over
- Registered with an employment services provider for 12 months or more.
Applications for wage subsidies can be made at any time.
More information is available at the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
Guidance and matched funding available to launch a new product or service
The Australian Government’s Accelerating Commercialisation program provides small and medium businesses with access to advice and between $50,000 to $1 million matched funding to help launch a new product or service.
The program provides you with tailored advice and support, including initial guidance on the commercialisation of your product or service, referral to other government assistance to support your needs, feedback on your eligibility for an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant, and more detailed support to develop your to-market strategy.
Businesses must receive this guidance before applying for the Accelerating Commercialisation Grant and must have a combined annual turnover of less than $20 million for each of the previous three financial years.
The grants provide up to 50 per cent of eligible expenditure to support your project. Successful applicants must provide evidence of their ability to fund at least 50 per cent of the eligible project expenditure (with the minimum grant available being $50,000).
The funding is only available for activities directly related to the commercialisation of your product or service, for example:
- Completing the development of the new product or service;
- Engaging external professionals to confirm the market opportunity, develop the business model, identify potential partners, develop an IP strategy, raise capital or prepare an Information Memorandum;
- Making the first sales of your new product or service in Australia or overseas;
- Engaging a senior experienced executive to fill a gap in the management team deemed essential to bringing your new product or service to market.
Commercialisation projects must be completed within 12 months to two years.
Applications for the Accelerating Commercialisation program can be made at any time.
More information is here, including a link to download the full program guidelines.
ACT NOW: Planning a business event? Make sure you register for the Business Events Grant Program
In September, Austrade announced the Business Events Grant program as part of the Relief and Recovery Fund providing assistance to sectors, regions and communities affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Under the Business Events Grant program, Australian businesses exhibiting at approved business meetings, conventions, conferences and incentives events in 2021 will be able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50 per cent of their costs (between $10,000 and $250,000).
Expressions of interest (EOI) for event owners to apply to have their event included in the Schedule of Approved Business Events is now open, until 26 February 2021 – although Austrade states that it may close the EOI process earlier to manage demand or if all program funds are committed.
Event owners must do this for their clients to be eligible to apply for a grant to attend their events.
More information is available on Austrade’s website.
Working with international markets? Consider the EMDG
Austrade’s Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) provide financial assistance to small and medium-sized Australian businesses aspiring to or currently exporting their products and services.
The EMDG includes reimbursement of up to 50 per cent of eligible export promotion expenses above $5,000, provided that the total expenses are at least $15,000.
Expenses must be claimed as part of your EMDG application submitted in the financial year immediately following the grant year (July to June) in which your expenses were incurred (except for those that are applying for the EMDG for the first time – then the expenses can cover the previous two grant years).
Eligible applicants must record income of less than $50 million in the grant year and must be able to demonstrate that they have promoted either the export of goods or most services, inbound tourism, the export of intellectual property, or conferences and events held in Australia.
Other eligibility criteria apply. Austrade has developed an eligibility checklist to help businesses determine if they should apply for the grant, and provides a list of the activities that can be claimed as expenses.
Finding more government and state-based grants to meet your specific business needs
Each state and territory government provides a range of funding for businesses operating within their state. This funding can include grants or rebates for COVID-19 related relief, digitisation of your business services, grants for the creation of digital content, and business development grants.
For example, Victorian-based publishers can take advantage of the Victorian Government’s Small Business Digital Adaptation Grant which offers a $1,200 rebate on select digital management tools (including MYOB, Xero, Shopify and Squarespace).
The best way to access a list of all the grants relevant to your business needs is to enter your details on the Grants and Programs page on www.business.gov.au or the Australian Government’s Grant Connect website.