The Australian government has announced the commencement of the Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Program, which will be released in three phases:
• First Phase – Business Evaluation and Business Growth Grant, which is now fully operational.
• Second Phase – Research Connections Program commences in September 2014.
• Third Phase – Commercialising Ideas commences in November 2014.
The Business Evaluation and Business Growth Grant will be available for businesses operating in the following industries:
• Energy, Water and Waste Management
• Freight and Logistics
• Infrastructure-related Construction
• Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
• Manufacturing or Manufacturing-related Services
• Medical and Pharmaceutical
• Professional Services
• Resources Technology
• Creative Industries
• Tourism (some sectors)
The program is also available to businesses operating in remote Australia, who meet the remote Australia turnover requirements, which is a minimum of $750,000.
The turnover requirements for creative industries and tourism sector is $1million per annum. Each of the other industries require a minimum turnover of $1.5million. In every industry, category and remote Australian businesses, the maximum turnover is $100million.
For businesses located in remote Australia, applications will be accepted from businesses with an Australian Business Number (ABN) or an Australian Company Number (ACN). For all other industry applicants, the applicant must have an ACN.
The applying business must have operated for three consecutive years.
In the first instance, the applicant will be given a business evaluation by a business advisor employed by the Department of Industry. Following that evaluation, the Department of Industry may issue an invitation to the business to participate in the Business Growth Grant.
The Business Growth Grant offers a grant of up to $20,000, excluding GST, on a 50% grant basis. To apply for the Business Growth Grant, the business:
• must have received a business evaluation report in the previous six months;
• must be planning to implement one or more of the eligible recommendations identified in the business evaluation report;
• must be solvent; and
• must be able to pay its share of the cost.
The work that can be undertaken is virtually any activity, which will improve the business performance of the applicant.
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