Earlier this year, the Federal government announced the Industry Skills Fund, which has given a great opportunity for many small/medium enterprises to significantly improve the skills of their workforce.
This grant assists businesses that are preparing to take up growth opportunities outside their normal day-to-day business operations. Investing in the skills capability of these businesses will help them become more productive and competitive.
Whilst the Industry Skills Fund is targeted at the Federal government’s “priority industries”, other businesses can apply. However, these other businesses will need to clearly show in their application that they have significant growth potential and are preparing to reposition themselves to take advantage of economic opportunities.
Many businesses, other than those within the “priority industries” sector, can do this. They just might need some encouragement and help from their accountants.
The “priority industries” include:
- Food and Agribusiness
- Mining Equipment Technology and Services
- Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals
- Oil, Gas and Energy Resources
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Enabling technology and service industries that support one or more of the priority industries listed, including:
- Freight and Logistics
- Infrastructure Related Construction
- Information and Communication Technology
- Professional Services (primarily scientific areas)
The government has made some significant changes to this funding over recent times. When the grant funding was initially announced, it only applied to companies. Recently, the government changed the rule so that individual businesses can now apply. This includes sole traders and partnerships, as long as the business meets the following criteria:
- non-tax exempt business
- has an ABN
- registered for GST
- operated in Australia and filed BAS, showing ongoing trading, in at least 3 consecutive years
The grant funding that’s available is:
- Micro Businesses (0-4 FTE) – 75%
- Small Businesses (5-19 FTE) – 66%
- Medium Businesses (20-199 FTE) – 50%
- Large Businesses (over 200 FTE) – 25%
The government recently made changes to businesses situated in Northern Australia (North of the Tropic of Capricorn), so that grant funding of 75% is now available to micro businesses, small businesses and medium businesses. Large businesses obtain a grant funding of 50%.
The government has appointed skills development officers in the cities and major regional areas to assist in the delivery of this program, which can significantly enhance business performance.
You’re invited to sign up for a no-obligation two-week trial of ESS BIZGRANTS, whereby you will be given the opportunity to test the system. Click here to try ESS BIZGRANTS for free, or visit www.essbizgrants.com.au.
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