New Grants

The City of Melbourne is bringing back its Small Business Grants Program in 2023-24 with up to $30k grant funding per applicant. Small businesses funded through this program is expected to fuel growth through job creation and bring new solutions and ways of doing business into the city.

Deadlines and Timings

Applications are open and will close on 25 September 2023 at 12pm AEST. There will be an information session on 6 September 2023, Wednesday, at 1PM.

Overview and Grant Amount

The program supports new businesses to get started within the City of Melbourne, as well as existing businesses in the city to expand and grow.​ The funding will support small businesses looking to:

  • enhance the City of Melbourne’s reputation for innovation, creativity and diversity
  • strengthen our local economy’s resilience by demonstrating a unique point-of-difference, sound business model and long-term financial viability
  • create employment and investment opportunities

This round will also have a special focus on small businesses that enhance the city’s vitality by increasing the occupancy rate of shopfronts across the municipality.

There are two streams available:

  1. Open stream—up to $20,000 per applicant is available to any business that meets the eligibility criteria and program objectives.
  2. Shopfront occupancy stream—that has two options available to businesses
    • up to $20,000 to applicants who occupy a property vacant for two to six months
    • up to $30,000 to applicants who occupy a property vacant for more than six months

Read about previous grant recipients and be inspired by their stories!

Eligibility and Criteria

The applicant must:

  • be located within or committed to relocate promptly (within 3 months of receiving a grant) to the City of Melbourne municipality
  • have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have less than 20 full-time or equivalent employees at the time of applying
  • be an Australian registered business, sole trader, company, business cooperative or partnership and provide documented evidence of its legal structure
  • be able to provide evidence of appropriate business insurances
  • have no outstanding acquittals or debts to the City of Melbourne
  • demonstrate financial viability as evidenced by relevant financial information
  • for shopfront occupancy stream ONLY: provide evidence of a commercial lease (for a minimum length of 12 months) if relocating to City of Melbourne or moving to a larger premises within City of Melbourne

The program will NOT support:

  • applicants that have an outstanding debt to City of Melbourne or that have failed to comply with the terms and conditions of any previous funding agreement with City of Melbourne
  • franchisees, subsidiaries of larger companies, unincorporated associations
  • government departments or agencies, foundations or grant making bodies
  • political organisations or organisations that have a political purpose
  • current City of Melbourne employees, immediate families and contractors
  • entities that denigrate, exclude or offend parts of the community
  • applicants who have already received funding from City of Melbourne for the same activity being requested in this program

Eligible Support

The funding can be used for:

  • Capital improvement costs associated with fit-out of business premises including, but not limited to furniture, cabinetry, joinery, partitioning, flooring, shelving, and painting.
  • Website costs including development or enhancements.
  • IT equipment costs including the purchasing of hardware (computers, laptops, printers, servers).
  • Specialised equipment and software that is directly related to the operation of the new business or as part of the business expansion activity.
  • Other expenditure items not listed above where it can be clearly demonstrated there is a significant need for the set up or expansion of the small business.

The following are NOT supported:

  • operational expenses which are ongoing costs to run the business, such as rent, utilities, legal costs, marketing, wages and personal expenses
  • applications that do not meet the eligibility or assessment criteria
  • expenditure items incurred prior to the date the business submitted an application

Applicants are strongly encouraged to initiate contact with the City of Melbourne’s Business Concierge to discuss the grant opportunity, potential locations and to get important advice on starting and growing a business in Melbourne. To request an appointment, fill out their online form and Business Concierge will be in contact to discuss prior to applying.

For more information, interested parties are encouraged to thoroughly read the program guidelines set by the funding grant. Submissions must be lodged through the program online portal.

Expert Assistance

We have over 15 years of experience preparing EMDG and R&D tax incentive claims and can assist in making sure you receive your maximum rebate.

Working with us means you get the maximum grant with minimum risk and effort. Our expertise includes R&D Tax Incentive registration and tax schedules, Export Grants, Capital Expenditure and Infrastructure Grants.

Get in touch with us and let’s discuss this more in detail.

For information about other Australian Government Grants, visit Treadstone New Grants page and sign up to our newsletter!

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