The Best State Government Grants for Australian Small Businesses 2

In a previous article, we discussed how states can be a rich resource for grant funding and looked at two states in the east. Now, we’ll move south and west to see what’s available elsewhere in Australia.


Tasmania Innovation and Investment Fund

The Tasmanian Investment Fund is designed to prevent the state’s economy from relying on forestry, to embrace a wider range of businesses and technology, especially in regional areas.

Grants are provided on a one-off basis worth $250,000 to eligible applicants, for the purpose of improved competitiveness, import replacement and demonstrated innovation.

The grants are available to all businesses, but especially those in regional areas.


TEQ grant – tourism

Businesses in the tourism industry have access to grants through Tourism and Events Queensland, with the program designed to assist businesses outside of the Brisbane City Council area.

The grants help businesses in regional Queensland have the capacity to develop and grow in terms of audience, spectator and participant numbers.

There are some requirements, including that events need to have been held at least once, or have advanced to the point where there is demonstrated council support. And events need to take place in the time frame relevant to the applicant round.

But the government grants themselves can be pretty broad. As Adrian Spencer says, “we’ve seen sugar cane farms and other similar businesses open themselves for tourism purposes”.

First Start Loans

First Start Loans give finance of up to $650,000 for setting up a “primary production enterprise”, or becoming a full-time primary producer.

Whether you’re buying a farm, becoming a partner or achieving enterprise viability, the loans can provide some much-required assistance. The loan term can be up to 20 years, with low interest rates fixed for one, three or five years.

There are some requirements – you need to have resided in Queensland for six months, and show equity of 50% in relation to the purchase.

Learn more at

Western Australia

Regional Events Scheme

The regional events scheme is administered by Tourism WA every year, and is designed to assist in developing tourist attractions anywhere in regional Western Australia.

The scheme usually targets projects that are able to add tourism income, and attract media coverage which can improve the profile of the region. If you extend the length of traditional tourist seasons, that’s a plus too.

The 2013-14 scheme provided up to $750,000 in funding for 55 events. Applications are already open for 2014-15, with the funding pool remaining exactly the same.

City of Perth Small Business Grants

Similar to the Melbourne grants, these provide up to $2000 to small businesses within the Perth area to assist with start-up, expansion or any other creative business-related projects.

South Australia

Bio SA

This next grant is a little specific, but it’s a great one for any businesses in the bioscience industry.

The South Australian government provides up to $250,000 for activities such as business planning, and “proof of commercial concept” experiments – but as the name of the grant suggests, the business in question needs to be in the bioscience industry.

Innovation Voucher Program

Similar to the New South Wales scheme, the South Australian government has introduced a voucher program to help foster more innovation in the manufacturing industry.

The vouchers are valued between $10,000 and $20,000 and are awarded on a competitive basis and need to enhance the productivity, or diversification of small and medium businesses.

The vouchers can be used for all sorts of projects, including technical problems and developing new commercially viable products.

Northern Territory

Business Growth: Business Solutions Program

Funding of up to $3000 is available for businesses in the Northern Territory, to be used for advice, tools and resources which can help grow the business.

There are several requirements, including that businesses must be in a “sound financial position”, and also must have been operating in the state for a year. The businesses also need to “genuinely seek” to enhance business performance.

Australian Capital Territory

Innovation Connect

The ACT provides grants of between $5000 to $50,000 through the Innovation Connect program, which is designed to help businesses develop “innovative products or services”.

The grants are specifically for helping businesses in the early stages of preparing products or services for commercialisation.

The grants are competitive, and eligible businesses need to have turnover less than $2 million and be based in Canberra. Please visit to learn more.


(Information courtesy of Patrick Stafford, deputy editor of SmartCompany)