What’s in the South Australian budget for small business?

South Australia

The Adelaide CBD.

South Australia’s Labor government delivered its first budget on Thursday, revealing the state’s economy is estimated to grow by 3% and employment by 3.5% in 2021-2022.

The budget contains a number of public sector investments, including hydrogen and transport projects, as well as private sector investments, including a $100 million economic recovery fund.

What’s in the SA budget for businesses?

South Australian small businesses stand to benefit from a number of budget measures, with Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra noting that the budget provides “much-needed confidence for business after a challenging pandemic period”. 

“With South Australia under new leadership, this budget sets the tone for the next four years, and with a sound balance sheet, the state is well placed to capitalise on the post-Covid recovery,” Zahra said in a statement. 

So what can businesses expect?

A $100 million economic recovery fund

Among the big announcements is the $100 million economic recovery fund, which was announced by the government last week. This fund, which is designed to promote economic growth and development opportunities across the state, will provide eligible businesses grants, hosted across several rounds over the next four years. 

The Economic Recovery Fund will also allocate $10 million over four years for manufacturing innovation grants, intended to boost the manufacturing industry.

“The Economic Recovery Fund will provide an opportunity for SA-based businesses seeking to create jobs, while also supporting development opportunities in our state,” said SA Premier Peter Malinauskas.   

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan added that the fund “will be specifically calibrated to businesses and industry seeking to create jobs” and that the “government has a role to play to ensure they can do that, and therefore create more jobs in our state”.

The re-establishment of Brand SA, $4 million for women in business and $40 million to grow tourism

The SA government will also allocate $6.2 million over four years to promote South Australian businesses and products in partnership with local retailers.

A further $4 million has been allocated over the course of four years to grow female-owned businesses, thereby boosting the economy and supporting local entrepreneurs.

Another $40 million will also fund new tourism events and grow existing owned and managed events over four years. 

$19.6 million for Australia’s first space park

Between the years 2023-24, $19.6 million will be allocated for the establishment of Australia’s first dedicated space manufacturing hub. This will be in partnership with the Commonwealth, which will provide an additional $20 million in funding, and industry. A number of private companies, including Fleet Space Technologies and Q-CTRL are listed as partners and co-investors. 

According to the SA government, this will “accelerate Australia’s sovereign space manufacturing capability and capacity”.

The space park will have a purpose built facility that will be home to four space manufacturing companies, as well as a Common User Facility that will “drive collaboration between Australia’s local space manufacturers and support companies to manufacture at scale, collaborate and equip themselves for global commercial and supply chain opportunities”.

Further investment in skills training

The government has also announced an additional investment of $11.9 million in skills and training, as well as $6.7 million to extend the Jobtrainer Aged Care Boost, thereby increasing free or low-fee training places for the aged care workforce.

A $593 million hydrogen facility

The state government also intends to go ahead with the proposal to establish a $593 million hydrogen hub. The facility will include electrolysers, a combined cycle turbine plant and a hydrogen storage capacity in the Whyalla region, and will boost South Australia’s power generation flexibility and export opportunities. As the AFR notes, the government hopes to “stimulate the hydrogen sector”, with potentially big wins for startups.

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