The Queensland Government has made a five-fold increase in the maximum grant available under a key incentive scheme for SMEs, to $250,000.
The minimum grant offered under the Business and Industry Transformation Incentives scheme has been increased from $5000 to $30,000 and the maximum lifted from $50,000 to $250,000.
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SMEs in nominated priority industries are eligible for grants under the BITI scheme, which is designed to foster the transition of the Queensland economy towards internationally competitive, knowledge-intensive industries.
Priority industries under the scheme include advanced manufacturing, alternative fuels, aviation, biotech, environmental technologies and information and communication technologies.
Announcing the expansion of scheme, Queensland Regional Development and Industry Minister Desley Boyle says grants will be geared toward funding projects that have the potential to be transformational.
“That means projects that assist the business receiving the incentive to grow in size or diversity. Preferred projects may also have a flow-on or spill-over impact on other businesses,” Boyle says.
Boyle also rejects the notion that increasing minimum grants available under the scheme could squeeze out SMEs.
“Over the past three years nearly 90% of firms that received a QIDS grant larger than $30,000 were small to medium enterprises,” Boyle says.
The current round of BITI funding will remain open until November, with up to five further rounds scheduled for 2008.
Businesses interested in applying for a grant under the scheme should start by contacting a state development centre in their area.