It’s that time of year again – applications for the annual City of Melbourne Small Business Grants program open on Monday 10 July 2017.
The program aims to support businesses that contribute to the City of Melbourne’s reputation for innovation and thriving business culture. Startups and small businesses from all sectors are eligible to apply provided they are market-ready and underpinned by a strong business proposal that will proceed regardless of grant funding.
Since 1996, the City of Melbourne has awarded $8 million in grants to more than 360 businesses, helping many achieve local and international growth.
Well-respected local businesses that have benefited from City of Melbourne grants include mag nation, Rooftop Cinema, KokoBlack, Ivory Coat Companion Goods, Carbon Market Institute, MӦRK Chocolate, KeepCup and many more.
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Ben Schultz, Managing Director of Bastion Cycles, says being awarded funding by the City of Melbourne allowed the business to establish itself.
“The small business grant for us was really helpful. It really accelerated our move from that prototype stage into the production stage.”
Leon Kosher, co-founder of KISA Phone, also emphasised the “boost” that came from receiving funding from the program.
“It’s always good to say that your company was endorsed by City of Melbourne,” he says. “When we received the grant, it helped us in purchasing well-needed equipment, to take our business to the next level and to cope with an expanding number of clients. I would definitely encourage everyone to apply for a grant.”
KISA Phone has since gone on to achieve further success, closing a $200,000 deal with Naomi Simson on last year’s season of Shark Tank.
To be eligible to apply for a grant, you must:
* Have a registered ABN
* Employ 20 people or less
* Have an appropriate legal structure
* Be located or committed to relocate to the City of Melbourne municipality.
Individuals can apply for $30,000, and business support organisations and export businesses can apply for up to $10,000.
Grants are judged on the following criteria:
* Innovation and creativity: 30%
* Business readiness: 25%
* Financial viability: 20%
* Benefits to the City of Melbourne: 20%
* Ethical and other considerations: 5%