The most popular government grants for small businesses

7 mins read

Whether you’re a small business, independent contractor or a start-up, government grants are a first port of call in getting off to a flying start and businesses with fleet operations may take advantage of them.

Grants, funding and support programs are widely available from both federal and state governments in Australia. They are designed to help businesses during various phases of their business life cycle. From getting a business off-the-ground to growing and expanding, government funding for small businesses can have an enormous effect on the future of a business.

Typically, new business grants come in the form of cash deposits, or incentive payments and the great thing is, the programs are not always restricted to a particular industry or sector. So if your business relies on fleet operations and drivers, you can certainly apply.

When applying for funding, it’s good to keep in mind that you’ll generally need to meet certain criteria to be eligible. The key to obtaining these grants is knowing when funding is going to be allocated, and promptly submitting your applications.

Here, Toyota for Business has selected some national and state small business grants that we think might be helpful.

Take a look below.


The Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive

The Research and Development Tax Incentive helps to offset some of the costs you put into eligible R&D. Prior to 2011, the grant was designed to help businesses in the science and technology space who were developing innovative and experimental activities in order to create novel products and processes. However, changes to this incentive have been expanded to allow any SMEs to claim a refundable tax offset for the costs associated with eligible R&D activities.

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Accelerating Commercialisation (AC)

If you’re a business with a new product or service, figuring out how to successfully get it to the market requires a lot of expertise, marketing knowledge and capital. This is where the AC Grant comes in. This highly competitive grant matches funding to assist with the commercialisation of new products or processes.

You can submit an expression of interest for the AC Grant at any time and, should you be successful, you’ll also receive expert guidance and network support to help you along.

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Export Market Development Grant (EMDG)

Many small businesses tend to look beyond the Australian market to grow their market share. If you have a product that’s ready to expand internationally, you may be eligible to take advantage of the EMDG grant.

Created to see businesses through their overseas market exploration phase, EDMG offers a reimbursement to businesses who are spending money on activities that promote their product, good or service to the overseas market.

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Instant Asset Write-Off

The Instant Asset Write Off scheme for small businesses is a grant very popular with small business owners. It allows eligible businesses to claim an immediate deduction for new or second-hand asset purchases such as vehicles and tools. This means any new vehicles: utes, vans, SUVs or sedans that classify as a car may be able to be written off.

Please note, due to the recent COVID-19 environment, the Federal Government has made significant changes to the instant asset write-off threshold.

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Building Better Regions Fund

Aiming to provide both economic and eligible businesses, the Building Better Regions Fund supports projects which involve the construction, upgrade or extension of infrastructure in drought-affected areas. This grant is only open to not-for-profit, local government or non-distributing co-operative businesses (a 'not-for-profit' organisation which can be formed with or without shares to conduct commercial activities, however it is prohibited under law to distribute surplus funds to members from profits).

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Established in 2016 by the Victorian Government, LaunchVIC aims to help eligible startups in Victoria with both educational, network and funding support. They offer various rounds of funding opportunities, and provide regular updates on their website.

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City of Melbourne Small Business Grants

This exciting year-round program provides financial assistance to eligible businesses with market-ready products and services that enhance the City of Melbourne and contribute to a thriving, sustainable business culture.

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Small Business Grant

The Small Business Grant is designed to encourage eligible small businesses that aren't liable for payroll tax to employ new full-time, part-time and casual workers. A grant is payable to eligible registered employers who have maintained an increase in their staffing numbers for a 12-month period.

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Minimal Viable Product (MVP) Grant & Building Partnerships NSW

With nearly half of Australia’s startup businesses calling Sydney home, Jobs for NSW offers grants to promising NSW startups to help them find their feet. The MVP grant offers financial assistance to support startups needed to progress from a proof of concept stage to a minimum viable product, and eligible businesses can receive up to 35% of the approved project costs with the Building Partnerships grant.

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Business Growth Fund Program

The Business Growth Fund Program is a grant program which provides targeted assistance for small and medium eligible businesses that demonstrate high-growth and employment aspirations.

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Ignite Ideas Fund

With the aim of strengthening key industries in Queensland, the Ignite Ideas Fund is one of the state’s most popular grants. It offers financial assistance to enable eligible businesses to take innovative new products, processes or services that have reached minimum viable product stages or beyond, into the market for the first time, or into new markets.

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Small Business Grants

In recognition of the contribution small businesses make to the culture of Perth, the City of Perth offers two grants to eligible small businesses located within the local government area of Perth.

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Industry Sector Development Sponsorship

In addition to small business grants, the City of Perth also supports the growth and development of established or emerging industry sectors that represent strategic importance to the city’s economy. This includes industry sectors such as energy, tourism, retail and hospitality, property development and professional services, as well as innovation and technology, agribusiness, international education, health sciences and medical research.

If your business is located in the Perth area and can assist with the city’s economy, this is a great opportunity to take part in as it offers many professional development training programs and networking events.

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Regional Growth Fund

The Regional Growth Fund in South Australia is designed to unlock new economic activity in South Australia’s regions. Part of the Recharging our Regions Policy, this incredible fund aims to to deliver critical economic infrastructure to create direct benefit across regional industries, and to strengthen regional communities.

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Research, Commercialisation and Startup Find (RCFS)

South Australia’s key grant for startups is designed for researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses to accelerate their progress with funding from the South Australian Government.

It offers funding across three different types of streams so eligible startups can apply, regardless of what stage their business is in.

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How to find other grants and programs in Australia

While the above-listed grants are popular across different industries, they are highly competitive. Both federal and state governments offer many additional grants, often specific to industries and sectors, especially during the starting phase of a business. The best way to start your search for new grants is to utilise the services of, a government website for the Australian business community.

Discover more grants


This information provided is of a general nature and for information only. Nothing in this article constitutes or should be considered to constitute legal, taxation or financial advice. Before making a decision about any of the products and services featured on this article, you should consult with your own independent legal, taxation and financial advisors, who can advise you about your personal circumstances.

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