Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas announced a new R&D Cash Flow Loans initiative for eligible small and medium-sized businesses has kicked off, to help develop new products, services and technologies.
“We’re home to the best and brightest start-ups and their work is making a difference to lives all over the world,” he said.
Successful applicants can borrow between $250,000 and $4 million in low-interest loans, with total funding under the two-year initiative capped at $50 million.
The Andrews Labor government acknowledges the vital role innovation plays for a successful economic future in Victoria, by throwing investment support behind the innovators.
It is also known it is not easy for Victorian start-ups and SMEs to access affordable finance, which has only gotten worse with the pandemic.
Administered by Invest Victoria, the R&D Cash Flow Loans will help small businesses overcome the challenges and obstacles to success by giving them access to more funding and to improve cash flow.
“These loans will ensure Victorian SMEs can access affordable financing they need so that they can continue to innovate and invest in the products, services and technologies that will drive our economy into the future,” Mr Pallas said.
Those Victorian SMEs that currently qualify for a refundable tax offset under the Commonwealth’s R&D Tax Incentive are still eligible to apply for these loans.
The initiative was announced in the 2020–21 Victorian budget to boost Victoria’s innovation ecosystem, recognising the importance of investments in R&D to the future growth and sustainability of the economy.
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford added the initiative also highlighted the importance of investment in start-ups and SMEs.
“Start-ups and innovative businesses are playing an increasingly important role in Victoria’s economy, and creating exciting new job opportunities for Victorians,” she said.
“We’re backing the sector’s continued growth to position Victoria as a globally recognised start-up hub.”
This new R&D initiative is part of the government’s collection of support programs for start-ups and SMEs to access finance and boost growth in Victoria.
It includes the $250 million Business Growth Fund, the $60 million Victorian Startup Capital Fund, the $25 million Venture Growth Fund and the $10 million Alice Anderson Fund for women-led start-ups.
More information can be found at invest.vic.gov.au/randdcashflowloans.