But it’s not all doom and gloom. International markets are recovering from the “second waves” we recently saw across the world, more and more countries are opening up, and – although we’re currently experiencing an historic recession – our nation’s economic recovery is top of mind and this presents numerous opportunities for businesses in a position to participate in that.
Let’s look at one funding opportunity for exporting businesses in particular.
Export Market Development Grants (EMDG)
The EMDG program is a federal grant scheme offering financial assistance to SMEs looking to export goods and services across a wide range of industries.It is a great one to take advantage of if you’re in a business that is looking to scale up and expand internationally.
This program isn’t just for the big guys, it’s for any business that exports goods, intellectual property and most services, as well as ones that promote inbound tourism, conferences and events.
The scheme reimburses up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses above $5,000 and provides up to eight grants to each eligible applicant.
Most Australian entities (individual, partnership, company, association, co-operative, statutory corporation or trust) that have paid promotion expenses in the financial year are able to apply for the export grant, as long as their revenue is less than $50 million and they have paid at least $15,000 in eligible expenses.
Additionally, to aid in the COVID-19 recovery response, the government has increased the Initial Payment Ceiling Amount (the maximum amount paid as a first instalment) to $100,000; the highest level in over 20 years.
Other changes to the EMDG scheme
There has been a recent review into the EMDG program, with the final report recommending a range of changes for the federal government to consider.
One recommendation is that payments should be made before export activities take place, making the scheme more accessible to smaller and newer exporting businesses.
Legislation has been introduced to parliament concerning these changes and could come into effect from mid next year.
Applying for the grant
While grants are always popular as ‘free money,’ this does not usually translate to ‘easy money.’
Those who have applied for a government grant before know the application process can be quite involved and tedious. In particular, the EMDG application process involves supplying financial statements along with detailed background information on the business’ products or services to Austrade.
At Bramelle, we have been a professional partner to several startups and SMEs that have “gone global.” In doing so, we have developed expertise in the EMDG program, including the application process and compliance requirements.
We can be your partner from start to finish, by helping you: plan for the grant application, write and submit it, and then support you however we can in taking your products or services to the world stage!
Export opportunities await
The pandemic has taken the world of work online, and this means international expansion opportunities will abound as people make new connections with friends and colleagues overseas.
The post-COVID economic recovery could include a more connected, collaborative, and egalitarian world of startup and small business-driven export activity.
If you’re interested in exploring any opportunities for your business, contact us for a no-obligation chat.