Small to medium-sized businesses with exporting ambitions can now apply for upfront financial assistance for a host of trade development activities under a major overhaul of Austrade’s export grants scheme.
Under changes that took effect on July 1, the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program has pivoted from a reimbursement scheme to offering upfront funding to eligible SMEs.
Austrade has also lowered the application threshold from businesses with a maximum turnover of $50 million per year to $20m per year.
“The EMDG program now provides upfront funding certainty so you know how much you will receive over the life of your grant agreement (two or three years), and you can plan your promotional activities with confidence,” Austrade said.
Exporters can apply for three different grants over eight years (not necessarily consecutively) for eligible promotional activities.
Grants are available in three stages, called tiers, with each tier providing a different level of support to SMEs as they grow their export markets:
Tier 1: Ready to export
- First-time exporters
- Maximum 2 years and maximum $40,000 per financial year
Tier 2: Expanding
- Expanding your export promotion activities
- Maximum 3 years and maximum $80,000 per financial year
Tier 3: Expanding and strategic shift
- Expanding your export promotion activities AND making a strategic shift, for example targeting a new market or a new type of customer
- Maximum 3 years and maximum $150,000 per financial year
Michael Carter, manager of CCIWA’s International Trade and Investment Centre (ITIC), said the remodelled EMDG program offered more opportunities for greater financial assistance over the life of an SME’s exporting journey.
“Eligible companies that previously didn’t believe the grants scheme was available to them can now clearly see where they fit into the new three-tier system,” he said.
“The shift to a pre-approval process also ensures exporters have a solid export marketing plan, which is critical to successfully entering new overseas markets.”
The EMDG program is available to businesses with goods, services, events, intellectual property or know-how software provided they meet the eligibility criteria.
It can be used to cover expenses in one or more of the following categories, as detailed in the EMDG Guidelines:
- maintaining a representative in a foreign country;
- short trips to a foreign country;
- engaging a consultant to undertake research or promotional activities;
- short trips within Australia;
- foreign buyer visits;
- soliciting for business in a foreign country;
- providing free samples;
- producing and providing promotional and advertising material;
- intellectual property rights; and
- if you are a Tier 1 applicant, obtaining export readiness training.
However, businesses with eligible expenses for the financial year ending June 30, 2021, will need to submit a reimbursement claim under the old program.
Applications from eligible SME exporters for the new scheme will open on August 16, 2021 and close November 30, 2021 for grants for export promotional activities undertaken from July 1.
More information on applying is available here.
For advice on how to reduce the cost, risk and time it takes to go international contact the team at ITIC on (08) 9365 7620 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.