The NSW Government has now opened applications for the Small Business Recovery Grant. Small businesses that are eligible can apply for up to $3,000 to get their business re-opened, pay for the costs of safely reopening or helping to upscale existing operations. The recovery grant is for small business owners in highly impacted industries who have had a decline in turnover to secure funds that can be used for various items like shop fit-out changes, training, advertising or even small business marketing services.
1. What is the Small Business Recovery Grant?
Small business can apply for up to $3,000 via the NSW Government to help get their business re-opened.
The small business recovery grant can help businesses meet the costs of safely reopening or up-scaling their current operations for expenses that include (but are not limited to);
- Marketing, communications and advertising.
- Digital solutions like setting up eCommerce or a business website
- Updating your online communications with improvements to your website’s seo setup.
- Getting your Google My Business profile optimised for online search.
- Updating your website to have new content, photography & information for Customers.
- Fit-out changes and temporary physical changes like plastic barriers.
- Staff training and counselling.
- Business advice like creating a new marketing strategy.
- Continuity planning.
- Cleaning products and/or additional cleaning services.
- Additional equipment necessary to comply with social distancing or other public health measures.
This grant can only be used for purchases of eligible expense items that have been made from the 1st of July 2020, and where no other government support is available. The deadline for applications is 11:59pm Sunday 16 August 2020
2. Who is eligible for the Small Business recovery grant?
Small businesses turning over $75,000 are eligible if they meet certain criteria.
To be eligible for the small business recovery grant as at the 1st March 2020 you must;
- Be a small business or a not-for-profit organisation based in NSW.
- Have an ABN registered in NSW
- Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000
- Employ less than 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff (non-employing businesses can apply)
- Be able to report a payroll below the NSW 2019-2020 payroll tax threshold of $900,000
- Be in an industry that has been highly impacted by COVID-19 as identified by Public Health
- Have experienced at least 30% decline in turnover from March to July 2020 compared to the equivalent period (of at least 2 weeks) in 2019
- Have costs associated with safely reopening or up-scaling your business from 1 July 2020
For businesses that may have received the previous small business support grant of up to $10,000 they may also be eligible to apply. The NSW Government has provided Small Business Recovery Grant Guidelines
3. How do you apply for the Small Business Recovery Grant?
Service NSW is now processing applications for the Small Business Recovery Grant online.
You can apply online via Service NSW to secure access to the Small Business Recovery Grant or if you are unable to apply online you need to call 13 77 88.
You have to have all your documentation ready & and ready to upload to Service NSW as you can’t save and resume your application once it has been started. You can only submit one application for a small business recovery grant of up to $3000 per business. After they have received it, Service NSW will review it and if it is approved, payment will be transferred within 5–10 business days to your nominated bank account from the date of approval.
4. Are there other grants available for small businesses?
The NSW Government has a range of initiatives available for small businesses.
A lot of small business owners in NSW don’t realise how many different grants and loans are available from the Government to assist them. At the moment there is help for cash flow, exporting, loan guarantees and even financial counselling. The information is updated regularly on the NSW Government website
5. What should a small business spend their grant money?
Prioritising your spend should be determined using clear goals in mind.
Every small business owner will have different pressures, challenges and goals they want to achieve. So for many the grant funding will go to covering the absolute basics to start trading again.
What business priorities have been set?
For a lot of business owners it may make sense to take a step back and look at where or how their business is positioned now & for the medium to long term. So for example spending the funds on running location advertising could be a very short term fix, although if you already have an eMail database, strong social media & regular contacts with your Customers then you may not even need to spend money in that area.
Online search can identify business opportunities.
Right now online search has gone through the roof with Consumers searching online for services, products, information and even inspiration to improve their home, update their resume, find training and more.
What this represents is an opportunity for businesses in those areas to make sure they are doing everything possible to be found online right now for the things people want. In some cases that could also open opportunities to diversify or offer new things that leverages your existing brand reputation.
So for example if you own a camping, caravan business or have property that can take those types of accomodation it is one of the biggest things people are finding out about right now. If you start extrapolating the idea;
– Insurance for Caravans
– Items that can be used to update a Caravan
– Essential items for using a Caravan
– Driver Training for Caravans
the list goes on with ideas that can be developed from looking at current search behaviours. The small business grant funds can be used for marketing, communications and advertising or digital solutions (for example, e-commerce or a business website update.
Establish whether your business website generates traffic
We wrote about 5 things every business owner should know about their website a while ago and in the last 12 months we have worked with lots of small businesses who didn’t really understand if their website was working well or not, was it ranking for relevant keywords or who their online competitors are vs their physical competitors.
We can help conduct a Website Audit to give you the information you need to help fuel decision making.
Revitalise your online business profiles to make sure they are clear & unique?
Putting a few headings and text on a website isn’t enough to achieve strong Google rankings. On top of that it may not actually convert visitors to actual leads or customers if the information about your brand, business & what it can offer is convincing.
So for example;
- Do you provide any information about how your product or service can actually solve common problems people are searching for?
- Do you have a clearly defined unique selling proposition that is communicated well?
- Will people feel comfortable about who they are buying from with strong reviews?
a few words that say the same things as hundreds of other websites won’t help you win the battle and this is where solid marketing management can come into play.
Understand the steps required to improve your online brand profiles?
Take a look at some of our Small Business Marketing Case Studies where we have helped businesses transform their sales results by taking a look at their online profile, analysing their data, then making changes to improve who and how they are found online.
Spending your small business grant funding wisely can help your business medium to long term rather than just be a short term injection.