If you think it’s time to upgrade your business equipment, you should definitely find out whether or not you are eligible for a government subsidy.
It’s a dilemma many business owners have experienced – do you or do you not shell out on buying equipment? You want to expand your business, but sometimes the economies of scale just don’t add up.
Replacing that computer or replacing your kiln, or any other piece of equipment just doesn’t make financial sense.
You would break the bank and have to take big risks, hoping that your business will pick up and be able to offset the expense of buying equipment in the longer run. Or you could check to see if your business is eligible for a subsidy.
How to find a government subsidy to buy new equipment
One of the best uses for government grants is those set out specifically for buying equipment. There are currently over 460 grants with total funding of around $35 million, so you can bet that there will be one that will suit your business needs.
Grants can be huge or they can be small, depending on what economic opportunities the government sees in issuing them.
Qantas is an example of a company that took advantage of a huge grant of $18 million to buy equipment, creating over 450 jobs on a heavy aircraft maintenance project in Brisbane.
On the opposite end of the scale, Nerds R Us, an IT company also based in Queensland benefitted from a small $610 grant to purchase specialised office equipment.
Which is the right subsidy?
The Australian Government does not currently offer a nationwide grant search system for purchasing of equipment. The grants are issued on a state by state and territory basis as industry-specific specific and denomination specific, such as religious schools etc.
The Department of Industry Innovation and Science lists all its grant list categories on the business.gov.au grants landing page. Once there, you can navigate to the relevant section (purchasing equipment) which will take you to a list of available grants, which you can find here.
You can refine your search to industry or geographical location criteria, but the only surefire way to find potential grants is to manually search through them. You are provided with checklists and phone numbers to call on to see if your business is, in fact, eligible and you are also provided with links to directly apply for the grant from the same web page.
In the next section of this blog post, we pick out some of the best and most practical grants for buying equipment.
Subsidy examples for buying equipment
Innovative Connections – New South Wales
You can apply for an Innovation Connections Grant to undertake a research project that addresses the recommendations made in a Facilitation Report.
Research projects must be in collaboration with a Publicly Funded Research Organisation (PFRO) and should develop a new idea with commercial potential. Your Innovation Facilitator will help you decide which three available grants will suit your business needs:
- Researcher Placement – placing a researcher in your business (up to a maximum of $50,000)
- Business Researcher Placement – placing a researcher from your business into a PFRO (up to a maximum of $50,000)
- Graduate Placement – employing a graduate or post-graduate with a relevant degree into your business to work on a specific Innovation Connections project (up to a maximum of $30,000).
Business Growth Fund Program – Queensland
The Business Growth Fund Program provides targeted assistance for small and medium businesses on a growth trajectory to help them purchase specialised equipment or services which enables them to seize a growth opportunity.
Funding may be used for purchasing specialised equipment and services, including (but not limited to):
- production equipment
- advanced digital equipment such as 3D printers, scientific equipment or medical devices
- advanced logistics systems and equipment
- engage mentors, coaches, consultants or advisors
- intellectual property advice
- feasibility studies
- engage an advisory board
Funding of up to $50,000 (excluding GST) is available and must be met by a co-contribution of between 25 and 50% of the total project cost.
Energy Saver Incentive – Victoria
The Energy Saver Incentive applies to a number of energy-saving products such as lights, shower heads, heating, cooling, hose nozzles, as well as information on how to save energy on other appliances such as televisions, washing machines, refrigeration.
The energy-saving products and services must be purchased from or installed by a participating business. The scheme will operate until the end of 2029.
The Energy Saver Incentive offers applicants discounts and special deals on energy-saving products and appliances.
Applicants must purchase specified energy-saving products and services from participating businesses to receive a discount or special deal.