Accessing assistance through government grants

Written by: Kim Yabsley | July 29, 2019

How to gain your fair share

There’s no denying North Queenslanders have had their fair share of challenges over the years. 

Amid challenging economic times, the region was hit hard by the Monsoon Trough in early 2019, resulting in floods that destroyed homes and threatened businesses. Impacting the whole community in ways we are still discovering and recovering from. Trade ground to a halt with businesses unable to open for days or weeks on end, many of which have since gone AWOL while dealing with the impact or shut down completely. The widespread devastation to the vibrancy of our business community is a battle we are still fighting.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, our spirit is strong and help is at hand.

It’s the catch cry of many a great leader, that great growth comes from the greatest of challenges. Henry Ford defined failure as the opportunity to begin again. That’s the silver lining: who doesn’t love a good, clean slate right? 

Getting your business back on its feet is a tough gig, but securing support may not be as hard as you think. Re-energising your team, developing a new business strategy, identifying alternate income streams in a changing market – these are all necessary reflections for a healthy business in the modern marketplace. 

Certainly, these are important considerations for a robust business continuity plan. But that doesn’t make them achievable strategies in the hustle and bustle of business as usual. Yet with the help of government funding, you may now be able to get your hands on the resources to step back and consider opportunities that were previously unexplored for you.

Sometimes, the greatest challenges turn into the greatest opportunities. 

Given that many of those circumstances are out of our control, it makes sense to try and work out what support you can access to help get your business growing again.

The government has deep pockets and a way to help those with the will get back on their feet.

A new round of grants has recently been announced by the Queensland State Government, Department of Small Business (DSBT), including:

• The small business disaster recovery fund (to support resilience and repairs for flood affected regional businesses)

• The small business digital grants program (to support small business across QLD in the transition to the digital economy)

• The Queensland Rural and Industry development Authority (QRIDA) program remains open until August

And of course, there is a pool of federal funding available as well through the Department of Communities, Disability Services and seniors, Community Recovery Program.

But knowing who holds the purse strings is just the start. Preparing yourself and your business to receive and administer public funds can be a beast unto itself. All too often we see business who should be entitled, missing out on much needed funds for relatively simple reasons. Here’s our list of the pitfalls to avoid.

Top 5 reasons why businesses miss out on grant funding:

1. Inaction
You guessed it, we notice opportunities all the time but in the push and pull of daily life we often simply miss the deadline (and therefore the opportunity). Often, those who secure funds/ opportunities are simply those who show up on time.

2. Ineligibility
Businesses miss out on government grants commonly because they are ineligible (not in the right geographic area, not servicing the right clients or representing the right industries, not the right fit for the strategic intention of the funds for example). Don’t be discouraged. But do take a step back and ask yourself if your business is genuinely a fit for the funding on offer.

3. Misalignment
There are occasions where it is about the way the submission is structured. Grant submissions are a chance for you to tell you your story as relevant to the funding criteria and to provide a tailor made solution that is win-win (for your business and for the government’s criteria). 

4. Poor preparation
Half the battle with securing grant funding is making sure you are administratively prepared. Getting a grant is often as much about knowing how to structure your submission as it is about being eligible for the funds.

If at first the above seems like a lot of work, remember that the secret to securing support through government grants is not rocket science. 

Here my top tips for accessing assistance:

Preparation is key; get your evidence in order, be administratively smart and take the time to draft your application so that eligibility is obvious and easy approval is imminent for the reader.

The kind of people who can help you get back on your feet are the kind of people who are willing to invest their time and energy in your business long before pay day rolls around. Work with an experienced consultant (with a proven track record in writing successful submissions) and have them review your application before you hit submit.

Are you positioned to access funds to support your business recovery? Can you use this opportunity to thrive, rather than just survive the circumstances at hand? Let’s find out. 

For a free, no obligation consultation exploring government grants applicable for your business call 0410 445 994.


Columnist Kim Yabsley is an expert in change management and strategic review, using the Cultures of Excellence framework.
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