Simple tips for navigating small business grants

Community grants can give your organisation a financial  advantage so you can achieve your goals sooner. They can support the redevelopment of your website, assist you to attend a business conference interstate or overseas, or make your workplace renovations a reality. Successfully being awarded a grant can make a huge impact.

For all the benefits a grant can bring, the process of preparing and submitting the application can be confusing and time-consuming.

Rhonwyn Learner, Business in Training, has shared her handy tips to help local business owners and community organisations step through some of the most common questions for finding, assessing and applying for grants.

“Winning a grant can literally save an organisation in some cases,” Rhonwyn says. “It can help take a business to their next stage of growth, be much needed oxygen after months of business interruption and represents an opportunity to skip a few months of sweat and tears getting to the next step.”

Know where to look

Rhonwyn says knowing where to look is the first step. She suggests keeping an eye on websites including:

“Connecting with a local Regional Development Australia (RDA) team or your local Council – like Council’s own business hotline 133BNE - is a good step to find assistance with grants.”

Register for Funding Finder

Council has partnered with GrantGuru to bring you the Funding Finder, making it easier for local community groups, not-for-profits and businesses to find the right funding to get ahead.

This is a free service allowing you to keep on top of all grants and funding opportunities available to you.

Simply register to Funding Finder to receive email alerts for new grants, save your favourite grants so that you never miss a deadline and access tips and tricks that can help you with your grant applications.

Be prepared

While she says that applying for grants is not as demanding as a tender, for example, there’s still some standard pieces of information you can have prepared in advance to make the process easier.

“Most organisations offering grants want to see you’re a stable business that will use the money soundly,” she explains. “Ensure your tax returns are up to date, have a clear and professional online presence and have clear documentation on how your project fits the grant guidelines.”

Allocate time

Rhonwyn says one of the most common challenges she sees business owners face when considering applying for grants is underestimating how long the paperwork will take to complete.

“Most business owners feel too busy to make the time to apply for a grant or feel like it isn’t worth the effort if they’ve been knocked back a few times,” she says.

And if time really isn’t available to get the grant written, finding an experienced grant writer to support you is always an option.

Rhonwyn also shares that business owners can help make their applications stronger by:

  • being clear when answering the grant application answers
  • completing all the steps and making sure all paperwork requested is included
  • meeting the deadlines set for the grant
  • asking why an application was not successful to help better prepare for future opportunities.

For more information on grant writing tips, small business marketing and support to start, run and grow your business in Brisbane drop in to our Suburban Business Hub at 16 Aspinall Street, Nundah or visit our Business in Brisbane page. 

This article was updated in February 2023.

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Topics: business

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