The Northern Australia Development Program (NADP) is providing grants and an advisory service to enable businesses to grow and diversify in Northern Australian locations. The program opened on November 4 and will run over five years.
Joint applications are acceptable, provided they have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.
Melissa Fardone, BDO Director R&D and Grants, says this is a “good opportunity for SA businesses to take advantage of strong relationships with companies based in northern Australia.
“Joint applications can often be beneficial, particularly when all parties are bringing financial contributions and/or specialised skills sets to the table,” she says.
The objectives of the program are to:
- Create new jobs in Northern Australia and strengthen business capability and resilience;
- Support eligible small and medium businesses to scale up and diversify
- De-risk the higher costs of doing business in Northern Australia by providing co-investment grant funding
- Support a range of activities including infrastructure, assets, feasibility studies, business planning and marketing activities.
Fardone says the jobs growth objective is a particular focus of the program, which aligns well with any SA businesses that may be looking to expand into the region.
“If you are able to link any projects application to the overarching government policy around Northern Australia, it will also strengthen your application”, she says.
Two different grants are available through this program:
Business Development Grant
A grant between $50,000 and $2 million for small to medium enterprises (up to 199 employees). The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project expenditure (grant percentage), with a minimum of $100,000 in eligible expenditure required. An estimated funding pool of $40 million is available over three years from 2021-22.
Eligible projects must be aimed at:
- Scaling up or diversifying a small to medium business
- Have at least $100,000 in eligible expenditure.
Industry Transformation Grant
A grant between $3 million and $10 million for medium to large enterprises (greater than 20 employees). The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project expenditure, with a minimum of $6 million in eligible expenditure required. An estimated funding pool of $40 million is available over three years from 2021-22.
Eligible projects must be aimed at:
- Establishing a new industry or significantly growing the value of an existing industry and contribute to transformational change in a region
- Have at least $6 million in eligible expenditure.
Fardone says that capital expenditure (CapEx) grants are rare, so the program is a good opportunity for eligible businesses to take advantage of.
She adds that “the inclusion of feasibility studies as eligible activity opens the program up to a broader range of projects, and offers businesses the opportunity to get assistance with any remaining feasibility work and then future construction.”
For successful applicants, the grant will be paid in accordance with a grant agreement negotiated with the Commonwealth Government. A summary of specific eligibility criteria and targeted activities for each of the two grants can be found here.
Applications for Round 1 close on December 10 at 5pm (AEDT). Applications submitted after this date will be considered in future rounds, which open approximately every three months.
This article is based on one originally published on 4 November 2021 at bdo.com.au.
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