Applications now open for funding to help small business pursue digital opportunities

digital world

Specialist advisers can now apply for grants from the Federal Government to help small business employers in metropolitan and regional areas take advantage of digital opportunities.

As part of its Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) program, the Federal Government will invest up to $18.02million over three years on the provision of low cost, high quality digital advisory services for small businesses, available from 2 July this year. It was announced, last month, that the program was being overhauled to focus on helping small businesses get online and reach new markets through digital platforms

According to Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy, services provided under the revised ASBAS program would help employers to adapt to – and capitalise on new opportunities available in – an ‘evolving digital world’

“Under this initiative, small business owners will have access to specialist advisers who can help fast-track their online capability,” he said. “They will receive training, expert advice and the targeted support they need to help boost their business online.”

“It’s not easy to run a business and find the time to get across the technical nature of online services. These digital solutions will offer employers guidance and support to become more digitally savvy and help expand their businesses to new markets.

Commenting on the ASBAS program’s new focus on digital advisory services, Minister Laundy said the Government is committed to supporting small business to innovate, provide new services and create jobs.

“The Government recognises the importance the small business sector plays in supporting over 5.6 million jobs and generating and sustaining growth and delivering prosperity for all Australians,” he said. We are committed to creating an environment where every small business can reach their potential.”

Through the program, small businesses will be able to engage with specialist advisers in various ways including face-to-face meetings and workshops, phone calls, online video calls, webchats and interactive webinars.

Applications for ASBAS grants are now open and applicants will be required to demonstrate they can provide services relating to one or more of the following priority areas:

  • websites and selling online,
  • social media and digital marketing,
  • using small business software, and
  • online security and data privacy.

Applications for ASBAS grants close on 6 March 2018. For more information and to apply visit: www.business.gov.au/asbas