Ipswich businesses have less than two weeks to apply to Ipswich City Council’s Small Business Funding Program.
The $200,000 Small Business Funding Program – a measure in council’s 2020-21 Budget package – is part of a broader range of initiatives implemented by council to help businesses in need.
The program was designed based on local SME feedback and aimed at helping businesses get through the impacts of COVID-19.
The program guidelines set out a competitive funding process, providing a ‘quick response’ cash payment of up to $1,000 per eligible applicant. The businesses have until 14 August to apply for assistance.
New Economic and Industry Development Committee Chair Nicole Jonic said the program is different to other government funding and she provided an insight into the application process.
“We are expecting to see a high number of local businesses applying for help with their inventory costs,” Cr Jonic said.
“An example would be where a café owner has recently restocked shelfs after 1 March. Another example would be where a local cleaning business is needing to buy some cleaning products, that also may be a eligible funding area.
“Where your application spends money on another Ipswich business this will increase your chances of securing one of the 200 business funds that are available.
“Where a business can demonstrate they are spending the funding with another Ipswich business, a higher weighting is given to that application.”
This Small Business Funding Program, launched by Mayor Teresa Harding last month, is a competitive initiative open to for-profit small Ipswich-based businesses.
Funding can be for future expenses (provided these expenses are incurred and acquitted by the business before 11 October 2020) or for reimbursement on applicable items acquired by the business from 1 March 2020.
“The program is designed to support businesses that can demonstrate at least a 20 per cent loss in turnover,” said Cr Andrew Fechner, who is also a small business owner and operator in the CBD and Chair of the Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee.
“Most other grants only cut in when the loss was 30 per cent or more.
“We know cash flow is a major issue for so many small businesses right now, our funding is purposely designed to support eligible business costs, back to 1 March.
“Areas covered include professional services, inventory and memberships, making it easier to get reimbursed for costs that many businesses had to try and find the money to cover.’’
Inventory is only one of three of the eligible funding areas.
Council has been a strongly supporting other buy local programs like Ipswich Hospital Foundations local business program https://www.ihfoundation.org.au/business-reach-out/ and Shop My Town, Ipswich https://www.shopmytown.com.au/
To apply for the Small Business Funding Program read here
If you need help with your application or have any questions, email council’s Local Business and Investment team on email@example.com