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Government Grants For Small Business: What Is Your Hospo Venue Eligible For?

Government Grants For Small Business: What Is Your Hospo Venue Eligible For?

Starting a business is a huge financial undertaking and operating at a profit, particularly in the first few years, can be a challenge. There are, however, lots of government-funded support initiatives available for hospitality businesses – both old and new.

If you’re planning to start a hospitality business, are in the process of opening a new venue or have been in the industry for years, the federal and state governments regularly create a range of assistance packages, grants and programs to encourage growth and boost employment.

There are hundreds of government grants available for businesses of all sizes and in all industries, so it can be tricky to cut through the noise and figure out which ones you’re eligible for.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of grants, programs and funding available for small businesses in the hospitality industry. 

Note: the information in this post was accurate at the time of posting, April 2021.

Government Grants For Hospitality Business

To make it easier to navigate to the grants you may be eligible for,  we’ve broken them down by states:

All grants and programs in this article are open to both new and existing small businesses.

Cafe owner using POS

National grants

These grants and programs are available to eligible businesses operating throughout Australia.

New Business Assistance with NEIS

Overview

This program provides support to people who are interested in starting their own business or who need help to refocus an existing micro-business impacted by COVID-19. Successful applicants will receive personalised support and accredited training to help them start a small business. 

Eligibility

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for New Business Assistance:

  • Over the age of 18 and legally authorized to work in Australia 
  • Not on an overseas visitor visa, working holiday visa or student visa
  • Available to participate in NEIS training if required
  • Have not participated in NEIS in the past year
  • Not an undischarged bankrupt

How to apply

To find out more about applying please contact your local NEIS provider. You can also contact your local jobactive, ParentsNext or Disability Employment Services provider who will be able to provide more information about this initiative. 

$150,000 Instant Asset Write-Off

Overview

The $150,000 Instant Asset Write-Off provides businesses with an asset write-off. Assets must cost less than the instant asset write-off threshold and be purchased and used in the year that the write-off is claimed.

Eligibility

Australian businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million.

How to apply

There is no application required as the write-off is applied when you lodge your tax for the relevant year.

Business Energy Advice Program

Overview

The Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP) gives advice to small businesses to help them get better energy deals and reduce their energy usage. Business owners will receive a free personalised energy consultation and access to a Small Business Energy Check tool. The program also lets you:

  • Understand your energy-saving opportunities
  • Choose the best energy plan for your business
  • Receive tailored advice on energy efficiency opportunities best suited to your industry

Eligibility

Australian businesses with 6-20 employees.

How to apply

You can register at the Business Energy Advice Program website or call 1300 415 224.

Youth Jobs PaTH

Overview

Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare – Trial – Hire) provides assistance and funding (up to $10,000) to trial a young person aged between 17 – 24 to find out if they’re the right fit for your business. If the trial is a success and you hire the young person, you may be eligible for further funding.

Eligibility

All Australian businesses can apply. To be eligible, your business must have a reasonable prospect of employment for the young person following the trial period. For example, you must have a vacancy that needs filling or you have a regular pattern of recruitment.  

Your business cannot displace existing workers or reduce an existing employee’s hours of work to make way for a trial candidate.

How to apply

To apply and advertise your job trial please register on the jobactive website.

Wage Subsidies

Overview

Wage subsidies provide Australian businesses with financial incentives (up to $10,000) to hire and retain eligible job seekers in ongoing and sustainable positions.

Eligibility

You must meet all the following criteria

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Hire an eligible jobseeker for an ongoing position
  • Not be an Australian, state or territory government Agency
  • Not have previously received a wage subsidy for the same person
  • Offer a job that is expected to be ongoing and for an average of 20 hours per week over the 6 months of the wage subsidy agreement
  • Offer a job that complies with employment standards for the position – for example, is suitable work and pays as a minimum the national award wage

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Wage Subsidies.

Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program

Overview

The Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program provides a range of financial incentives to Australian employers to offer apprenticeship opportunities. The incentive payments are based on a skills shortage list of trades as well as a set of high priority occupations.

The incentive payments to employers are based on the apprenticeship certificate level completed. The majority of incentive payments are one-off and paid annually at the end of the year. Payments range from $750 to $4,000, depending on the incentive. Payments to offer apprenticeship opportunities to apprentices with a disability are paid weekly.

Eligibility

Must be an Australian business who employs an Australian apprentice at Certificate II, III, IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma level and has a training contract with your apprentice.

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program.

Simplified Trading Stock Rules

Overview

Simplified Trading Stock Rules lets eligible small businesses use simplified trading stock rules at the end of financial year stocktake. If there is a difference of $5,000 or less between the value of your stock on hand at the start of the income year and a reasonable estimate of the value of your stock on hand at the end of that year you may use this rule.

The $5,000 threshold applies to both increases and decreases in the value of stock. Under the rules, you don’t have to do a stocktake at the end of the income year and you don’t have to account for any changes in the value of your trading stock.

Eligibility

Australian small businesses recognised by the ATO.

How to apply

There is no application process, if you meet the requirements then you can choose this option during your end of financial year stocktake.

Bar owner using Lightspeed POS

New South Wales

These grants and programs are available to eligible businesses operating in New South Wales (NSW) to help businesses grow and develop with financial assistance and professional advice.

Women in Business New South Wales

Overview

Women in Business provides women living or working in NSW with access to a fully subsidised online program to help them establish a new small business or consolidate an existing small business. This online program offers:

  • 24/7 online access to topics that can be mixed and matched to suit your needs
  • Insights from Australia’s leading female entrepreneurs
  • Access to small business events
  • Other resources and services

Eligibility

Women in NSW wanting to start, or who are already operating a small business and meet the following criteria:

  • Age 18 years or over and identify as female
  • Live and work in NSW 
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen
  • Be establishing or own a business registered in NSW with a ABN and between 0 – 199 employees

How to apply

If you meet the above eligibility criteria, you can register for the program here.

Lighting for Small Business NSW Subsidy

Overview

Lighting for Small Business NSW provides small businesses with a subsidy to help with the costs of buying and installing energy-efficient lighting. Subsidies are offered for the cost and installation of the new LED bulbs.

Eligibility

Must be a small business in NSW and be on a small business tariff with your energy retailer.

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Lighting for Small Business.

Apprentices and Trainees Payroll Tax Rebate NSW

Overview

NSW businesses that employ apprentices and new entrant trainees are entitled to a payroll tax. The rebate can be claimed monthly or annually as part of the monthly returns and annual reconciliation.

Eligibility

Must be a business operating in NSW and employ an apprentice or new entrant trainee as defined in the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Act 2001.

The rebate only applies to a trainee who has been continuously employed by the employer for no more than 3 months full-time or 12 months casual or part-time immediately prior to commencing employment as a trainee.

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Apprentice and Trainee Rebates.

Small Business Rebate NSW

Overview

The Small Business Rebate provides small business owners with a rebate when they buy and install safety items to address safety risks in their business. Businesses can get a rebate of up to $500.

Eligibility

Must be a sole trader or small business in NSW with less than 50 full time or equivalent employees. You must also meet the following criteria:

  • Have attended an eligible free SafeWork NSW safety workshop, webinar, event or had an advisory visit from a SafeWork NSW officer
  • Buy and install eligible safety equipment in your workplace
  • Be conducting a commercial business producing goods or providing services in NSW
  • Have not previously received a small business rebate from SafeWork or WorkCover NSW.

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Small Business Rebates.

Commercial Refrigerator Rebates NSW

Overview

Eligible NSW small businesses can receive a rebate (between $120 and $1,490) when they purchase or lease a new, eligible, plug-in commercial fridge or freezer.

Eligibility

You must be a small business producing goods and/or services in NSW, have an Australian business number (ABN) and be registered for GST. You must also meet the following criteria:

  • Be an actively trading business employing 50 or fewer full-time employees (or equivalent) and/or be a business with less than $10 million annual turnover
  • Not be insolvent
  • Have purchased/leased an eligible fridge or freezer between 9 September 2019 and 30 September 2021 

How to apply

You can find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Commercial Refrigerator Rebates.

Northern Territory

These grants and programs focus on supporting small businesses in the Northern Territory (NT) to grow and develop with financial assistance and professional advice.

Aboriginal Business Development Program

Overview

The Aboriginal Business Development Program provides Aboriginal people in the NT with funding (up to $30,000) to help them start a business or expand an existing business. Successful applicants will also receive one-on-one support from a small business champion.

Eligibility

You must be a resident of the NT and meet the following criteria:

  • Have a business or proposed business that is at least 50% Aboriginal owned and operated
  • Have a business or proposed business that is based and registered in the NT
  • Be able to demonstrate commitment, where appropriate, from land councils
  • Make any required financial contributions and prove you can make them

How to apply

To find out if you are eligible and how to apply you must first speak to a Small Business Champion who will assess your eligibility.

Business Growth Program Northern Territory

Overview

The Business Growth Program provides businesses and start-ups in the NT with funding to help them with:

  • Planning and performance
  • Profitability
  • Employment
  • Information and digital technology
  • Tendering
  • Integrated management systems
  • Market penetration

Eligibility

NT businesses, Aboriginal enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.

How to apply

To find out if you are eligible and how to apply you must first talk to a Small Business Champion who will assess your eligibility.

Aboriginal Workforce Grants NT

Overview

Aboriginal Workforce Grants provide funding for NT businesses or organisations for projects that support the employment of Aboriginal people.

Eligibility

Northern Territory businesses and organisations.

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Aboriginal Workforce Grants.

Small Business JobMaker Booster NT

Overview

This program provides eligible NT small businesses with $100 per week for eligible employees between the ages of 30-35 and $200 a week for employees over the age of 35.

Eligibility

You must be a Northern Territory small businesses and meet the following criteria:

  • Have a turnover of less than $10 million
  • Hold a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Meet the Australian Government’s JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme criteria

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Small Business JobMaker Booster.

cafe owner applying for government grants

Queensland

The following grants and programs aim to support small businesses in Queensland (QLD) to grow and develop through funding and professional advice.

Apprentice and trainee rebate for payroll tax QLD

Overview

The apprentice and trainee rebate for payroll tax provides QLD employers with a payroll tax rebate on wages paid to eligible apprentices and trainees.

Eligibility

You must be a business operating in QLD, pay payroll tax in QLD, employ apprentices and/or trainees and be exempt from paying payroll tax for your apprentice and trainee wages.

How to apply

There is no application required. The rebate is calculated automatically when you enter your apprentice and trainee wages and lodge a return in OSR Online.

Free Apprenticeships for Under 21s QLD

Overview

Free Apprenticeships for Under 21s provide businesses with free qualification training for apprentices or trainees, making it easier for employers to hire apprentices or to up-skill an existing employee.

Eligibility

Must be a business operating in QLD and employing a new or existing apprentice or trainee, aged under 21, in a priority qualification, including the following eligible hospitality qualifications:

  • Certificate III in Baking – Apprenticeship
  • Certificate III in Bread Baking – Apprenticeship
  • Certificate III in Cake and Pastry – Apprenticeship
  • Certificate III in Catering Operations – Apprenticeship
  • Certificate III in Commercial Cookery – Apprenticeship

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Free Apprenticeships for Under 21s.

Work Start Incentives QLD

Overview

Work Start Incentives provides employers in QLD with an incentive payment if they employ an eligible trainee or apprentice. The trainee or apprentice must have previously participated in a Skilling Queenslanders for Work program. A one-off incentive of $10,000 is available capped at a maximum of five Work Start incentive payments each financial year.

Eligibility

You must be a business operating in QLD and:

  • Be an eligible private-sector employer (includes group training organisations and non-government organisations)
  • Employ an eligible trainee or apprentice from 1 July 2020

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply at Work Start Incentives.

South Australia

The following programs and grants for small business aim to support eligible businesses in South Australia (SA) to grow and develop through funding and professional advice.

Skilling South Australia

Overview

Skilling South Australia provides several initiatives so businesses can access extra support to continue skills training their apprentices through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility

South Australian businesses that employ apprentices or trainees.

How to apply

You can find out more about how to apply and eligibility at Skilling South Australia.

Tasmania

These initiatives and grants for small business aim to support small businesses in Tasmania (TAS) to grow and develop through funding and rebates.

Apprentice and Trainee Grant for Small Business TAS

Overview

The Apprentice and Trainee Grant for Small Business provides small businesses with a subsidy for each trainee or apprentice they employ as a new worker from 1 January 2021. 

  • Subsidies of up to $5,000 are provided for each apprentice or trainee employed on a full-time basis
  • Subsidies of up to $2,500 are provided for each apprentice or trainee employed on a part-time basis.

Eligibility

You must be a business operating in TAS and meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered on the Australian business register (ABR)
  • Not be liable to pay payroll tax to the Commissioner of State Revenue for the individual apprentice or trainee at the time the application is lodged
  • Employ the apprentice or trainee in a workplace physically located in Tasmania

How to apply

Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Apprentice and Trainee Grant for Small Business.

Apprentices and Trainees Payroll Tax Rebate TAS

Overview

The Apprentices and Trainees Payroll Tax Rebate provides employers with a payroll tax rebate on wages paid to eligible apprentices and trainees. Rebates will be available for 2 years from the date an apprentice and/or trainee’s contract comes into effect.

Eligibility

You must be a business operating in TAS and meet the following criteria:

  • Have lodged your employees returns and paid their payroll tax by the due date to be eligible for the rebate for the same period
  • Be employing an apprentice or trainee as defined under the Training and Workforce Development Act 2013
  • Comply with all legislative requirements of the Payroll Tax Act 2008 and the Payroll Tax Rebate (Apprentices, Trainees and Youth Employees) Act 2017

How to apply

You can find out more about eligibility and how to apply at Apprentices and Trainees Payroll Tax Rebate.

government grants for small business

Victoria

The following grants and programs aim to support small businesses in Victoria (VIC) to grow and develop through funding and professional advice.

Small Business Bus

Overview

The Small Business Bus visits Melbourne and regional Victoria offering professional assistance and expert advice from an experienced business mentor.

Eligibility

Anyone interested in starting or growing a small business in Victoria.

How to apply

For a full list of locations and to book please visit the Business Victoria website.

Working for Victoria Fund

Overview

The Working for Victoria Fund helps businesses who are looking for staff find appropriately skilled unemployed Victorians. This initiative set up by the Victorian government helps people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 find new work opportunities and businesses to find employees with relevant skills and experience.

Eligibility

Must be a business or not-for-profit operating in VIC.

How to apply

Businesses need to register their details and requirements online and will be contacted and assisted to post jobs on the Working for Victoria site.

Western Australia

The following initiatives aim to support small businesses in Western Australia (WA) to grow and develop through rebates.

Indigenous Wages Rebate WA

Overview

The Indigenous Wages Rebate provides businesses with a payroll tax rebate when they hire new Indigenous employees.

Eligibility

You must be a WA small to medium size business and meet the following criteria:

  • Employ an eligible employee for whole or part of the year
  • Meet the threshold requirements in subsection 7(2) of the Pay-roll Tax (Indigenous Wages) Rebate Act 2012
  • Submit all returns and information, including Australian taxable wage details if applicable, required to perform the annual reconciliation by no later than 31 December following the end of the assessment year
  • Be receiving a Commonwealth Indigenous Wage Subsidy for your eligible employee

To qualify for this rebate, both the employer and the indigenous employee must be eligible.

How to apply

For more information on eligibility and how to apply please visit Indigenous Wages Rebate.

Government Grants For Small Business in Hospitality

Starting and running a hospitality business is a costly undertaking, particularly at the beginning. All of the grants and programs included in this article aim to help small businesses succeed through funding, training, employment and operating initiatives.

The federal and state governments regularly create new programs and grants for small businesses. New initiatives are launched throughout the year, depending on certain factors like employment rates and economic stability, therefore this list may not cover everything that your hospitality business is eligible for. To stay up to date with the most recent support available for your business, please refer to your state government website.  

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