Financial boost available for local businesses

01 February 2022

Small businesses in Ipswich can now apply for grants of up to $1,500 to help with growth and development, thanks to a new $150,000 program launched this week by Ipswich City Council.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the Small Business Resilience and Growth Program was another example council’s commitment to being Queensland’s first Small Business Friendly Council.

“Small businesses are the heart of the Ipswich economy, making up over 95 percent of the total businesses registered, and the past couple of years have required them to be nimble and tough to endure an increasingly challenging environment,” Mayor Harding said.

“The Small Business Resilience and Growth program is a way council can assist businesses make operational changes or pivots that will allow them to develop and strengthen their revenue streams.

“It builds on a range of support programs that Council has introduced, including a Buy Ipswich policy and publishing our forward procurement program, which opens the order book for local small businesses and locally-based suppliers to tender for Council projects.”

Under the program, small businesses can apply for one of three options;

  1. Reinvigorate - Up to $1,000 (excluding GST) to upgrade or update your business through physical changes, new signage or additional furniture
  2. Go Digital - Up to $1,000 (excluding GST) to discover new customers and grow your revenue by increasing your online footprint through a digital shop front or new marketing material
  3. Business Owner Development - Up to $1,500 (excluding GST) of matched dollar for dollar funding for business owners’ to invest in their leadership skills via a 12-week small business owner accelerator course.

Councillor Nicole Jonic, Economic and Industry Development Committee Chair, said that every small business could benefit from at least one of the options offered through this program.

“As an Accountant supporting many local businesses, I see firsthand the struggles they are facing on a daily basis. It is tough, and while I know we are a resilient community, anything council can do to aide in strengthening and growing our small businesses is vital.

“Reducing red tape for businesses is one of the areas we are working on in council, so the application for this program has been made simple and easy”, Cr Jonic said.

“I know small businesses are already burdened by a lot of compliance and paperwork, that’s why council has limited questions and put word limits on the responses, so no professional services or external consultants have to be engaged for the purpose of the application.

“This is an example of council delivering on its strategic plan and honouring commitments to the community by further cementing Ipswich as an attractive place to operate and grow a business.”

The Small Business Resilience and Growth Program is a first in, best-dressed program.

Applications close Tuesday 31 May 2022, interested businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as funding may well be exhausted before this date.