City of Melbourne releases funds for grants

27 March, 2020 by Andy Young

Financial support totalling $5million has been released by the City of Melbourne to help small to medium sized businesses affected by COVID-19 to invest in online and e-commerce capabilities, take part in training and professional development and undertake capital works.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the grants would enable businesses to adapt quickly to COVID-19 retailing and offer products online, provide services virtually and offer take-away and delivery of goods.

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“We know businesses and organisations in the City of Melbourne are going through a difficult time and are looking at innovative ways to adapt to the changing circumstances and keep their businesses running,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Businesses and organisations need investment to be able to change the way they operate, and these grants will offer a cash injection to help them make swift changes and keep operating in this rapidly changing environment.

“These grants provide financial assistance so organisations can quickly adapt to offering products online, providing services virtually or offering take-away and delivery.”

Chair of the Small Business, Retail and Hospitality portfolio, Councillor Susan Riley said the grants would be assessed as they’re received so individual businesses can move quickly to make changes, keep services running and keep people in jobs.

“The entrepreneurial spirit of Melbourne’s 16,500 small businesses is alive and well, and we are determined to do what we can to help businesses and organisations during these unprecedented circumstances,” Cr Riley said.

Approximately 200 capital works projects will be matched dollar-for-dollar for up to $10,000 to help businesses invest in new equipment, IT and vehicles or upgrade shop fittings.

Up to $5000 also is available for 400 businesses investing in online and e-commerce activities such as purchasing hardware and software, developing website and ecommerce, creating online content, online and e-commerce training, and digital marketing.

Additionally up to $2000 is available for training and professional development for 500 organisations to equip staff with new and enhanced skills to prepare for changing conditions or recovery.

The City of Melbourne also endorsed $2m in financial assistance for artists or small organisations to develop new work, or for digital presentation of artistic works and performances.

Eligible businesses and organisations can apply for grants from 9am on Thursday 26 March online via melbourne.smartygrants.com.au.