I wrote a post last week about the manufacturing forum I attended as part of the federal governments modern manufacturing strategy and making available $1.5 billion dollars in grants to eligible businesses.
Ask the majority of businesses that have ever applied for any grant, including the recent adaption grants, and the answer you’ll get from the majority is nothing! The fundamental problem with grants like this is the number of applications and eligibility, plus also the 3 to 1 spend with this grant in particular. Meaning if your eligible for (let’s say) $10,000, you have to put in $30,000 yourself, and under current market conditions, most SMEs probably don’t have that lying around.
The other part is this. Overwhelmingly you need a grant writer to write the application for you. Is it simply a matter of writing it the correct way, or don’t we have people in that particular department of the government to determine where the grants should go, with the best possible long term return.
On top of that, there are a number of additional key areas that need addressing.
1: Support locally owned businesses first. Far too many grants, tax breaks contracts and incentives are given to overseas owned without any real thought as to what the long term or short term consequences might be. Not to mention the effect on the genuine local business not getting that support.
2: Make it easy to identify and find local first. If it were possible to walk into a supermarket and be able to see what’s local without having to read all the small print on the back of the packet, it would change buying habits immediately. 85% of all beer sold in Australian is overseas owned, but most don’t know it. People need to know what’s local and what isn’t.
3: You have to care! If we don’t get the idea behind buying from locally owned businesses now, at some point in the future we may be even more reliant on overseas imports than we are now. During the height of lockdown, you couldn’t get hand sanitizer for love nor money. (Gin distilleries were making it, now give it away) but there were local producers, so why couldn’t you buy it at local supermarket chains?
To get locally owned business’s growing again takes change. The $1.5 billion dollar grant is a nice idea, but if everyone changed just 10% of there spending with local only, it could add an additional $25 billion into our local economy, that then gets spent back into the local economy with other businesses, employing more locals and paying taxes here that get spent in local infrastructure, not somewhere else.
The way to grow manufacturing in Australia isn’t about a grant that only a few businesses will be eligible for, it’s about supporting locally owned businesses by ensuring they are seen by potential buyers of whatever it is they make, sell or do, then support those businesses with real business growth skills.
LocalBusinessNow together with Mybusinessnow is all about supporting local business growth, by creating better awareness, making them easier to be found and creating skills in their teams that continue that growth.
If you’d like your business to be part of that, just click the link to list your business, it’s free. https://form.jotform.co/90707302203848
Support local business first
Think local, employ local, grow local.