Export grant open for small business

Businesses wishing to export now have an incentive to do so, in the form of the Export Marketing Development Grant (EMDG). This grant is a Federal Government program that aims to provide financial assistance to existing or aspiring exporters.

According to Austrade, the agency that administers the program, the grant reimburses up to 50 per cent of expenses incurred while promoting the firm's products to residents of other countries. The expenses need to be above $10,000 provided that total expenses come to at least $20,000, spread out over two years. Products must be made in Australia - goods made overseas must provide a "significant net benefit from the sale of those goods outside Australia" according to Austrade definitions.

Exporting businesses in a wide range of industries are eligible, including businesses involved in inbound tourism as well as the export of intellectual property and know-how outside Australia. In particular, small and medium enterprises are encouraged to develop markets outside Australia.

Businesses should also have a turnover of $50 million or less in the year they apply for the grant, and must have promoted either the export of goods and services, inbound tourism, export of intellectual property/know-how, or conferences and events based in Australia.

The term 'promotion' is fairly broad, and can include spending on one of the following:

  • Marketing consultants
  • Overseas marketing visits/representation
  • Free samples
  • Patents, trademarks, registrations
  • Trade fairs, seminars
  • In-store promotion 
  • Advertising
  • Overseas buyers' visits to Australia

Some common errors business owners make are failing to attach the required documents to their application, and not being able to back up claimed expenses with documentation. Businesses that apply for the grant in the name of the wrong entity, claim expenses for the wrong year, or failing to provide current details of overseas representatives will also be deemed ineligible.

The deadline for applications is 30 November 2012. For more information, visit the Austrade  website.

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