Business Boost Grants Program

Program key details
Eligible business size Small businesses with more than 1 and less than 20 employees (by headcount)

Status

Launch

Opening date

Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI) opens 9am, Monday 24 June 2024

Closing date

Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI) closes 5pm, Friday 5 July 2024

Application process

  • Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI)
  • Stage 2: Full application
  • Final stage: Registered accountant's letter

Grant type

Competitive – not all applications will be funded

Available funding $10,000–$20,000 (excluding GST)
Equal co-contribution Applicants contribute an equal amount to the funding requested from DESBT (that is at least 50% contribution)
SuppliersMaximum of 2 Australian suppliers
Project length 12 months
Payment Milestone 1: On completion of a compliant 3-month report – 50%
Milestone 2: On acquittal at project completion – 50%
Key documents

Round 4 documents and information:

Grant rounds

The Business Boost grants assists small businesses to enhance their efficiency and productivity.

Funded businesses are expected to:

  1. boost turnover, profit and employment
  2. increase business confidence and skills
  3. enhance the business's efficiency and productivity
  4. improve business resilience and survivability.

This support includes funded activities in 3 project areas:

  1. Future planning
  2. Specialised and automated software
  3. Planning and systems for staff management and development.

The program is administered by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT).

Available funding

You may be eligible to receive a grant payment between $10,000 and $20,000 (excluding GST). If successful, funding is paid in 2 milestone payments:

  • Milestone 1: On completion of a compliant 3-month report – 50%
  • Milestone 2: On acquittal at project completion – 50%

Successful applicants must equally co-contribute towards the total project cost.

We will not fund projects with:

  • a total cost of less than $20,000 (excluding GST)
  • or
  • payments made before submitting the Stage 2: Full Application (project must not have commenced substantially).

The table below shows the breakdown of total project costs and the co-contribution amounts.

MinimumMaximum

Total project costs (excluding GST)

$20,000$40,000*

Your contribution (at least 50% of total project costs)

$10,000 $20,000*
Grant funding (post project) $10,000 $20,000

*Your project can cost more than $40,000 but the maximum amount DESBT will contribute is $20,000 (excluding GST).

Eligible and non-eligible activities

Priority areaExample

1. Future planning

  • Strategic business planning for innovation and growth
  • Implementing a governance board to guide strategic planning
  • Identifying and capitalising on export opportunities while adhering to requirements
  • Compliance with industry regulations and standards, including sustainability
You commission a detailed, evidence-led business plan to evaluate strategies to diversify your business, such as exporting to new markets, with the aim of maximising returns, expanding operations and increasing business resilience

2. Specialised and automated software

Design and implementation of sophisticated cloud platforms, online management systems and/or applications including:

  • Artificial Intelligence systems (e.g. AI chatbots)
  • customer relationship management systems
  • cybersecurity and crime prevention software and tools
  • data warehouses
  • production systems
  • software integration (including specialised software subscriptions)
  • quality and compliance, and risk, management systems
You seek to implement an AI chatbot to enhance customer engagement, streamline processes, and provide 24/7 support.

3. Planning and systems for staff management and development

  • Strategic human resource management fostering skills development, robust recruitment strategies, and seamless onboarding for new personnel
  • Professional development through targeted transitional training and initiatives
  • Employee performance management frameworks and evaluation systems
Your business is experiencing growth but faces challenges in attracting staff, building new employee skills, and managing a growing workforce. You commission a 6-month human resources training program to enhance your business confidence and skills.

Refer to the grant guidelines for examples of eligible project activities.

We will not fund:

  • a total cost of less than $20,000 (excluding GST)
  • or
  • payments made before the approval date (you must be approved before you pay for grant-funded project activities).

Activities not funded:

  • good and services paid using crypto-currencies, cash, barter, or services in-kind
  • goods and services bought via direct selling (e.g. by party plan or network marketing)
  • computer hardware/gadgets (e.g. computer servers, PCs, tablets/iPads, mobile phones, point of sales systems, headphones)
  • delivery fees, credit card surcharges and international transaction fees
  • fleet vehicles
  • franchise fees
  • general business operating costs (e.g. bookkeeping/accounting, tax returns)
  • goods, services, or fees from related parties*
  • GST, registration, and fees
  • maintenance of existing digital technologies
  • marketing/advertising services of any kind
  • memberships, subscriptions and joining fees
  • non-specialised software and licences (e.g. Microsoft 365, Google Workspace)
  • outsourcing of recruitment services to employ staff
  • purchase of stock
  • real estate/property, hire, lease, or rental fees
  • salaries and wages
  • search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • travel and accommodation
  • website hosting
  • utilities (e.g. internet, phone, water and/or waste bills).

*We will not fund goods, services, or fees from related parties. Related parties include companies with common shareholdings or directors, as well as employees or immediate family members.

Eligibility criteria

Detailed eligibility criteria

To be eligible for this grant, your business must meet the following criteria at the time of application submission:

  • have more than 1 and less than 20 employees (by headcount)
  • be operating and have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered for GST
  • have a registered Queensland headquarters location(as per your Australian Business Register (ABR) record)
  • be established and financially sound
  • experiencing growth, with a gross profit in the 2023–24 financial year
  • have a turnover of $300,000 (minimum) in the 2023–24 financial year
  • have a publicly accessible web presence to identify business operations (e.g. business website, social media pages)
  • not have been approved for funding under earlier Business Boost rounds
  • not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.

*Headcount includes all full time, part-time and casual employees including non-executive directors.

Your business must maintain this eligibility for the duration of the grant-funded activity. Check your eligibility for the program.

The accountant's letter provided at the last stage of assessment (if invited) must state a gross profit for the business.

Application process

Applying is free via the DESBT SmartyGrants portal when the grant round opens.

Applicants will be notified at the end of each stage (ROI shortlisting and Full Application) of their outcome.

This grant program is competitively assessed in 2 stages, meaning not all applications will be funded:

  • Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI)
  • Stage 2: Full application

Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI) 

  • Opens for ROI applications at 9am, Monday 24 June 2024.
  • Closes for ROI applications at 5pm, Friday 5 July 2024.

Note: DESBT does not accept late submissions under any circumstances.

Detailed application process

In your ROI application, you are asked to:

  • confirm the business meets the eligibility criteria of the grant program
  • provide core business and contact information
  • provide Responsible Person demographic information.

Valid ROIs will be assessed through a ballot process with selected applicants invited to submit a full application as part of Stage 2. All eligible ROIs have an equal chance to advance to Stage 2.

Businesses that have not been selected for Stage 2 will be notified. For Stage 1 outcomes, all DESBT's decisions are final and not subject to review.

Selected applicants from Stage 1 will be invited to submit a full application via the DESBT SmartyGrants portal.

In addition to the information provided in your successful ROI, in the full application you will be asked to:

  • update core business and contact information
  • provide descriptions of your business's growth journey, your project, the expected outcomes of your project, including expected efficiency/productivity improvements
  • confirm the business's financial contribution
  • verify the main business location (if applicable) – if your Australian Business Register profile shows that your main business location is not in Queensland you will need to provide evidence of Queensland headquarters
  • verify the link between the trust and the business conducting the business activity (if applicable) – if you nominate an ABN of a trust in your application, you will need to provide evidence of the link between the trust entity and the business conducting the business activity entity
  • provide a completed 100-points of identification check form for the nominated Responsible Person:
  • provide independent Australian supplier quote(s) (no more than 2).

Refer to the application guidelines for comprehensive details on what is required at stage 2.

Stage 2: Full applications are assessed for compliance against the eligibility criteria within these guidelines and their competitiveness against the assessment criteria.

You must demonstrate the extent to which the grant funded activity will:

  • increase turnover, profit, and employment
  • increase business confidence and skills
  • enhance your business's efficiency and productivity
  • improve business resilience and survivability
  • demonstrate value for money.

If you have sufficiently passed assessment, you will be asked to provide an accountant's letter verifying the turnover, gross profit and headcount for your business in 2023–24.

Accountant letter

Provide a letter from a registered accountant confirming your business's 2023–24 turnover, gross profit and employee headcount. This letter serves as evidence of the financial and operational details of your business.

The accountant must not be a current employee of the business and must be registered with 1 of the following:

The letter must be on a company letterhead, dated and contain the:

  • accountant's business name and ABN
  • accountant's full name
  • qualification held (post-nominals)
  • registration number and expiry.

We will advise all applicants of the outcomes following each stage of the application process. We will endeavour to do this as promptly as possible, considering the volume of applications received.

Due to the grant program's comprehensive assessment, due diligence, and government approval process, applicants can typically expect to receive notification of their submission's outcome within a reasonable timeframe following the key application dates outlined on page 5 of the guidelines.

We will communicate all outcomes via email. Successful applicants from the final stage of assessment will receive a Funding Agreement Letter detailing the proposed funding agreement and inviting you to accept the funding terms.

Grant recipients enter into a funding agreement with DESBT to receive funding between $10,000 and $20,000 (excluding GST). Funding is paid in 2 instalments:

  1. Milestone 1: On completion and assessment of your 3-month report – 50%;
  2. Milestone 2: On acquittal and assessment at project completion at 12 months – 50%;

The funding agreement consists of:

  1. The Letter of Agreement
  2. Any other terms agreed in writing between the parties
  3. The Business Boost Grants Program terms and conditions
  4. The Business Boost Grants Program guidelines
  5. The application submitted by the applicant relating to the grant funded activity.

Recipients must complete their grant-funded activity within 12 months from the date of receiving their Funding Agreement Letter.

When you complete your project, you can apply to acquit your grant. DESBT will acquit the grant starting at 6 months (acquittal spaces will be issued in batches).

You must keep all application and eligibility evidence, supplier quotes, corresponding invoices, receipts and bank transactions for audit and acquittal purposes.

Note: If you vary your approved project in any way, you must inform DESBT immediately. Read more about making changes to your approved grant.

Grant recipients must complete a:

  • 3-month progress report - the report must include details of the progress you have made with your project, any issues you've experienced and answer some questions about the process so far. This report is mandatory to receive the Milestone 1 payment.
  • final acquittal report on completion of the project – the report must include details of the deliverables received, project implementation and impact on the business including the results and outcomes received. This report is mandatory to receive the Milestone 2 payment. An acquittal can be completed at a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months.

Refer to the application guidelines for a comprehensive overview of each stage of the application process.

Previous rounds - key documents

More information

View our small business grants schedule or to learn what other support you may be eligible for.

You can also subscribe to the Business Queensland Connect newsletter to keep up to date with the latest information for Queensland small businesses.

Contact us

For further information about the program email us at boost@desbt.qld.gov.au or contact the Small Business Hotline on 1300 654 687.

Check your eligibility

To be eligible for this grant, your business must meet the eligibility criteria and other conditions of the program.