Business Boost Grants Program

Stage 2 Full applications are now closed

Stage 2: Full application has closed and is now under assessment. Late submissions will not be accepted.

New applications are no longer being accepted.

Program key details
Eligible business size Small businesses with 2–19 employees (by headcount)

Status

Final stage: Registered accountant's letter

Opening date

Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI) opened 9am, 6 September 2023

Stage 2: Full application opened 9am, 20 September 2023 (open to shortlisted ROI applicants only)

Final stage: Registered accountant's letter opened 10am, 22 January 2024 (open to successful Stage 2 applicants only).

Closing date

Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI) closed 5pm, 12 September 2023

Stage 2: Full application closed 5pm, 17 October 2023

Final stage: Registered accountant's letter closes 5pm, 9 February 2024 (updated)

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)
Suppliers Maximum of 2 suppliers. DESBT may prioritise applications with supplier quotes from Queensland-based Australian companies
Project length 12 months
Payment On acquittal after project completion (12 months)
Key documents

Round 3 documents and information:

Grant rounds

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

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) on completing your proposed project.

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

Grant funding is paid within 12 months after completion of the project and only after fulfilling the acquittal requirements.

We will not fund projects with:

  • 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).

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).

Co-contribution calculator

Enter your total project or activity cost into the calculator to determine your co-contribution amount.


Projects with a total cost less than $20,000 (excluding GST) will not be funded.


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 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:

  • activities bought using crypto-currencies, cash, barter, or services in-kind
  • activities purchased 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, marketing/advertising activities)
  • goods, services, or fees from related parties*
  • GST, registration, and fees
  • maintenance of existing digital technologies
  • marketing, advertising or campaign delivery costs (e.g. Google AdWords, Facebook advertising or similar expenses)
  • memberships, subscriptions and joining fees
  • non-specialised software and licences (e.g. Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Apple iWork)
  • 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
  • website hosting.

*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:

  • have between 2 and 19 employees (by headcount)
  • have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST*
  • have Queensland headquarters*
  • be established and financially sound, experiencing growth and with a minimum turnover of $300,000 in the last financial year (2022–23)
  • have a publicly accessible web presence to identify business operations (e.g. business website and/or social media pages)
  • not have been approved for funding under Round 1 or 2 of the Business Boost grant program
  • not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.

*Your business must maintain this eligibility for the duration of the grant-funded activity.

Application process

The application process includes 3 stages. Applying is free via the DESBT SmartyGrants portal when the grant round opens.

Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI) – closed

  • Opened for ROI applications at 9am, 6 September 2023.
  • Closed for ROI applications at 5pm, 12 September 2023.

Stage 2: Full application – closed

  • Opened for Full applications at 9am, 20 September 2023.
  • Closed for Full applications at 5pm, 17 October 2023 (extended).

Final stage: Registered accountant's letter

  • Opened 10am, 22 January 2024 (open to successful Stage 2 applicants only).
  • Closes 5pm, 9 February 2024.

Round 3 of the Business Boost Grant Program was launched by DESBT on 26 August 2023, with supporting documents made available to the public.

This grant program is competitively assessed. Not all applications will be funded.

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

Detailed application process

Stage 1: Registration of interest (ROI) closed at 5pm, 12 September 2023

After Stage 1 closes, eligible ROIs enter 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.

Stage 2: Full application closed at 5pm, 17 October 2023.

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' 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. Acceptable evidence includes:
    • a copy of the applicant's Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) company statement listing a Queensland address in the 'principal place of business'
    • or
    • an accountant's letter confirming the business has changed to a Queensland main business location
  • 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. Acceptable evidence includes:
    • a copy of the applicant's ASIC company statement listing both entities
    • or
    • an accountant's letter confirming the 2 entities are operated by the same parties outlining the business relationship
  • provide a completed 100-points of identification check form for the nominated Responsible Person:
  • provide independent supplier quote(s) (not invoices or proposals; no more than 2) that provide comprehensive details of the project/activity that you be purchasing as part of the project. Supplier quotes must not be comparative quotes. Quotes must be a formal quote/proposal and include supplier details on the supplier's letterhead, including:
    • supplier name
    • ABN (if Australian)
    • contact details and website address
    • details of the project, description of services and outline of key activities and deliverables.

This grant program is competitively assessed. Not all applications will be funded.

Stage 1

Valid ROIs will be assessed through a ballot process with a select number of applications chosen for Stage 2.

Each valid ROI has an equal opportunity to be selected. The number of registrations selected will be sufficient to enable DESBT to undertake a competitive assessment process in Stage 2.

Stage 2

Businesses selected from the ballot process will be invited to complete a full application.

Applications are assessed for compliance against the eligibility criteria within these guidelines and their competitiveness against the assessment criteria.

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

  • increase turnover, profit, and employment
  • increase business confidence and skills
  • improve business resilience and survivability
  • demonstrate value for money.

Provide a letter from a registered accountant confirming your business's 2022–23 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
  • registration type held (list multiple, if applicable)
  • registration number and expiry.

Outcomes

We will notify all applicants of the outcome of their grant application after the ROI and at the final stage of the application process.

Funding agreement

Grant recipients enter into a funding agreement with DESBT to receive funding between $10,000 and $20,000 (excluding GST). Funding is paid on acquittal within 12 months of completion of the project.

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.

Complete your project

You must:

  • start your grant-funded activity within 3 months of entering into the funding agreement
  • complete your grant-funded activity within 12 months from the date of your approval letter
  • not pay for grant-funded activities before entering into the funding agreement with us
  • and
  • advise us of any proposed variations to your funding agreement. Read Review of decisions and variation for more information.

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.

Acquittal report, grant payment and survey

You must complete a:

  • 3-month project report to confirm your project has commenced and include details on the progress made
  • final acquittal report on completion of the project and requires the following:
    • details on the deliverables received
    • detail the project implementation and impact on the business, including the results and outcomes achieved through the project
    • and
    • evidence of deliverables and payments including supplier quotes, corresponding invoices, receipts, bank transactions and outputs to show the project activities were delivered.

Upon successful completion of the acquittal process, DESBT will pay the grant funds as described in the funding agreement.

In addition to acquitting the grant, you may also be subject to an audit.

DESBT may survey recipients within 6 months of completing the grant round.

How to apply

Stage 1: Registrations of interest (ROI) and Stage 2: Full application have both closed and applications are no longer being accepted.

Read the key documents and information:

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.