Friday, February 23, 2024

City of Sydney launches business grants program

City of Sydney Council is offering grants of up to $50,000 to business sector groups for projects that increase the capacity and capability of local businesses.

The Council says it has revised its grants program to specifically target not-for-profits, local business chambers, industry, sector and precinct-based associations and member organisations with an economic focus.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore said the new business sector support grants program aims to attract a wider range of projects.

“Since we first launched our business support grants in 2017, we have supported 245 projects with more than $4.7 million in funding,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Now we’re broadening the scope of our program, with a stronger focus on innovation, technology, diversity and precinct marketing.

“The great thing about these grants is we won’t just be supporting one off events or programs, we’ll be bringing local businesses together to build the relationships and skills necessary to deliver community benefit repeatedly, well into the future.

“These new grants will help us build a local economy with a diverse range of sectors and business types, and I can’t wait to see what new projects lie ahead.”

Applicants can apply for cash funding from $10,000 to $50,000 per year up to three years, as well as value-in-kind support towards street banners and venue hire, and up to $5,000 towards capital expenditure or equipment purchase.

The Council is looking for projects that:

  • support local businesses to adapt to new technologies, explore alternative business models and increase accessibility;
  • upskill local businesses and entrepreneurs to meet the needs of a more innovative economy;
  • build the skills and capacity of our diverse communities to increase economic participation;
  • advocate on key industry and sector issues on behalf of local businesses;
  • deliver collaborative marketing to activate local precincts and promote unique experiences across the city.

Organisations that support Aboriginal and Torres and Strait Islander communities and culture, including Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and networks, are encouraged to apply, Council said in a statement.

A free information session on the new grants program will be held from 5pm to 7:30pm on Wednesday 1 February 2023 in the Barnet Long Room at Customs House. The session will provide an update on the new program, a briefing on the application process and tips for success, and an opportunity for engagement between organisations and potential partnerships and collaborations.

Attendees will hear from and network with previous business support grant recipients including the Darlinghurst Business Partnership, the Australian Fashion Council and the Social Enterprise Council of NSW and ACT (SECNA).

“We’re an industry lead peak body that represents the interests of social entrepreneurs and social enterprises across NSW and ACT,” said SECNA CEO, Kylie Flament.

“The City’s support has been pivotal in helping us grow and connect the social enterprise sector in Sydney.

“The funding we received enabled us to provide opportunities to local social enterprises and entrepreneurs to connect, grow and learn, and I highly encourage all business sector support organisations to make the most of this incredible opportunity.”

Samantha Delgos, industrial relations manager at the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) added: “Thanks to the City of Sydney’s support, last year we launched AFC FashTech Lab, a 6-month pilot program providing fashion brands with the opportunity to trial innovative digital sampling technology.

“The program facilitated two-way learning between brands and technology businesses to improve business efficiencies and reduce their environmental impact by eliminating textile waste.

“The City’s grants program is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in all sectors to trial new technologies to transition to innovative business models.”

Council says applicants must operate within the City of Sydney’s local area or be able to demonstrate significant benefits for the area’s residents, workers, sector/industry and/or visitors.

Grant applications will be assessed against a range of criteria including evidence of the need for the project and proposed outcomes, capacity and experience of the applicant, and evidence of diversity, inclusion and equity in the planning and delivery of the project.

For more information on the new grant program and the City’s other business support funding, visit cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/business-support-funding.

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