New grants for small businesses to access professional advice – Small Business Specialist Advice Pathways Program

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The Victorian Government has launched the new $5 million Small Business Specialist Advice Pathways Program for Victorian small business owners to access financial and legal advice from trusted professionals.

Eligible small businesses can receive a $2,000 grant to cover the costs of engaging a qualified service provider that can help with financial and legal advice.

The program supports businesses that have adapted, pivoted or changed their core business activities in response to disruptive change caused by COVID‑19 and other factors by improving their capability and preparedness to plan for their future.

Grants will be offered on a first come, first served basis until Friday 30 September 2022, or when funds are exhausted.
Click on the links below for full details, otherwise we have summarised the main parts.

What it is- Specialist Advice Pathways Program

This is a program provides $2,000 grant funding to support businesses to access accounting or legal professional advice as a contribution towards costs associated with professional service fees where the minimum project cost is $2,000 (ex GST).

Who is eligible

Employing small businesses who are established and have been in operation for more than two years.

The business must:

  1. Be a legally structured business registered in Victoria with an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on and from 1 July 2020,
  2. Be registered with WorkSafe Victoria , and
  3. Employ 1-19 FTE (full-time equivalent) staff.

Who is a qualified Service Provider

​Known and trusted advisor to the business and is qualified to deliver an approved Scope of Service and undertake the proposed project in Victoria.

  1. The Applicant’s nominated Qualified Service Provider must:
  2. Be a business that is registered for tax purposes in Australia with an active ABN.
  3. The Qualified Service Provider cannot be an employee or director of the Applicant, or an associated entity of the Applicant, or a director or employee of an associated entity of the Applicant.

To confirm the identity of the Qualified Service Provider, the information below must be provided by the Applicant at the time of application:

  1. Professional membership details and
  2. A valid Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) registration number (where applicable).

How to apply

Applicants that participate in this program will progress through three key steps:

Step 1
Submit an application via the Business Victoria website. Businesses can check the online ABN Checker to ensure their ABN (Australian Business Number) is active as of 1 July 2020.

  1. Applications are submitted online via the Business Victoria website. All questions in the application need to be completed and requested information is to be provided to ensure timely assessment.
  2. As part of the application process, the Applicant must accept and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the grant in the application form and these guidelines. By completing the application form the Applicant is making an offer to the Department and will be bound by the terms of the offer if accepted by the Department.
  3. At the time of applying, the Applicant must nominate their Qualified Service Provider and provide their contact information including professional membership details.
  4. The program will be open for applications until 4:00 pm 30 September 2022 or when funds are exhausted, whichever is earlier.
  5. The business details (ABN) will be assessed against the eligibility criteria (see Section 1). If the business is found to be eligible, the Applicant will be advised of the outcome.

Step 2

If eligible, payment of the first grant instalment of $1,000 so the project can commence with their Qualified Service Provider.

  1. If the application is successful, the Applicant will receive a Successful Email. This will form an agreement between the Applicant and the Department on the terms contained in your application, the Successful Email, these guidelines and the conditions of grant in the application form.
  2. The Applicant will acknowledge the Successful Email by submitting the provided claim form to receive the first grant instalment of $1,000.
  3. All form questions must be completed, and the claim form submitted as directed in the email notification to ensure timely assessment.
  4. The Department will pay the business within 20 working days of receipt of the completed claim form.
  5. The business can proceed with undertaking the eligible project with their Qualified Service Provider.
  6. Services must be completed in full before 31 January 2023.

Step 3

On project completion, the final grant instalment of $1,000 will be paid. Projects must be completed by 31 January 2023.

  1. The Applicant will receive the final claim form via an email notification, and all form questions must be completed and submitted to receive remaining grant funds.
  2. The Applicant when submitting the final claim form must attest that the project has been completed and a $2,000 (ex GST) payment has been made to their 6 of 10 OFFICIAL Qualified Service Provider, and evidence of this advice can be furnished on request by the Department.
  3. All form questions must be completed, and the final claim form submitted by 31 January 2023.
  4. The Department will pay the business within 20 working days of confirmation of completed service.

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