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Grants can help revitalise Geelong economy

Local businesses should take advantage of Government grants

Local businesses may not be taking advantage of the State and Federal Government grants to help establish or grow their enterprises. Either they may not be aware that they are eligible for a particular grant or they think it is just too difficult to explore what is available says a grants specialist.

Matthew Fletcher, general manager of GrantReady, was addressing the second meeting of the newly formed Geelong Entrepreneurs group yesterday.

“Grants are the Government’s way of helping to build certain parts of the economy,” he said.

“In that respect the Geelong region is a unique environment for grants because of the focus on recent changes with Ford and Alcoa. While start-ups are commonly believed to be the major recipients of grants, established businesses wanting to expand or diversify should make themselves aware of the available grants.”

Both State and Federal Governments want to encourage diversification of Geelong’s former industrial economy.  To that end, relevant grants cover such areas as research and development, skills development, design, export and trade partnerships, science and technology, biotechnology and business growth explains Mr Fletcher.

But with more than 700 State and Federal grants available worth more than $50 billion it is a challenge for small businesses to determine their eligibility.

To help in that task Grants Ready has developed Business GrantGuru, a free database of government grants for business. Businesses can register for free to receive email alerts about grants for which they may be eligible.

The Geelong Entrepreneurs Group now has 70 members who meet to exchanges experiences and ideas about how to build their enterprises in the newly developing regional economy.

To learn more about Geelong Entrepreneurs Meetup Group go to www.geelongentrepreneurs.com or email info@geelongentrepreneurs.com