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New SME grants launched

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Annie Kane 4 minute read

Salesforce has partnered with COSBOA to fund 67 one-off grants of $10,000 to eligible SMEs to help them survive the COVID-19 crisis.

The global customer relationship management (CRM) solution provider has partnered with the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) to launch 67 Salesforce Care Small Business Grants in Australia. 

Open for application from 25 May 2020 until 1 June 2020, the one-off grants of $10,000 aim to help eligible Australian small businesses “overcome the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic” by providing them with cash flow.

Businesses eligible for the grant must fulfil these criteria:

  • Be a for-profit business with an ABN
  • Employ between two and 50 employees
  • Have an annual revenue of $150,000 to $2,000,000
  • Have been in business for a minimum of two years
  • Can show the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their business
  • Use the money for their proposal by 31 December 2020
  • Meet the criteria set out on the COSBOA website  

Successful applicants will be able to use the funds for:

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  • Operational costs, including paying rent and paying employees
  • Offsetting marketing costs
  • Investing in customer experience
  • Purchasing inventory for the long term

COSBOA said it will select “independent judges” based on experience, and this judging committee will choose applicants “most likely to benefit” from the program. 

While proposals can be for either “functional or innovative” uses, the assessment will be based on the proposal and expected outcome. 

Applications must include a video or written case study story of the journey and outcome – whether successful or not.

Successful applicants will be announced in late June or early July.

While brokers will be able to submit the application on behalf of their SME clients (or submit for grants themselves), there is no commission available on these grants.

‘Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community’

Announcing the initiative, Pip Marlow, the CEO of Salesforce Australia and New Zealand, said she was “delighted” to team up with COSBOA to offer the grants.

“We’ve seen many Australian small businesses work to stabilise their businesses, to reimagine how they operate and to find new ways to connect with their customers. As we look to the next phases of reopening many parts of our society, small business is challenged to return to work and to grow in the next normal,” Ms Marlow said.

“It’s been amazing to see how businesses have adapted. From restaurants providing prepare-at-home meal kits through to dance studios teaching students online. One of my favourites is my local cheese shop in Manly; it has created a new community with virtual wine and cheese nights. 

“I’m in awe of the way so many have adapted to the restrictions placed on them and found ways to flourish,” the Salesforce CEO said.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community. Here at Salesforce, we see their creativity and resilience up close every day and are proud to be able to support their efforts.”

Peter Strong, the CEO of COSBOA, added: “We’re proud to team up with Salesforce to deliver much-needed support for small businesses. We encourage every eligible small business to get in touch and apply. This money could be essential to getting your business back to work and back to growth.”  

The news has been welcomed by the Minister for Small and Family Business, senator Michaelia Cash, who said the grants would be a much-needed boost for the successful small businesses and will complement other support that the government has provided.

“COVID-19 has had a considerable impact on businesses in Australia, and these grants will help small businesses to get through this period, innovate, employ and grow into the future,” she said.

[Related: ‘More help’ issued for SMEs and sole traders]

New SME grants launched
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Annie Kane

Annie Kane

Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts. 

Email Annie at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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