Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program
A comprehensive Guide and How we can help You
before you apply, speak to a marketing broker first
For the latest information, please visit the Queensland government business website here. The following is based on the information released from the Qld Government.
The objective of this program is to support small businesses subject to closure or highly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown restrictions announced by the Queensland Government, to adapt and sustain their operations, and build resilience.
The program aims to see small and micro businesses:
- prepare for the safe resumption of trading in the post COVID-19 recovery
- continue to meet operating costs
- access digital technologies to rebuild business operations and transition to a new way of doing business
- respond to online opportunities, where possible, to sustain employment and maintain potential for longer-term growth
- upskill and reskill business owners and staff to benefit from new technologies or business models
- embrace business diversification to adapt and sustain operations
- create or retain employment.
The available grant amount is a minimum of $2,000 and up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible small or micro business.
In recognition of the significant impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses, the funding can be used towards the following:
- financial, legal or other professional advice to support business sustainability and diversification
- continuing to meet business operational costs including utilities, council rates, rent, telecommunication charges, insurance fees, licensing or franchise fees
- strategic planning, financial counselling or business coaching aligned to business development and diversification
- building the business through marketing and communications activities (e.g. content development – web pages, mobile apps, visual and audio media etc.)
- digital/technological strategy development
- digital training or re-training and up-skilling employees to adapt to new business models
- capital costs associated with meeting COVID-19 safety requirements
- specialised digital equipment or business specific software to move business operations online (e.g. logistics program for online ordering).
Note: Grant funds can be used towards any of the above activities occurring from 23 March 2020 onwards, keeping in mind the project must be completed within a maximum of 6 months from the date of approval.
All invoices or quotes from suppliers will be checked to determine if they are genuine (e.g. supplier has as active ABN and the invoices or quotes have not been altered in any way).
Applying small and micro businesses must meet the eligibility and assessment criteria to be considered for funding.
To be eligible, your business must:
- have been subject to closure or otherwise highly impacted by current shutdown restrictions announced by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer on 23 March 2020
- demonstrate you have experienced a minimum 30% decline since 23 March 2020, over a minimum 1-month period due to the onset and management of COVID-19
- employ staff and have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant (employees must be on your payroll and does not include the business owner(s))
- have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) active as at 23 March 2020
- be registered for GST
- have a Queensland headquarters
- have an annual turnover over $75,000 for the 2018–19 or 2019–20 financial year, or you can provide financial records that show this will be met for recently started small businesses
- have a payroll of less than $1.3 million
- not be insolvent or have owners or directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.
Only 1 application per round will be accepted from an individual ABN or a financial beneficiary of a business.
Successful applicants from round 1 of this program cannot apply for funding under round 2.
If you have submitted a round 1 application but haven’t heard back yet, you are eligible to apply for round 2.
Use the eligibility tool below to find out if your business is eligible to apply.
Regional & SEQ Funding Available
The program is available to eligible businesses throughout Queensland. For round 2, funding is being equally divided between regional Queensland and South East Queensland (SEQ).
South East Queensland businesses
When applying for round 2, you are a South East Queensland (SEQ) business if your principal place of business is located in 1 of the following local government areas:
- Brisbane City Council
- City of Gold Coast
- Ipswich City Council
- Lockyer Valley Regional Council
- Logan City Council
- Moreton Bay Regional Council
- Noosa Shire Council
- Redlands City Council
- Scenic Rim Regional Council
- Somerset Regional Council
- Sunshine Coast Council
- Toowoomba Regional Council.
You are a ‘regional business’ if your principal place of business is any other local government areas within Queensland that is not identified as a SEQ location.
Use the eligibility tool to find out if your business is in SEQ or a regional local government area.
In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, applications will be assessed against the following:
- Funding availability – applications will be processed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, and therefore not all applications will be successful
- Submission of a complete application form, with all requested supporting documentation included (i.e. your application must contain the requested supporting documentation, otherwise you will be contacted to provide appropriate evidence and this may delay your application’s progress)
- Value for money, as determined by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT).
- Application must be completed by the applicant and provide their own original answers. Third-party completed applications will be rejected. If found to be completed by a third-party, you will be asked to return the funds.
How to Apply
Round 2 will open on 1 July 2020
This funding round may only be open for a short period due to demand and will close when the funding allocation is anticipated to be exhausted.
Regional Queensland and South East Queensland will have independent funding allocations and may close at different times.
Get ready to apply by completing the following steps.
- Check your eligibility to:
- find out if you are eligible to apply for round 2
- confirm your business location
- subscribe to be alerted when round 2 opens.
- Read the application guidelines, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and application tips.
- Prepare your application and supporting documentation ready to submit when round 2 opens.
- After round 2 opens, return here to lodge an online application (only available after the round opens).
Your application should include the following:
- A statement describing how the funding will contribute to your small business during the COVID-19 crisis in terms of employment retention or outcomes, business capability and resilience, continuity, diversification, and/or digital capability of the business;
- Evidence to demonstrate that business revenue has experienced a minimum 30 per cent decline since 23 March 2020 over a minimum one-month period due to the onset and management of COVID 19 (e.g. BAS statement, dated accountant letter on letterhead from a member of CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand or the Institute of Public Accountants);
- Invoice and/or receipt of purchase if related to the purchase of specialised digital equipment or business specific software on or after 23 March 2020;
- Declaration of employee head count;
- Evidence of annual turnover; and
- Evidence of annual payroll
Funding will be paid upon approval of your grant application. Applicants will have 6 months to complete their projects and must acquit the total amount of funding received.
Within 1 month of completing the project, applicants must:
- Complete and submit an acquittal report through SmartyGrants
- Submit copies of supplier invoices and proof of purchase for the total project cost.
Grant recipients may be subjected to a random audit by the Queensland Government (or its representatives) to ensure that the information provided is true and correct. Where it is found that false or misleading information has been provided, penalties may apply, including refunding some or all of the grant funding.
What Won't be Funded?
These activities will not be funded under this program:
- applications with a total cost less than $2,000 – all your proposed activities or quotes and invoices must be eligible and be a total of $2,000 or more
- business costs otherwise supported by other Queensland and Commonwealth Government financial assistance measures
- salaries or wage expenses for your employees, including superannuation or WorkCover
- services delivered in-kind (grant funding will only cover services paid for via a financial transaction)
- purchase of business assets, such as stock or fleet vehicles/machinery
- fees for services and/or goods provided by related parties (such as companies with common shareholdings or directorship with the applicant, and employees or immediate family of the applicant)
- direct-selling businesses (where sales of another business’ goods or services are made in the customer’s home, work or other meeting place through methods such as party plan and network marketing)
- goods or services purchased, or any payments made, prior to 23 March 2020.
Before you apply, speak to a marketing broker first
The $10K Business & Marketing Adapt Plan
Business & marketing Adapt Plan
Comprehensive 3-Month Business & Marketing Coaching, Strategy, Development & Support
Custom Plans are available upon request
Frequently asked questions
The Small Business Adaption Grant forms part of the Queensland Government’s Worker Assistance Package, which aims to assist employees and businesses who have lost their jobs or incomes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant program aims to support Queensland small businesses that fall below the payroll tax threshold of $1.3 million annually, and who have been forced into hibernation, or have experienced a significant structural adjustment or forced re-pivoting of their business operations due to the pandemic.
The grant is aimed at supporting small and micro businesses that employ Queenslanders and who may not be eligible for the Queensland Government’s 2019-20 refunds and waiving of payroll tax, which applies to businesses with wages bills of $1.3 million or above.
The grant is aimed at supporting small and micro businesses that employ Queenslanders.
An annual turnover of $75,000 is also the threshold for when the Australian Taxation Office requires a business to register for GST, another requirement of the program.
If your business is not eligible for this funding you may still be eligible for other supports in the Queensland Governments COVID-19 response package.
No. Only one application will be accepted from a financial beneficiary of a business. The applicant must not be a financial beneficiary of any other Small Business Adaption Grant application. You make a declaration in the application form stating the above.
Yes. Your application must be for an existing operating business.
No, you must employ at least one other person and meet all of the eligibility criteria
Yes. The business must have a Queensland headquarters. To demonstrate this, the ‘Main Business Location’ of the applicant’s ABN must be listed as being in Queensland on the Australian Business Register (ABR) at the time of application. If the ABR listing for the applying business does not list
Queensland as the main business location, you must provide evidence of a Queensland headquarters in writing to [email protected] prior to the grant round closing. Evidence of a Queensland
- A copy of the applicant’s Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Company
Statement listing a Queensland address as ‘principal place of business’ or
- A letter from the applicant’s accountant confirming the business has changed to a Queensland
main business location.
Yes. The business must be registered for GST at the time of application to be eligible for funding under this program. All businesses that have an annual turnover of $75,000 or greater are required to register for GST.
If your business is not registered for GST visit www.ato.gov.au/Business/GST/Registering-for-GST to find out more. The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training recommends you seek independent professional advice before registering for GST.
No. Grants are not subject to the GST. Therefore, GST is not payable and grant funding will not compensate for any GST spent by the business. The grant amount is GST exclusive.
Your application must include a Business Activity Statement (BAS), tax return or dated accountant letter on letterhead, to demonstrate that your business has an annual turnover of more than $75,000. Accountant letters must be from members of CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand or the Institute of Public Accountants.
No. You can only claim business operating expenses such as utilities retrospectively to 23 March 2020. If your bill is for January 2020 to April 2020, you must pro-rata the amount claimed to be from 23 March 2020.
If you are unable to complete the approved project, or purchase the approved product or service, you must immediately notify the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training in writing. Any change to your project will need to be reassessed to ensure funding will still be granted. If you change
your project or purchase without approval, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training can withdraw the funding.
No. You must submit a completed application, which includes all supporting evidence as requested in the application form, in order to be considered for the grant. Failure to submit complete applications will result in delays to processing and in the interim funds may be exhausted.
No. The person submitting the application form must be the business applying for the grant.
- Enter into a funding agreement with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training
- Purchase the product/s or service/s in full as per the funding agreement
- Deliver the project as per the funding agreement
- Complete a final acquittal within one month of the project completion date
- Complete a follow-up survey six months after the Program has finished.
If your application is successful, the funding will be provided directly to the applicant. To fully acquit your grant you will be required to submit an acquittal report through SmartyGrants that includes receipts.
Grants are treated as assessable income for tax purposes, unless exempted by law. The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training recommends you seek independent professional advice on your tax obligations.
For more information about the grant you can visit www.business.qld.gov.au/adaption-grant or for advice on your application, call the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training on 1300 654 687
or email [email protected]
Appeals are not considered under this grant as per the Terms and Conditions.
Complaints about the outcome of an application will be dealt with according to Department of Employment, Small Business and Training’s complaints management policy.
www.business.qld.gov.au has information on starting and developing businesses.
www.business.gov.au is an online government resource for the Australian business community provided
by the Australian Government.
To find answers to your tax questions, go to www.ato.gov.au.
ablis.business.gov.au has information on government licences, permits, approvals, registrations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines you need to know about to meet your compliance responsibilities.