The WA state government has unveiled a $10 million package to boost Western Australian businesses impacted by COVID-19 and increase the supply of locally made PPE.
Premier Mark McGowan released three new rounds from the Local Capability Fund to help COVID-affected businesses and improve the WA business community’s capacity and competitiveness to manufacture PPE.
“Creating more opportunities for local business is an important component of WA’s recovery from COVID-19. These grants will help successful businesses move towards manufacturing PPE right here in Western Australia, and move towards being less reliant on obtaining PPE from outside the State.
“This initiative will also help businesses retain workers as the state moves towards recovery, and in many cases, take on new staff. They help the state government deliver on its commitment to drive job creation in Western Australia and support local business by capturing opportunities to drive economic growth,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.
“PPE has proved crucial to our healthcare staff since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, and this Local Capability Fund round will help establish a reliable local supply in the future.
“I’m pleased the state government can offer support to increase local manufacture of health requirements and help SMEs more generally adjust to the new business environment,” WA Health Minister Roger Cook said.
Under the $6.5 million COVID-19 Business Recovery and Growth round, co-funding of up to $100,000 a business is available to support any Western Australian SME impacted by the pandemic to build their capacity and competitiveness.
Funding can be used for things such as upgrading plant and equipment, upskilling staff, improving business infrastructure, and engaging specialists to help with a range of needs including developing online sales solutions and cyber security.
Under the $3 million PPE Manufacturing round, a co-funding grant of up to $500,000 per business is available to help SMEs who want to manufacture PPE such as masks, face visors, coveralls and ventilators.
The PPE Market Feasibility round will allocate up to $20,000 a business to undertake an independent feasibility study into the viability of a business’ PPE-manufacturing proposal.
Since 2011, the 21 Local Capability Fund rounds has resulted in $6.79 million being committed to 395 SMEs, creating more than 800 jobs, 135 apprenticeships and
$457.7 million in contract awards.