Changes to export grants announced by government

The federal
government has introduced legislation which it claims will help boost exports
for Australian small and medium-sized businesses.

The bill
introduced to parliament yesterday, the EMDG Amendment
Bill 2014, relates to prime minister Tony Abbott’s August election campaign announcement of the Coalition’s manufacturing policies.

The amendments will increase from seven to eight the number of grants
an applicant can receive, reduce from $20,000 to $15,000 the minimum expenses
threshold for an applicant to the EMDG scheme and “reduce the current $5,000 deduction from the
applicant’s provisional grant amount to $2,500”.

Other changes include denial of grants to
those using an EMDG consultant who is “not a fit and proper person” and
speeding up the payment of a grant.

Trade minister Andrew Robb cited the depreciation in the currency
when announcing the news.

“Now is the right time to
support smaller exporters looking to capitalise on the weaker Australian
dollar, including those businesses in rural and regional Australia,” he said.

Small business minister
Bruce Billson added that the changes would help SMEs access new markets.

“The scheme helps small
businesses by refunding up to 50 per cent of export market expenditure,” he
said.

“Export markets offer
enormous potential for small to medium size businesses and offer new pathways
to sustainable growth and job creation.

To read the bill, click here