The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program – facilitated by federal government’s trade, investment and education promotion agency, Austrade – will now fund manufacturers’ eligible export activities.
As a key financial assistance program for exporters, EMDG is focused on encouraging businesses to boost international sales by increasing international marketing expenditure; and enabling Australian businesses to enter global supply chains.
Eligible export promotional activities that EMDG covers include:
- overseas representation
- marketing consultants
- free samples
- trade fairs, seminars and in-store promotions
- promotional literature and advertising
- overseas buyers
- registration and insurance of eligible intellectual property
The program has an annual budget of over $150 million and each year, the program helps around 4,000 SMEs start or expand their export businesses.
In the last reporting period, businesses that received grants generated over $4.3 billion in exports, particularly in markets like Canada, China, Germany, Singapore, the UK and the US.
The impact of EMDG is anticipated to grow this year, as federal government increases the program’s budget to over $200 million in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2020, the federal government implemented all ten recommendations from the independent review of the EMDG, which centred on cutting red tape, increasing awareness of the scheme and giving exporters more funding certainty.
Until now, the EMDG has reimbursed businesses for up to 50 per cent of eligible promotion expenses, less the first $5,000. From 1 July, the EMDG will evolve this reimbursement model to a grant program, making the program more flexible and responsive to exporting businesses’ needs.
This means it will be simpler for applicants and provide greater certainty about how much funding businesses will receive.
SMEs will be able to apply for grants up to $770,000 per applicant over a period of eight years (not necessarily consecutively), for eligible promotional activities.
Grants will be available in three tiers:
- Tier 1: SMEs new to exporting can apply for grants of up to $40,000 per year for two years.
- Tier 2: Exporters wanting to expand their footprint in existing markets, or enter new markets, can apply for grants of up to $80,000 per year for three years.
- Tier 3: Exporters planning to make a strategic shift in their business can apply for grants of up to $150,000 per year for three years.
To be eligible, SMEs must be export-ready and have a turnover of less than $20 million.
The mechanics of how the grant will operate and how EMDG will transition to a grant payment model are currently under development.
Further details about EMDG can be found on the Austrade website.
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