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Qld Business Basics Grant Program Delay

Business Basics Grant header image

Although I’m not at all surprised by the ‘technical glitch’ on the opening day of Qld Business Basics Grant Program, I do however, remain deeply disappointed. Not for me, but for the hundreds of Queensland small businesses in need of a financial ‘leg up’ to help develop and grow their businesses in these difficult times.

Being the third round of the Business Basics Grants Program, it was hoped that lessons would be learned from the previous hiccups, however it appears not to be the case. In defence of Qld Government, I must say that none of the issues are the same, and it would have been difficult to predict the nature of these issues.

Recap of previous Business Basics Grants Program rounds

For those who weren’t keeping a keen eye on the previous rounds, here’s a quick recap:

Round 1 of Qld Business Basics Grant

Round one closed out within a few hours of opening. I think there was only the one big bucket for SE Qld (including Brisbane) and regional Qld (including business hubs such as Townsville and Cairns). While there was an initial delay, possibly due to server loads, the applications rolled in without issue after that.

There was a concern that SE Queensland received the larger slice of the pie, possibly due to a much larger proportion of nbn access at the time (or maybe SE Queenslanders are just more savvy than us northerners).

 

Round 2 of Qld Business Basics Grant

Round two, at a guess, was implemented just for regional Queensland to address their misrepresentation in the previous round. This is all speculative, it’s just my observations having been active throughout all rounds either as a participant or a supplier.

Round two literally took forever to close out. Seriously, it was at least two months before it closed and at least another month before notifications were sent. So why did it take so long? In all honesty, I don’t think there were enough Qld small businesses interested or aware of the program. That in itself is disappointing. As small businesses, it’s our responsibility to seek out opportunities and take action where appropriate.

Qld Gov offered a truck load of $5k grants, not loans but grants, to regional Qld small businesses and hardly anyone jumped at it. I remember watching the Application Tracker and wondering why it was moving so slowly.

 

What about Round 3?

So, getting back to the current round. What was meant to be a fast and furious beginning, specifically for the SE Queensland grant bucket, turned out to be a flop within the opening moments, leaving all hopeful small business owners frustrated and annoyed. Business Queensland even placed a notification on the Business Basics Grant page advising that the SE Qld stream is expected to be highly competitive, possibly indicating the expectation that it would close out quickly. Due to the current glitch however, it looks as though that advice has since been withdrawn for the time being.

So what happened this time? Well, it appears that the SmartyGrants platform crashed and burned in spectacular fashion, so much so that two days after the event there has been no update other than the message below as found on the business.qld.gov.au site:

Business Basics Grant Program Technical Issue Advice

Now What?

Rest assured, the problem is being addressed by the relevant departments. Be patient and bear in mind that the government sector generally operates differently to the private sector. There are often more layers of beaurocracy to pass through. Each layer requires workshopping, mapping and multiple meetings before passing on to the next layer where the same process begins once again. Much like an onion when you think about it.

In any event, be positive about this experience. Laugh, joke and be patient. The Business Basics Grant Program is here for a reason, to help Qld Small Businesses to ‘increase core skills and adopt best practice‘. Sounds whanky, I know. It’s government speak. What it really means is that the grant offers an amazing opportunity to develop areas of your business that will benefit future profits, expansion and job creation.

So keep your eyes on this page to find out more information as it becomes available. Once you have applied, keep tabs on that page’s tracker to see when it fills up. Expect to wait another month or so after closing for the assessment process to be finalised.

Qld Business Basics Grant Application Tracker image

More Grant Information for Qld Small Businesses

For those reading this who are planning of applying for the grant but are yet to finalise a quote from a supplier, check out our Grants page for ideas on how Digital Marketing Hub Australia can help with a new web design, redevelopment and optimisation of an existing website, or digital coaching.

Digital Marketing Hub Australia wish all Qld small businesses the best of  luck with their grant applications.

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