Program overview

The Business Chambers and Trader Groups Program Round Three provides funding for locally led initiatives that support small businesses.

Up to 60 grants of $20,000 each are available for business chambers and trader groups to deliver activities or programs that build business community participation across Victoria.

Round Three of the program supports business chambers and trader groups to run locally led initiatives between October 2022 and 30 April 2023 that:

  • enable local business collaboration
  • educate, inform and empower small businesses
  • support small businesses to build digital capability
  • help members transition into recovery and restart.

Please read all the information on this page, including the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs) before submitting your initial proposal.

For further assistance please go to the Contact us page or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. If you require a translator, please let the operator know and they will call the Translating and Interpreting Service for you.

Program guidelines

Business Chambers and Trader Groups Program Round Three Guidelines (PDF 323.43 KB)PDF icon

Business Chambers and Trader Groups Program Round Three Guidelines (DOCX 1557.17 KB)DOCX icon

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Read the full list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Applications to the Business Chambers and Trader Groups Program Round Three will close at 11:59pm on Sunday 28 August 2022.

Eligible business chambers or trader groups

To be eligible to apply for a grant, the business chamber or trader group must:

  • be based in Victoria
  • be a not-for-profit member organisation with a membership of businesses that operate in Victoria
  • service a specific Victorian geographic area or specific Victorian multicultural or Aboriginal business communities
  • have the core purpose of acting for its members
  • hold a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be registered with the responsible federal or state regulator or local council
  • (if applicable) have completed all contractual obligations required for previous round of the program.

Unincorporated organisations and organisations with an ABN registered after 30 June 2021 will need to have a local council enter into the grant agreement on their behalf.

Grant amounts

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with up to 60 grants of $20,000 available.

The grant will be paid in two milestone payments as follows:

  • 80% when the grant agreement is executed
  • 20% once the project is completed and the final report has been submitted.

How the grants must be used

Grant funds must be used by business chambers and trader groups to support their members by undertaking activities such as:

  • supporting and encouraging local business collaboration activities
  • business skill development, networking and resource sharing
  • upgrading digital channels to better support members
  • helping members adapt to a COVID-19 operating environment
  • supporting or advancing the community.

The program of activities may be virtual or face-to-face, and take any format, for example:

  • success story networking
  • workshops and short courses
  • online training and webinars
  • employee skill and capability development
  • in-language business events
  • app licencing or website development
  • cyber security scenarios exercises
  • digital business expos.

These examples are not exhaustive. Groups are encouraged to submit a proposal that addresses the needs of their local business community.

Key dates

Applications close at 11:59pm on Sunday 28 August 2022.

Projects must be delivered between October 2022 and 30 April 2023.

How to apply

Please read all the information on this page, including program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs) before submitting your proposal.

Business chambers and trader groups can apply directly via this webpage.

As part of the application, business chambers and trader groups must include a capability statement that includes:

  • core competencies and experience
  • local business issues to be addressed through the funded activities.

All questions in the application form must be answered to enable timely assessment. Applicants must address selection criteria and provide a project budget and timeline. Applicants may add attachments to the application form.

More information

For further assistance please go to the Contact us page or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. If you require a translator, please let the operator know and they will call the Translating and Interpreting Service for you.

See Business grants and programs for information on other support and resources.

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The objective of this program is to support initiatives run by business chambers and trader groups that:

  • enable local business collaboration
  • educate, inform and empower small businesses
  • support small businesses to build digital capability
  • help members transition into recovery and restart.

Local chambers of commerce and trader groups play a critical leadership role in their local communities. These groups bring businesses together and empower them with advice, connections and resources. They offer businesses the opportunity to jointly market to their local community and pool resources to reduce their individual costs.

Business chambers and trader groups can apply directly via this webpage. Applications will close at 11:59pm on Sunday 28 August 2022.

There are up to 60 grants available at $20,000 each.

The grant will be paid in two milestone payments as follows:

  • 80% when the grant agreement is executed
  • 20% once the project is completed and the final report has been submitted.

Yes. Recipients of grants under Rounds One and Two of the Business Chambers and Trader Groups program are eligible to apply for a grant under Round Three of this program if they have completed all tasks and performed all obligations under previous grant agreements, including the acquittal of funds and submitting any final reports to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (the Department).

Yes, but any applications to extend or repeat a previously funded initiative must demonstrate how the new funding will further the initiative and outline the benefits that will be achieved with the new funding.


A panel will assess all applications against the following weighted criteria:

  • How well the project can meet the desired objectives of the program (60%):
    • the extent to which the project enables local business collaboration.
    • the extent to which the project supports business education and enablement.
    • the extent to which the project can build digital capability.
    • the extent to which the project can help members transition to recovery and restart.
    • the extent to which the project is structured to support the identified needs of the target group/s.
  • The capability and capacity of the applicant to deliver the project (40%).

For further description of the criteria, please refer to the program guidelines.

Grant funds must be used by business chambers and trader groups to support their members’ COVID-19 resilience, restart and recovery by undertaking activities such as:

  • supporting and encouraging local business collaboration activities
  • business skill development, networking and resource sharing
  • upgrading digital channels to better support members
  • helping members adapt to a COVID-19 operating environment
  • supporting or advancing the community.

The program of activities may be virtual or face-to-face and take any format, for example:

  • success story networking
  • workshops and short courses
  • online training and webinars
  • employee skill and capability development
  • in-language business events
  • app licensing or website development
  • cyber security scenarios exercises
  • digital business expo.

These examples are not exhaustive. Groups are encouraged to submit a proposal which addresses the needs of their local business community.

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