Program overview

The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program supports sole traders, micro businesses and small businesses to access digital products, tools and training to help build digital capability in their day-to-day operations.

Small business owners can access accounting software, tools to build or upgrade their websites, and to improve online marketing and social media. There are tools to help you streamline your  processes to manage stock and other business needs, and to improve your customer experience.

Businesses can trial digital products from a range of suppliers, who have partnered with the Victorian Government.

Businesses can use a new, approved product, upgrade an existing approved product, or re-subscribe to an approved product that expired more than 12 months ago.

Once businesses have bought and begun using  an approved product or products, they can apply for a rebate of $1200 to give them 12 months’ access to the product/s. Businesses will need to pay the ongoing costs after 12 months.

The program also offers free digital adaptation training and workshops to help businesses use the online tools.

Spaces for the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program are limited.

Read the information on this page, the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs) before you register.

See the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program in languages other than English.

Guidelines

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program Guidelines (PDF 309.63 KB)PDF icon

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program Guidelines | accessible version (DOCX 1548.48 KB)DOCX icon

Applications will remain open until funds are exhausted or until 11.59pm on 30 June 2021, whichever is earlier.

You will be provided with a link to the application form after you confirm your ABN is valid for this program via the ABN Checker.

ABN Checker

To check if your ABN is valid for this program, please enter your Australian Business Number (ABN) in the ABN Checker below. If you are unsure what your ABN is, you can use the ABN Lookup tool.

If your ABN is valid for this program, you will be provided with a link to the application form.

Thank you.

Your ABN is valid for the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program.

You can now access free workshop and product trials, attend as many workshops and trial as many products as you like.

After purchasing an eligible new product or upgrade, you can apply for a purchase rebate when you are ready.

Please bookmark these pages for your reference.

ABN ineligible

Thank you for your interest in the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program.

The Australian Business Number (ABN) you have provided indicates you may not be eligible for a purchase rebate under this program. If you believe you may be eligible for the program, please check the ABN that you have provided, carefully read the program guidelines and ensure that the business linked to the ABN provided meets the following criteria:

  • Operate a business located in Victoria
  • Have held an Australian Business Number (ABN) since at least 13 September 2019
  • Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 13 September 2020

Not-for-profit entities that are not registered for GST and are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission are eligible to apply.

If you still believe you are eligible for this program and continue to receive this message, please call Business Victoria on 13 22 15 or submit an enquiry here. Please state the enquiry is related to Small Business Digital Adaptation Program.

You may be eligible for support under another Victorian Government grant or support program. All information about Victorian Government support for businesses can be found at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/business-grants-and-support.

What support is available?

Products available through the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program can help sole traders, micro and small businesses improve their cashflow, increase productivity, attract customers, and assist them to tell their story. Eligible businesses can apply for a rebate of $1,200 to assist with the purchase a new product or upgrade a current product

Eligible businesses can access one or more approved products for 12 months, along with unlimited free training and workshops, and free product trials.

Businesses also can apply for Business recovery and resilience mentoring.

Which products can I choose from?

The Victorian Government is partnering with 14 suppliers for this program. Learn about each supplier and their products by watching the following short videos.

What are the eligibility requirements for this program?

The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program is for sole trader, micro businesses and small businesses. To be eligible for the program an applicant must:

  • operate a business located in Victoria
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have held that ABN on 13 September 2019

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria and agree to the conditions outlined in the program guidelines.

Applicants also need to attest that they are currently operating their business and intend to adapt their business to a digital operating environment.

Businesses will be ineligible for the program if any information in their application is found to be deliberately false or misleading.

An eligible business, as defined by its ABN, can only receive one purchase rebate of $1,200 to cover 12 months’ access to one or more approved digital product available under this program.

What does the program cover?

Products chosen by eligible businesses must be:

  • a new product not currently used by the business, or
  • an upgrade of an existing product with additional product features providing specific digital adaptation capability (for example, upgrading an existing website to an e-commerce site), or
  • a product available under the program that has been used by the business before (more than 12 months ago) that it would like to resume using.

The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program will not cover the cost of:

  • renewals of existing product or software licences purchased before 15 November 2020, or
  • minor updates to existing products (for example, a software version update), or
  • products that are not available under the program.

Businesses can participate in training and workshops shown in the training calendar on the program page. This page will be displayed on your screen once you have confirmed your ABN is valid for this program via the ABN Checker.

Businesses who have existing products and software purchased outside of this program are also able to attend workshops promoted via the Business Victoria website.

How does the program work?

  1. Read the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs) then use the ABN Checker to check whether your ABN is valid for this program.  Businesses can trial products and attend workshops before lodging an application. Businesses can attend unlimited workshops and complete multiple digital product trials until 30 June 2021.

  2. Sign up and purchase your preferred digital product/s through one of the partner suppliers. You will be required to provide a supplier receipt or paid supplier invoice as part of your application — see FAQs for more details.

  3. Apply for a rebate of $1,200 to cover 12 months’ access to your product/s.

  4. After six weeks, approved businesses will be asked to complete a survey confirming they are still using the approved product/s.

  5. Businesses will be required to respond to short surveys at six and 12 months to help Business Victoria understand how businesses have benefitted from the program and the product/s.

How do I progress through the program?

This is a purchase rebate program. You must sign up for and purchase an available digital product before you apply.

Complete the online rebate application form. Ensure you answer all questions and provide all the required information, including proof of your purchase.

You will be contacted by email six weeks after eligibility is confirmed to verify you are still using the product/s you purchased.

You will be contacted to participate in an evaluation survey after six and 12 months to help us understand the program impact.

The program only covers the first 12 months’ access.

Key program dates

The program will be open from 15 November 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Applications for purchase rebates to cover 12 months’ product access will be open from 1 December 2020 to 11.59pm on 30 June 2021, or until funds are exhausted.

More information

The $1,200 purchase rebate is equivalent to 12 months’ access to a digital tool available under this program. Access costs for foreign currency and sales percentage products will vary depending on exchange rates and use.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions reserves the right to amend these guidelines and application terms at any time.

If you have questions about this program, please refer to the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program frequently asked questions (FAQs).  

For further assistance please contact us or call 13 22 15.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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Are not-for-profits eligible to apply?

Yes. Not-for-profit entities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission are eligible to apply.

I’ve submitted my ABN via the ABN Checker but received a message saying I may not be eligible. What are my options?

This message contains a link to the Business Victoria grants page which has information about other business support programs.

To be eligible for the program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • operate a business located in Victoria
  • have held an Australian Business Number (ABN) since at least 13 September 2019.

Please check the ABN you provided is correct and that your business meets the program eligibility criteria. If you still believe you are eligible for this program, please call Business Victoria on 13 22 15 or submit an enquiry. Please state the enquiry is related to Small Business Digital Adaptation Program.

If I trial a product, can I cancel at any time without penalty?

There is no cost to trial a product and all training and workshops are provided for free. You will need to check with the individual product supplier about the length, time, or credit available as part of your trial.

You should check with the digital product supplier about terms and conditions, including cancellation fees, before you sign up and purchase.

If you want to cancel after purchase, please discuss this with the product provider to see if there is anything they can do to resolve any issues.

Do I need to provide my credit card details to start my free trial?

You should check with the digital product supplier about terms and conditions, including any credit card requirement, before you sign up for a trial. You will not be required to pay for your trial, though some product suppliers ask for credit card details to access a free trial.

Product trials last from two weeks to one month. You will only be charged if you continue using the product after completing the trial or using all your free credit.

Do I need to purchase the product to access the Victorian Government rebate?

Yes. Once you have completed your trial period and have chosen the product/s you would like to access for 12 months, you will need to sign up and pay before applying for a rebate.

If you purchased a product or service before 15 November 2020 and the purchase is not an upgrade, you will not be eligible for a rebate.

You are required to provide evidence of your purchase or subscription with your rebate application. You must supply a copy of an invoice or receipt as proof of purchase.

Examples of supplier receipts and invoices (PDF 2538.09 KB)PDF icon

The receipt or invoice only needs to reflect the subscription or access period you have already used (e.g. one-month subscription or access).

It does not need to show expenditure of $1,200.

For more information, please refer to the program guidelines.

What happens after I get my rebate?

You will be required to participate in an evaluation survey after six and 12 months. This is important to help understand the effectiveness and impact of the program. What if my purchase rebate application is unsuccessful?

If you are unsuccessful in your application for a purchase rebate, you can continue trialling other products on offer, attend the training and workshops, and to access products at your own cost.

For more information, please refer to the program guidelines.

I’ve been deemed ineligible after submitting my application. Will the Victorian Government repay my money?

Every effort will be made to ensure registered businesses are eligible before they purchase a digital product and apply for a rebate. You may be contacted after you register to verify the information provided and ensure your eligibility for the program.

You may be deemed ineligible for other reasons, including failure to provide proof of purchase, purchase of a product not available under the program, or discontinuing product use after purchase.

If you are deemed ineligible for the purchase rebate the Victorian Government will not be able to repay money you have spent on a product.

For more information, please refer to the program guidelines or contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

Will the $1200 reimbursement cover the total cost of this program? What happens when my rebate runs out?

The purchase rebate is equivalent to at least 12 months’ access to digital products available under this program. Access costs for foreign currency and sales percentage products will vary depending on exchange rates and use.

After your rebate runs out, you can cancel your access or continue using the product at your own cost.

When will I receive my purchase rebate?

You will be contacted by email six weeks after eligibility is confirmed to verify you have begun adapting and establishing the product in your business.

The Victorian Government will pay your rebate after you have confirmed you are using the product.

How can I use my rebate?

Your rebate can only be used to access one or more products provided by the digital product suppliers under this program.

You do not need to use up your rebate within 12 months. If there is still a rebate balance after 12 months, you can continue paying for access until the rebate runs out.

After your rebate runs out, you can cancel your access or continue using the product at your own cost.

Can I use the rebate to purchase hardware related to one of the approved digital products (i.e. the Square Reader)?

Yes, as long as the proof of purchase submitted with your rebate application shows the purchase or upgrade of a digital product and also lists the hardware item.

When do applications for the rebate open?

Applications for the purchase rebate are open from 1 December 2020 to 30 June 2021, or until funds are exhausted.

What if I change my mind and want to swap to another product provider after I have signed up?

You should check with the digital product supplier about terms and conditions, including cancellation fees before you sign up and purchase.

You may be able to negotiate directly with the product supplier to switch your plan if your business needs change.

If you still want to change to another digital product, you must ask your current supplier to cancel your service. Please ensure your cancellation is confirmed before notifying the Victorian Government of the change by email to dap@business.vic.gov.au.

What if there is a rebate balance after I cancel my service?

You should use the balance of your rebate to purchase your preferred digital product. You will not be reimbursed for your initial purchase. You must use the rebate to purchase a digital product available under the program or repay the unused amount on demand.

What if I want to cancel my product access, do I have to pay back the outstanding money or a cancellation fee?

You should check with the digital product supplier about terms and conditions, including cancellation fees before you sign up and purchase.

If you want to cancel after purchase, please discuss this with the product provider to see if they can do to resolve any issues.

If you still want to cancel, you will need to notify your current provider and the Victorian Government  by email to dap@business.vic.gov.au. You must use the rebate to purchase a digital product available under the program or repay the unused amount on demand.

What if the product or service I want to sign up for is more than $1,200?

You may choose a product that costs more than $1,200, however you will only receive a rebate for $1,200.

I’m having trouble with my product provider, who can I get in touch with?

All product providers on this program have agreed to a standard set of principles, including providing access to the product, training and customer support during the trial and subscription/access period.

If you are experiencing difficulties with the product provider and they are unable to resolve your issue, you may wish to contact an appropriate regulatory authority, such as Consumer Affairs Victoria to escalate the issue.

I’m not happy with the product I’m receiving, will the Victorian Government repay my money?

You should discuss your concerns with the product provider in the first instance. If you are unable to resolve your issues and still want to cancel, we encourage you to explore the options available through other listed product providers to continue with the program.

If you choose to cancel your access, you should notify the provider and email  the Victorian Government at dap@business.vic.gov.au to advise you have chosen a new supplier. You must use the rebate to purchase a digital product available under the program or repay the unused amount on demand.

Will the digital product I have subscribed to automatically renew after the 12 months covered by the rebate?

You can continue to access your digital product after 12 months at your own cost. Most providers charge a monthly subscription/access fee. You will need to make billing arrangements with the provider or cancel your subscription/access.

How do I access workshops and training?

Workshops and training are available to support your business in adapting to digital operations. Once your ABN has been validated via the ABN Checker, you will have access to a dedicated Small Business Digital Adaptation webpage, which includes information on a wide range of free workshops and training.

You can also apply for Business recovery and resilience mentoring.