Program overview

The Business Competitiveness Program will assist small and medium manufacturers with an existing presence in Victoria to expand their manufacturing operations and implement new manufacturing technologies and processes that provide a critical foundation for generating sustainable new local jobs.  

The program aims to create jobs, increase industry competitiveness, and help strengthen local supply chains in traditional and emerging manufacturing sectors where Victoria has competitive advantages.

Grants of up to 33 per cent of eligible project expenditure, up to a maximum grant amount of $500,000, will be allocated on a competitive basis for projects to be completed within 18 months of receiving the grant.

Eligible projects include the purchase and commissioning of capital equipment, manufacturing product and process improvements, prototyping, evaluation and testing of new products and processes, and supply chain capability development. Further details can be found in the program guidelines linked below.

The Business Competitiveness Program will be delivered in up to two competitive funding rounds per year, and applications will only be accepted when a funding round is open. Applications for the first funding round closed on 4 July 2021. A second round will open later in 2021.

Program guidelines

Business Competitiveness Program Guidelines (PDF 234 KB)PDF icon

Business Competitiveness Program Guidelines (DOCX 1536.55 KB)DOCX icon

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Read the full list of FAQs before applying.

Applications for the first funding round closed on 4 July 2021. A second round will open later in 2021.

What support is available?

The program provides grants of up to 33 per cent of eligible project expenditure allocated on a competitive basis. The maximum grant amount is $500,000 and the minimum grant amount is $50,000. For example, a $900,000 project where capital equipment is purchased and implemented may be eligible for a grant amount of $300,000.

All grants require a minimum co-contribution from the applicant of 67 per cent of total eligible project expenditure ($2 for every $1 funded by the Victorian Government).

Applicants will be required to provide quotations and estimates in support of their applications and must clearly demonstrate how funding the project activities will support the creation of new jobs.

Who can apply?

The Business Competitiveness Program is open to small and medium sized businesses that are on a growth trajectory and require support to expand their manufacturing operations.

To be eligible for the program an applicant must:

  • operate a business located in Victoria
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be currently engaged in manufacturing or the manufacturing supply chain or demonstrate a genuine commercial connection to the manufacturing supply chain
  • employ at least 20 FTE* (full-time equivalent) staff or have an annual turnover of greater than $1.5 million (preference will be given to applicants that employ less than 200 people)
  • agree to meet any co-contribution requirements with eligible cash expenditure.

*Companies with fewer than 20 FTE staff may be considered but will need to demonstrate why their project should be funded and how it will stimulate job creation.

A full list of eligibility criteria, assessment criteria and conditions can be found in the program guidelines.

What can the grant funds be used for?

This grant will support the purchase and commissioning of capital equipment (recorded as fixed assets in the applicant’s accounts) and associated project expenditure related to manufacturing product and process improvements, prototyping, evaluation and testing of new products and processes, and supply chain capability development.

Any other activities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Eligible project expenditure includes the following activities relating to the proposed project:

  • capital expenditure (e.g. manufacturing machinery and equipment)
  • other project-related non-capitalised expenditure (e.g. related to product and process improvements, prototyping, evaluation and testing of new products and processes, and supply chain capability development)
  • minor building alterations and fit-out costs
  • training specific to the technology (external costs only)
  • labour and contractors (but does not include internal salaries).

How to apply

Before applying, please ensure that you have read and understood the information on this page, including the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Applicants must ensure they have all required documentation before they apply. All applications must be accompanied by a project plan (including quotations from providers to support cost estimates). See the available template for guidance about information the project plan should include.

To apply, please submit an online application via the ‘Apply now’ button on this page. (Completing the application process in a Google Chrome web browser is recommended.)

All questions in the application must be completed and any requested documentation attached to ensure timely assessment.

For further assistance please contact us or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

More information

Applicants will be required to provide detailed cash flow projections and trading history as part of the application process. See the available template for guidance about the information required.

Successful applicants will receive a grant funding agreement in the format shown in the available template.

Successful applicants will be contracted against the number of jobs estimated to be created and expected to report on the progress of job creation throughout the project period.

Program guidelines

Business Competitiveness Program Guidelines (PDF 234 KB)PDF icon

Business Competitiveness Program Guidelines (DOCX 1536.55 KB)DOCX icon

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Read the full list of FAQs before applying.